Little did anyone know at the time that the Suns would get the better end of this deal sooner rather than later, and it's not even close.
The Suns acquired Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a future first-round draft pick in exchange for Scola. Green was wearing out a seat on the Pacers' bench and Plumlee saw even less time than Green. At the time, the draft pick looked to be the prize and it still felt like it could be a wash.
Scola is a skilled player, but he simply didn't fit the Suns' style. Don't forget that at the time, a 27-18 record for the Suns at this point in the season was completely out of the question. It looked like Tankapalooza 2014 for Phoenix, so it wanted to accumulate as many assets (in the form of draft picks) as possible.
As is usually the case for the best general managers in basketball, Ryan McDonough had a little something up his sleeve. He knew that new head coach Jeff Hornacek was going to run a very uptempo offense that relied on athleticism. He believed that Plumlee hadn't gotten a fair shake and would fit in nicely on a team that didn't rely on the halfcourt offense. He was right.
Scola has gone on to be a bit player for the Pacers, playing just 18 minutes per game. His per-36 minute averages of 16.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists are relatively in line with his career averages, but he hasn't made the kind of impact the Pacers had expected. His offensive rating of 95 is only acceptable because of his sparkling 95 defensive rating.
For the Suns, Green has been excellent and his resurrection is something I've written about previously. Green is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals. He's shown a commitment to defense that was previously missing and he's been an emotional catalyst on the court.
Plumlee has been another terrific story, as he's come out of nowhere to become a quality starting NBA center. Plumlee is averaging 12.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes; has been durable; and continues to develop his offensive game.
The draft pick hasn't come to fruition yet so it's difficult to give it any specific value, but the Suns are in the enviable position of having options. They could fill a specific need, use it in a package to acquire a veteran or even use it to move up in the 2014 NBA draft, which looks to be a monster.
There's no question that the Suns pillaged the Pacers on this one. They've gotten two quality NBA players and a draft pick, while clearing the way at power forward for Channing Frye and Markieff Morris. I can't wait for the next trade that McDonough and company make.
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for the Sports Illustrated/Fansided NBA site HoopsHabit.com and the Arizona Sports site HeatWaved.com. He also covers high school sports for The Arizona Republic. Follow me on Twitter @DunlapNBA.
- Sports & Recreation
- Phoenix Suns
- Indiana Pacers
- Miles Plumlee
- Luis Scola
- Gerald Green