This is an important trade deadline for the Phoenix Suns. They are at the crux of nearly every trade rumor and have their eyes on some talent, but they need to be wary of overpaying for the wrong players.
The overwhelming consensus is that Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks is the prize and silver lining to an overall dismal season, but he may be the panic move that reserves the Suns into mediocrity for the next 5-7 seasons. Smith is not a franchise guy, hence the Hawks willingness to let him go to the highest bidder. In eight years in the league Smith has been the best player on his team once (this year), an All-Star zero times, and a member of an All-NBA Team once (All-Defensive Second Team, 2009-2010).
His Hawks teams have been above .500 five times in nine seasons, four of which were teams led by Joe Johnson on the perimeter and Al Horford in the paint. Advanced stats need to be taken with a grain of salt, but Smith has an average of 5.1 Win Shares each year for the Hawks. In his four years with the Suns as arguably the teams fourth or fifth best player Jared Dudley has an average Win Share of 4.9. Does that scream franchise player?
He is equipped to be the third or fourth guy on a Championship team, or if he was still in his prime to be the second or third best player on a team with Championship aspirations. A Max Contract used to mean you are the man.
If the teams interest in Smith is legitimate, it will take a Max to get to get him to stay here, which locks the team into a perennial third wheel until he is 34 years old sacrificing 25% of the teams cap room for five seasons. The Suns went that route before when they acquired Stephon Marbury in an effort to stop-gap the losing by handing the keys over to the habitually average point guard.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This is a new regime, but it looks like 11 years later history could be repeating itself.
NBA Trade Rumors: For The Phoenix Suns, There Is A Benefit To Being A Third Wheel
Bright Side Of The Sun | Feb 19