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Suns come to terms with deals for Dragic, Beasley

Jul 5, 2012, 2:06 AM EDT

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You know what they say. If you can’t have the two-time MVP and franchise player, make sure you spend $14.5 million every year for Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley.

The Suns came to terms with two big free agents the same day they dealt Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade to the Lakers. First, they came to terms with a three-year, $18 million offer for forward Michael Beasley. Then the Suns replaced their point guard with Goran Dragic in a four-year, $34 million agreement.

Beasley gives the Suns a versatile scoring forward who could really thrive with Alvin Gentry as a guiding force, and in a high-pace system where he can get lots of shots. Beasley’s biggest problem is he never makes the smart play, and struggles defensively. Phoenix will give him a locker room that may give him guidance and a system that will provide him with ample scoring opportunities.

The Dragic story is hilarious. Dragic backed up Steve Nash in 2010, and was a major part of the Suns’ Western Conference Finals run. Then he was traded, along with a draft pick, to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Brooks then went to China, and is now a restricted free agent. The Suns got a draft pick (actually two first-rounders) back in the Nash trade. So they got Dragic back, will lose Brooks, and got the pick back, like the original deal never happened.

Only, you know, they lost Steve Nash. That’s kind of important.

The Suns would have a pretty good team if they were to land Eric Gordon with their max offer sheet, but indications are that the Hornets will match. As it stands,the Suns are committing medium-size, medium-term money to be a lottery team with poor chances at winning the lottery. They are officially in purgatory. Dragic is a good player who can take over a game. But the rest of the Suns don’t fit particularly well with Dragic anymore and are uninspiring. Beasley comes with a mountain of headaches.

These are not slam dunks for the Suns. They’re long-range shots, and their best shooter is wearing Lakers gold now.

But “Goran and the Beas” is going to be a great family comedy show.

  1. jimthebuilder27 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Biggest problem is that Michael Beasley is such a knucklehead.

    • heat256 - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Do they have good weed in Arizona? B-Eazy is gonna be bummed if they don’t. To be serious, I hope the kid gets his act together and plays the way he is capable of. He’s still young, and still has all-star skills.

  2. thekingdave - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Ok, so Morey’s offer was in the 8-9 million per year range, which the Suns locked him up for. Explain yourself Daryl. You now have one point guard on the roster, and he doesn’t want to be in Houston.

  3. southpaw77 - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Don’t understand the Beasley signing, isn’t Dudley the starting small forward?
    What they need is a shooting guard and if New Orleans matches for Gordon then throw that offer at OJ Mayo.
    Dragic, Mayo, Dudley, Beasley (at power forward?), and Gortat. With Frye, Marshall, Morris, Warrick and Lopez off the bench? They amnesty Childress? Need to get rid of the glut of under-performing forwards like Childress and Warrick and get some bonafide shooting guards in there.

    • siege102 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:26 AM

      Yeah, basically what the writer said… end of the lottery purgatory.

  4. saint1997 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Does anyone know Goran Dragic has a brother called Zoran Dragic. I think that is pretty damn neat. I just found out…

  5. rushbacker - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    Clearly, no one will mistake these for power moves, although Dragic is a solid pickup. I don’t think they have to stay in purgatory, though. They’re both young players– Beasley’s deal is only three years, and Dragic plays a premium position. Both contracts should be movable in a year or two if they want to go that direction. Without looking at the contracts on their roster, I would guess they have to have at least one or two there that are movable as well. Add in multiple late firsts that they’ll be getting from LA, and Phoenix should at least be in position to move higher in the draft at some point. Granted, it’s less likely to land you that truly transcendent star like LBJ or Durant than out and out tanking. . . but that’s a tough pill to feed your fans after trading Nash to the Lakers.

    That’s the thing about the NBA. . . unless you give out a really awful long term contract or two (Joe Johnson, the deal Denver gave Kenyon Martin), you can always have a fire sale and put a “tank team” together pretty quickly. As long as you rebuild around draft picks and young vets with moderate deals, you can take a couple of seasons and see if you can develop a club like the Grizzlies, and still change course and blow it up pretty quickly if it doesn’t work. Any legit talent you do have can always be flipped pretty easily as long as the contracts aren’t crazy. There are always plenty of teams willing to get rid of an expiring deal for a useful piece or two– and if they’re young and not overpriced, you might even get a protected pick with a chance to still be fairly high in a year or two.

    Being close to a playoff team this year, I don’t blame the Suns for getting the best young point guard they could, and seeing if they can stay on course and develop into a playoff team. Yes, they are in danger of becoming that perennial seven-eight seed and getting stuck there. But that team will generate plenty of revenue– it’s not a huge risk to management. Tanking can still land you at number four or five, and next year isn’t projected as a particularly deep draft. Why put your fans through a seventeen-win season when you could end up spending the number two pick on a guy like. . . well, Michael Beasley. Yea. Tanking only works if you time it perfectly right– more often than not, it just makes the organization suck longer. For every OKC (or maybe New Orleans as the next example), how many Washington’s and Charlotte’s are there? I don’t think Suns management or ownership deserves to be trashed for lack of vision simply for not going in the crapper immediately and intentionally. That one can be real tough to explain to your fans when the ping pong balls don’t go your way.

  6. chicagofan - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    Sun’s front office people are stupid and they will continue to be mediocre.4yrs/ 34million for Dragic ! they will have to be lucky to be even the 8th seed over the next 4yrs.

  7. pudgalvin - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

  8. gmsalpha - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Be careful about using the words “always” and “never”. Beasley never makes the right decision? You must have forgotten about when he decided to skip the extra large fries and opt for the baked potato.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    $18 million will buy a lot of weed for Beasley

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