If Andre Iguodala is on the move this summer do the Phoenix Suns make sense for his services? If you ask one current Sun, the answer is a resounding yes.
Suns forward Jared Dudley, as a guest on The Solar Panel: a Phoenix Suns Podcast, made it very clear that he feels his team is in need of additional veteran presence and the former University of Arizona Wildcat could fit the bill.
“If Iguodala is telling someone what to do is there going to be conflict?,” Dudley said of why the current Warrior would help make the Suns better. “This guy is a champ, about to be a two time champ, he’s been an all-star, he sacrificed his starting position to be a backup. Will he be worth the money he gets? I don’t know. That’s a question for everyone. Someone could say I’m not worth the money I get.”
But why does Dudley think spending money on a 33 year-old small forward would make sense for a team whose core is in their early 20s? His answer is a dose of reality with a side order of perspective.
“Odds are the Suns aren’t winning a championship in the next two or three years,” the 11 year NBA veteran told the show. “So you’re trying to get players to come in that can help the development and still win some games. Winning is important.”
Just how important is winning to a young core though? Dudley says it was paramount in helping the game of one of the current stars in the NBA grow and develop.
“In Milwaukee, when I was there, we went to the playoffs,” Dudley said. “That playoff experience helped Giannis grow. He saw the intensity of what the playoffs are like. You’re telling me if we go to the playoffs that’s not going to help Booker and Chriss? It does. I don’t mind overpaying because what does it matter? In two years you may not win a championship so you might as well bring in the best players to help develop the core to help you get there.”
A lot would have to go the Suns way to be able to land Iguodala. Kevin Durrant would have to take the max forcing the Warriors to rescind the small forward’s rights. He’d have to be willing to sacrifice again in his career to join a team in an uphill battle to make the playoffs let alone win a title and Phoenix would have to be willing to meet his contract demands believed to be in the $15 million range.
If things don’t fall into play to add Iguodala, Dudley still feels the team needs to find someone to fill that void on the roster.
“You have to have some veteran’s presence,” Dudley said. “It’s a must because the coaches can only develop so much. You only get a couple hours to develop. After that they’re with us. They learn from us how you hang around, how you be a pro. You have to have some veteran leadership. If it’s not Iguodala it’s got to be someone who has been around 8 to 10 years that knows the ropes that doesn’t care about playing time. Even Iguodala would have to sacrifice playing time. That’s just how it is.”
The debate about whether or not the Suns should be constructing their roster this offseason to win next year or continue playing the long game in hopes of competing for a title sometime in the next decade will continue to rage on. But for Dudley, the answer is simple. Win as much now as possible to set the tone for later. We’ll soon find out if the Suns front office agrees with his philosophy or not.