Steve Nash is gone. Grant Hill is gone. Michael Beasley is going to be picking up a lot of the scoring slack. Channing Frye is now likely out for the season.
It’s going to be a rough season for the rebuilding Suns… unless you ask Clyde Drexler.
Drexler is the one Suns true believer. He thinks that even though this team missed the playoffs with that Nash guy last season they are going to be better this season without him. Here is what he told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
“They’ve got a real team now,” Drexler said in initiating a discussion about the Suns while attending the Jerry Colangelo Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic in Litchfield Park last week. “They can really play. You already got (Marcin) Gortat. Now, you got (Luis) Scola. You got (Goran) Dragic. And you got (Michael) Beasley. You’ve got three new starters coming in who can play.”
The Glide is right, the Suns totally didn’t have a real team with Nash because he broke out of the flow of the offense all the time to run a lot of iso-Nash. You know how he’s the big dog and has to pile up his numbers, then everybody else can get the scraps.
So, next Coro says that most experts think the Suns are about the 12-14 seed in the West. Maybe better than only the Kings.
“Are you kidding me? If they don’t get the fourth or fifth playoff spot, I’m not standing before you. They’re big. They’re athletic. They know how to play.”
Somebody that knows Drexler and wants a free lunch should bet him on this stuff. It’s easy money.
The Suns are not going to be quite as bad as some predict, but still, a playoff team? I’m sure stranger things have happened, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.