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Time To Blow It Up

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What the Suns should do if Amar'e Stoudemire leaves.

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The latest news (10:40 p.m. Wednesday Night) sounds like Amar'e Stoudemire's career with the Phoenix Suns is over. This will end a fun and exciting era in the Valley where the Suns came close, but were not able to finish off the job. The Suns during the Stoudemire/Nash era was like your last trip to the strip club. You got very excited, but you left pissed off you spent so much money and never reached the climax. 

If the Suns lose Stoudemire, they realistically do not have enough money to find a suitable replacement for him; it would be time for team owner Robert Sarver to blow it up. Stockpile as many draft picks and young assets as possible for anyone on the roster. Steve Nash has value, Jason Richardson's stock won't ever get higher, and doing a sign-and-trade with Stoudemire would compile the components to build a young core.

You have a point guard in Goran Dragic and a center with Robin Lopez as a starting point. No one has any idea what Earl Clark or the two rookies (Ganai Lawal and Dwayne Collins) bring to the table. 

It would suck this year because Phoenix would be miserably bad. For real Suns fans in it for the long haul, there can be positive things to look at. Goran and Lopez end up getting invaluable experience shouldering a bigger role than they really should be.

With the terrible record, they grab a high lottery pick, hopefully top five. Taking a quick look at NBA Draft expert Chad Ford's top 100 for the 2011 NBA Draft, 15 of the top 20 players are shooting guards, small forwards, or power forwards. Based on the assumption Dragic and Lopez continue to improve, the Suns most likely need to look at one of those three positions.

No matter what happens with the CBA, which is up after this season, the Suns should have set themselves up with a good cap position based on the trades of the longer term Nash and J-Rich contracts. All the new GM or Sarver can take in return for them is young players on their rookie contracts and expiring deals.

Spend the cap space wisely and build through the draft. This is the way most NBA championships are won. With the young talent on cheap contracts acquired in the draft, Phoenix will either be able to package them to acquire a proven veteran superstar -- the Celtics route -- or hope the players develop into a championship-caliber team, the Blazers/Thunder way.