The Phoenix Suns have one big name player, and given that he's nearing the end of his illustrious career, still incredibly effective and will become a free agent in July, and with the understanding that the Suns are not a serious contender for a playoff bid this season let alone a championship, there is nary a reason that the world shouldn't be shouting his name as the NBA trade deadline approaches on March 15.
Yet there are hardly peeps about Steve Nash.
Reports suggest that the Suns won't trade Nash unless he requests it. Other reports suggest that Nash won't request a trade. So here we are: a mediocre team likely to lose its All-Star point guard in free agency won't flip him for an asset out of fear of offending him, and a Hall of Fame player who wants another run at a title is too sweet to demand that reason reign.
NEEDS & TARGETS
The Suns have a long-term answer at center in Marcin Gortat, who actually possibly came semi-close to sniffing consideration for the All-Star team this season. (Soft enough endorsement for you?) That makes Robin Lopez, a restricted free agent in July, expendable if someone is willing to pony up. Markieff Morris looks solid as an NBA power forward, though he still can't be considered a sure thing. (He takes way too many jumpers -- almost three-quarters of his shots are away from the basket -- but is proving a good shooter to date.)
There's little else in the pipeline. Wing Grant Hill is ancient, Jared Dudley is a role player (defense and threes, defense and threes). There's nothing of note behind Nash at the point (and I say that as a Ronnie Price fan). Just about everyone on the roster outside of Nash, Gortat and Morris is truly expendable.
But will Phoenix deign to rebuild, or just keep running out the clock on Nash's career?
SALARY CAP SITUATION
The Suns have a salary figure of $63 million, according to ShamSports.com, right in the above-the-cap sweet spot where purely financial moves won't be likely. Phoenix has tons of cap space freed up for 2012-13, almost $30 million worth without including Nash, Hill or Lopez.