End of the Phoenix Era

I'm a Phoenix suns fan since they brought back Steve Nash and orchestrate the fast-paced "Seven Seconds or Less" mentality. Last year, they are only two games away from a Finals appearance, if not for the stupid suspensions on Stoudemire & Diaw for Game 5.

But with their recent first round ouster, no wonder there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on. Coach Mike D’Antoni arguing on GM Steve Kerr regarding putting premium on defense? Maybe, it’s the front office/ownership wrong dealings? Let me take a look where the franchise went since 2004. From the draft gamble, as in you make your gambles on whose rookie to pick.

2004 NBA draft

Phoenix Suns trade #7 pick (Luol Deng) to the Chicago Bulls for a future first round pick. Phoenix took the risk that Chicago would get a high pick in 2005…

Spending #1: Signed Quentin Richardson. (signed Richardson instead of drafting Deng? If only someone could’ve told them the future)

2005 NBA draft

…they didn’t, it turned out to be #21 pick Nate Robinson, so the Suns ended up trading Robinson to the Knicks with Quentin Richardson for Kurt Thomas.

They traded away Joe Johnson to Atlanta in exchange for Boris Diaw and two future first-round draft picks.

2005-06: Stoudemire played only three games. Just when you thought everything was lost, Diaw played well and Phoenix remained a powerhouse.

2006 NBA Draft. Where everything changed.

One of the picks acquired from Atlanta. turned out to be #21 pick Rajon Rondo.
For financial reasons they traded the pick to Boston along with Brian Grant for future first round pick…

Spending #2: Signed Marcus Banks to a five-year, $24 million deal to back up Nash. Marcus Banks? WTF!! He can’t shoot 3s, in the first place. Can’t they assess a talent that will fit the system? Why not let Rondo develop into a background PG. Look at him now. Celtics have confidence in him at starting PG.

2007 NBA Draft

the second of the Atlanta picks, only to be spoiled by the lottery. (it was a protected top-3 pick)

Pick acquired from Boston turned out to be #24 Rudy Fernández.

Traded Kurt Thomas to Seattle along with two first-round picks, (Thomas eventually traded to the archrival Spurs, where he helped beat the Suns in the '08 playoffs)

Traded Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for Shaquille O’Neal. ‘nuff said, critics everywhere.

Back in 2005, the Spurs had the right nucleus (Duncan, Ginobili and Parker) and so did the Suns (Nash, Stoudemire, Marion and Johnson), but only the Spurs kept it intact. Looking at those moves from 2004 to 2007, you'd have to call the Seven Seconds of Less Era one of the memorably squandered opportunities in recent sports history. They could have paid the luxury tax and tapped all other sources of income, and maybe brought home the trophy.

Now heading to the 2008 Draft, they own the second of the Atlanta picks which is at #14. I just hope the Suns don’t screw their future and come back rejuvenated for one last push.

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