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Phoenix Suns Trade Doesn't Solve Roster Log Jam, GM Blanks Admits

In trading away Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark, the Suns moved two guys that were part of the log jam the Suns have at the wing positions. In getting back Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mikael Pietrus, they didn't make the problem of finding minutes for everyone any easier. 

With a healthy Robin Lopez, the Suns were trying to play ten or even eleven guys, which Suns Coach Alvin Gentry has admitted recently just wasn't working. "To be honest with you guys, somewhere along the line we're going to have to shorten the rotation enough so guys are out there where they're playing," he said. 

"What we're doing right now, I don't think we're getting guys enough extended minutes or enough time out there to get into any kind of rhythm. That might something we look at and change a little bit in the next couple of days."

Bringing in three guys who need minutes to replace two guys who were playing regularly just makes that situation more challenging for Gentry. Suns General Manager Lance Blanks admitted as much and put the onus on Gentry to sort it out.

"The toughest job in the organization has to be Alvin (Gentry). I think it could be just as challenging with finding minutes for (these) guys in the right mix," Blanks said.

"Our job is to bring in talent and bring in the best chemistry and in my estimation, Alvin's as good as anyone in managing people. I think this job will require even more of that with the guys that we're bringing in. There's no secret that we have eight to ten, maybe eleven guys who are deserving of minutes."

Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby expressed a similar sentiment, "(Gentry) will figure out how to make it work."

Neither Babby or Blanks would say if Marcin Gortat would move immediately into the starting lineup in place of Robin Lopez or if they envisioned Lopez and Gortat playing together. Blanks said Gentry would now have the option to use a big lineup against teams like the Lakers if it made sense. 

Roster overview

The Suns now have four centers on the roster: Gortat and Lopez, along with Earl Barron and Garret Siler. They will likely continue to start Channing Frye at power forward, with Hakim Warrick backing him up.

At small forward, Grant Hill will still start and we can assume Vince Carter will start at shooting guard. Jared Dudley, Mickael Pietrus and Josh Childress can all play either wing position, leaving five guys in two spots, which is something Gentry specifically was concerned about.

Guard Goran Dragic also benefits from playing some time off the ball, especially when he can get a few minutes of floor time with Steve Nash prior to taking over the point guard responsibilities. In the near term, the Suns could very well let Siler go and pick up a third point guard, either bringing back Matt Janning or finding another free agent or D-league player. 

Longer term, the Suns will certainly have to consider moving Vince Carter, who's only guaranteed $4 million of his $18 million contract for next season. If there's an NBA lockout as many anticipate, that $4 million might not even get paid. Pietrus, who's only owed $5.3 million this season and has a player option for the same amount next year, could also be an attractive asset in any future trades. 

What the Suns need more than any specific position is a young player that has the potential to be a franchise star. Those are hard to come by, but the Suns at least feel like they have a lot of flexibility and attractive assets moving forward.