COMMENTARY | The Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers are finalizing a deal that would send Luis Scola to the Pacers in return for Gerald Green, a future first-round pick and possible draft and cash considerations, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The trade makes sense for the Suns on a number of different levels.
Making Room For Markieff
The Suns would have had a significant logjam at power forward with Scola, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley and Channing Frye (once he returns). The play of Morris has impressed head coach Jeff Hornacek and general manager Ryan McDonough enough that they're comfortable handing over the starting position to Morris for the 2013-14 campaign.
While Scola's production will be missed, he was a lot better in the half-court game. His arsenal of low post moves and ability to hit mid-range jumpshots paid dividends in a slower-paced system. The Hornacek offense will move at a breakneck speed, which just doesn't fit Scola as well.
On the flip side, Morris is a stretch four who is more athletic and will fit the system much better. The ability to make 3's will stretch the middle so that Marcin Gortat and Alex Len will have much more room to work. Is Scola a better overall player? Perhaps, but for this system, Morris is the better fit.
Dollars Don't Matter
From a financial standpoint, the Suns aren't making much of a windfall. They're shipping off Scola, who has two years and roughly $9.3 million left on his contract, while receiving Green and his two years at $7 million.
The Suns have to fill out the roster and taking a stab at Green isn't a horrible play. They're looking to get more athletic (especially on the wing) and Green is as athletic as they come. His contract is quite friendly and won't hurt the Suns ability to extend Eric Bledsoe.
The Stockpile Continues To Grow
If there's one thing McDonough loves, it's a huge stockpile of assets. He's certainly well stocked at this point and will add another first-round pick to the cache. Those picks can turn into stars in a hurry, whether through trade or through some luck in the draft.
Although probability would disagree, the Suns have to feel like they can't be unlucky in the draft forever. With a ton of first-round picks on the horizon, they're bound to snag the No. 1 or No. 2 pick one of these years and get the chance to make a franchise-changing pick.
Suns fans and management alike are hoping that time is the 2014 NBA draft, but that's another story for another time.
Scola was the consummate professional on and off the court for the Suns and he will be missed. Still, basketball is a business and the time was right for a trade. It didn't save much in the way of payroll and it won't help much in the way of production, but it was a logical move that will pay dividends down the line.
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who covers Phoenix Suns practices and games for the site he founded , HoopsHabit.com.Follow @iambabyd13 on Twitter!
- Sports & Recreation
- Phoenix Suns
- Luis Scola
- Markieff Morris
- Gerald Green