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Ball Don't Lie

The Phoenix Suns refuse to dismantle their team because of … we can’t tell

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Grant Hill and Steve Nash attempt to figure out what's going on (Getty Images)

Anyone who has ever enjoyed an NBA game in their entire life, save for those who don't currently rank the Phoenix Suns as their favorite team, would prefer the Suns trade their impressive group of nice guys and incredibly intelligent basketball minds to various teams in order to enrich the league as a whole. That is to say, "please trade Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Jared Dudley. You don't need them, jerks."

To which the Suns reply, "We're good, thanks." Citing the fact that "blowing up" (their phrase) a team can go terribly wrong if luck and the wrong hands are at the helm, the Suns are going to rest on their laurels as the 13th seed in the Western Conference, on pace for what would typically be a 33-win season.

This is to say that they're not exactly blowing anything great up should they decide to blow it up. Much in the same way I wouldn't be blowing up my 1996 Dodge Stratus that doesn't start, save for the fact that it's painted a gorgeous British Racing Green and has an original acetate recording of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's first meeting at the Woolton Fete hidden in the trunk.

Here's Paola Boivin with the lowdown, from the Arizona Republic:

The organization has no interest in a full-scale "blowing up" of the team, because its research shows that process can take from eight to 10 years and it has no interest in waiting that long.

It believes a return to being an elite team will come from better drafting, wise personnel moves via trades and free agency, and taking advantage of the significant amount of salary-cap space it will have available next season.

"Our goal is to transition back to elite status," [Suns owner Robert] Sarver said, "and to get there sooner than later."

The column goes on to point toward a list of failed rebuilding attempts by various NBA teams, with varying contexts.

Robert Sarver and GM Lon Babby aren't wrong, in this regard, to be hesitant in light of what's gone wrong in the past. But what's happening right now isn't right. On an aesthetic level, on a karmic level, on any level. No, I don't smoke anything but the occasional cigar.

There is no skeleton key to a perfect rebuilding project. Some of the finest basketball minds in the business, from the bottom to the toppermost of the poppermost, have failed miserably without luck and timing on their side. Some of the finest basketball minds in the business have succeeded to wild ends due to a wonderful confluence of luck and timing. There really isn't much of a go-to plan, and we can completely understand Sarver and Babby's hesitancy.

This can't be a plan, though, for Phoenix. This isn't good, for anyone. A bit of posturing has to be put in place before you slowly slide into dispersing parts of your below-average team, we understand, but the end of this particular run needs to come sooner rather than later. A lot of different, terrible, things can happen when you jump out of a sinking ship.

Jump out of the ship, mates.

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