The Suns are a couple weeks deep in their general manager search after parting ways with Lance Blanks. The favorite as of now according to reports is Milwaukee Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman. Of course Charles Barkley told pros2preps.com he would listen if Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby came a-knocking as well.
The new GM will have a lot on their plate to turn the Suns around. The first job will be to hire a head coach and then next, bring in a roster that will hope to win more than 25 games next season.
While all of these things remain up in the air. One of the longest tenured Suns, Jared Dudley, gave his thoughts on what is missing and the direction that the team should go in before they report back to US Airways Center next season.
“A lot’s missing,” said Dudley. “I think we are missing a go to scorer. Goran (Dragic) improved from the beginning of the year to the all-star game to the end of the season. He really played like an all-star at the end of the season. But we really need a go-to guy that can create opportunities for other guys to make our role players better.”
“And besides Jermaine O’Neal who was in his 17th season, we really didn’t have a low post scorer who we could throw it in and get key buckets at crucial times,” Dudley added. “You’re going to need that, especially if you don’t have a star.”
A star is something that may be very difficult to come by this offseason. Some options that stand out as we sit here in the beginning of May. The first would be to send soon-to-be restricted free-agent point guard from the Bucks Brandon Jennings a qualifying offer. The Suns tried that last season with Eric Gordon but the Hornets matched it. Jennings paired with Monta Ellis was one of the more prolific back-courts in the East and it could be an interesting fit with him next to Goran Dragic. Dragic played off the ball with Kendall Marshall at times last season.
Another option is Andre Iguodala. He announced that he is going to opt out of his contract with Denver after they were eliminated by Golden State this week. Other than those two options, there aren’t many stars via the free agent route as of now.
There is one thing that Babby has maintained for more than a year now in this re-building process which is that the team needs to build through the draft. They won’t be able to land a star of any kind via trade if that is their mentality. Dudley agrees with that assessment of building through the draft especially seeing as the team has three picks (two in the first round).
“I think it’s build through the draft and hopefully get a key free agent,” Dudley explained. “You look at Oklahoma City, you look at the Bulls. The Bulls wouldn’t be the Bulls if they didn’t get lucky and get D. Rose. So I think they’re hoping.”
“It was a struggle for us,” Dudley mentioned. “I am not going to sugar-coat it. But hopefully we can come back better next year. A lot of cap space, a lot of picks. The future looks bright for the Phoenix Suns. For us this year it was just difficult.
The Suns find out where they will be selecting in the 2013 NBA draft on May 7 for the draft lottery.