If you’ve checked azcentral.com today I’m sure you’ve seen Paola Boivin’s column titled “Suns could learn from Lakers“. Within the article Boivin informs us that the Suns need to follow the lessons taught by Lakers management in putting together a winning basketball team. What are these lessons you may ask? Get a trade package like the Lakers did for Pau Gasol. No really – that was the suggestion.
Now in her defense, Boivin does pay lip service to the fact that the Grizzlies sending Gasol to Los Angeles (for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, Marc Gasol and ’08 and ’10 1st round picks) was one of the greatest heists in NBA history, but her foot pretty quickly gets implanted back into her mouth. After calling the trade a theft (obviously), she goes on to mention that the keys to getting such a deal done are as follows:
- Have open lines of communication and a secure relationship with other league executives (citing this as a key in Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace handing over Gasol in spite of better offers).
- Having a “will to gamble” – this is based entirely upon the idea that a team is willing to go over the luxury tax in order to receive greater rewards down the road. I agree with the general concept but what is really being said here? The Suns should agree to go over the luxury tax – well no fucking shit. If they’d been willing to do that, Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion would still be playing in Phoenix.
- Creative Thinking – this is a nod to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak adding retired 76ers assistant coach Aaron McKie to the Gasol trade so salaries would match. Another great suggestion for Suns management – bend the rules, find a bunch of retired players and use them to help steal from other teams.
- The right timing – a reference to the fact that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley had been actively trying to sell his team and thus needed to strip it of salary. Yet another great one…just look for the NBA team trying to dump their entire squad for nothing. Very common occurrence.
So there you have it Suns management the path to improvement is paved for you by Paola Boivin. Start by playing grab-ass with other NBA execs for a while – personally I advise inviting them to a nice steak dinner where Steve Kerr can pick up the check and maybe even throw in a bottle of wine. Next, just go ahead and blow right through that luxury tax threshold that you’ve been so un-willing to do for 4 years now. Once you’re past that just find an NBA owner looking to dump his superstar for 4 cents on the dollar, sign a few retired players to contracts and – BANG – Western Conference Champions.
Do I even need to point out the utter ridiculousness in the suggestion? The Gasol to LA trade was a travesty, and a once in a decade trade that completely shifted the balance of power in the NBA’s Western Conference and will continue to do so for the next several years. So all Paola Boivin is suggesting is that the Suns find another one of those. Good luck Steve Kerr! And thanks for your brilliant writing Paola Boivin! (this from the guy who wrote 600 sloppy words on Clay Zavada’s mustache).