Luis Scola is the Latest Addition for the Phoenix Suns
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Luis Scola is the latest addition as “the Suns won the blind bidding for Scola, which requires interested teams under the salary cap to bid no less than $3 million for this season and $10-plus million for the next three seasons.”
Stein points out in his article that earlier in the month, Phoenix added Michael Beasley by giving him an $18 million dollar contract and Goran Dragic by awarding him a $34 million deal. The Suns also tried to pry Eric Gordon away from the New Orleans Hornets, but the Hornets matched the four-year $58 million offer that the Suns put on the table for Gordon.
Adding Eric Gordon to the roster might have been a solid move for the Suns, but the former Indiana standout has struggled to stay healthy in his early career, playing only 56 games in 2010-11 as a member of the Clippers and only nine games this past season for the Hornets.
The Suns definitely could have used Gordon because they need an upgrade at the 2-spot. Jared Dudley only put up 12.7 points per game last season whereas Gordon averaged 16.1 points per game as a rookie and put up 22.3 points per game during his last season as a Clipper.
However, now that the Suns have added Scola to the mix, they should have a formidable frontcourt. Marcin Gortat is a consistent starting center, averaging a double-double, and he should be a strong complement to Luis Scola. He will allow Scola to dominate the ball near the paint, which is what Scola needs in order to be most effective since he relies on his post game to score the ball.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that he’s 6”10’, Michael Beasley loves to operate out on the perimeter where he shoots the three-ball at a rate of 37.6% and has a decent midrange game. He won’t get in Scola’s way and should spread the floor.
Individually, these three frontcourt players couldn’t be more different, but as a collective they will probably be hard to guard.
Meanwhile, the Dragic signing should prove to be a smart decision as the Yugoslavian point guard had his best season last year after he took over Kyle Lowry at the end of the season. Moreover, even if Dragic doesn’t perform as well as he did last season, the Suns took Kendall Marshall with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, so they should be set at the 1-spot.
Taking a closer look at the Suns bench, Channing Frye, Markieff Morris, Hakim Warrick, and even Sebastian Telfair should make decent contributions, but the Suns could certainly use another player at the 5-spot. Frye is 6”11’, but he plays more like a shooting guard/small forward than a center.
At the end of the day, Luis Scola was an important pickup for the Phoenix Suns as he will be the most reliable player on offense, but the Suns have a long way to go.
The last few teams that have won the NBA championship—the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Boston Celtics—all had at least one superstar or more. Obviously, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics had their Big Threes and the Lakers had Kobe along with one of the strongest overall frontcourts in NBA history. As for the Mavericks, they seemed to just catch fire at the right time, but they had a hungry group of veterans and Dirk Nowitzki leading the charge.
Phoenix is now rebuilding from the Steve Nash era and Suns fans will have to patient. Contenders are rarely born overnight and it takes a lot to pull that kind of change off.
When Danny Ainge created the Big Three in Boston in 2007 during the NBA Draft, he traded away serious young talent including Jeff Green and Al Jefferson, and the Suns don’t have those kind of young prospects to offer at this time. The additions of Dragic, Beasley, and Scola should make the Suns watchable for the time being, but it will likely be a while before Phoenix returns to the playoffs.