BY KEVIN BERTRAM, Couchsideshow.com blogger
For Phoenix Suns fans, the way this offseason has played out has to feel somewhat familiar: a superstar leaves Phoenix for a larger market, and the front office uses nearly all the cap space to sign decent-to-good starters to “affordable” contracts. This was how things played out in 2010, and it is how things are playing out in 2012.
Of course, the superstar then leaving Phoenix was PF Amare Stoudemire, who picked the New York Knicks after they offered him a max contract with no injury clauses (The Suns, hesitant about what the state of Amare’s surgically-repaired knees would be at age 34, when his contract expired, refused to sign him to a contract without stipulations on how many games he could play in the final years of the deal). The front office letting Amare go was a hard move to understand at the time. The Suns had just come off of a brilliant postseason where they nearly toppled the Los Angeles Lakers to reach the NBA Finals. To replace their All-Star forward would be an impossible task that was made harder by the resignation of then-GM Steve Kerr and the transition to a new management team, headed by Lon Babby and Lance Blanks. (more…)