NBA insider says McDonough, Suns dropped ball at trade deadline

You knew eventually there would be some bumps in the road.

Compared to what the Phoenix Suns and their fans endured last season, 2013-14 has been smooth sailing on an open highway. New general manager Ryan McDonough and head coach Jeff Hornacek have led a basketball revival in the Valley behind a group of young, hungry players anxious to prove they belong in the NBA.

With that being said SheridanHoops.com Publisher and long-time NBA insider Chris Sheridan believes McDonough dropped the ball, for lack of better of term, not being more aggressive before the February 20 trade deadline with Suns on fringe of either making or missing the playoffs.

“The guy who was available was Pau Gasol and if what I’m reading is true and they could have had him for one draft pick, that’s a no-brainer to me,” Sheridan explained to Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview. “Is the goal to make the playoffs? No…the goal is to win a championship and if you’re going into the playoffs you’ve got a chance to win the championship because you don’t know what’s going to happen during the playoffs…you can advance when you’re not supposed to. If I’m a Suns fan I’m a little disappointed because you wouldn’t sacrifice one of your four first-round draft picks to put a guy like Pau Gasol on your team.”

Sheridan went on to say, even if Phoenix didn’t plan on keeping Gasol past this year, they could likely work out a sign-and-trade deal with another to re-acquire the first-round pick they lost. He said young GM’s like McDonough tend to hold on to future draft picks because you control their low salaries for a four-year period while you evaluate their true value.

He believe the conservative approach isn’t always what gets teams to the ultimate pinnacle.

“At the end of the day the bottom line is, how far are you going to go in the playoffs,” he told Cesmat. “You can’t be happy just getting there. Last year the Milwaukee Bucks were a playoff team last year. Now the Milwaukee Bucks are the worst team in the NBA. Fortunes change for year-to-year and sometimes they take really big swings…if you had a chance to get Pau Gasol and all you had to give up was [Emeka] Okafor’s expiring contract and a number-one pick, to me that’s a no-brainer.”