Don't tell my bosses that a three hour show can just be turned into a blog post but here are all my thoughts from a very busy Thursday while you (and I) enjoyed NCAA Tournament action on Fox Sports 910.
Ja Morant vs. Zion
- Ja Morant had an incredible first round performance for Murray State immediately becoming the second most famous player in college basketball. I’d start a campaign to give him the nickname “Tesla” because everything he does is electric and unique at the same time but the dudes name is Ja, so no nickname is necessary. Like all of you, I’m here for the Ja Morant show the rest of the way. But unlike some of you, I’m not getting confused on the Suns draft priorities. It’s still Zion and everyone else. I’ve seen dudes like Ja Morant, not many, but John Wall at Kentucky was pretty ridiculous. I’ve never seen anyone like Zion. Morant is a perfect fit for this Suns team, would ease the sting of missing out on Zion but in no way shape or form did a single tournament game performance have him leap frogging Zion on the Suns draft board. In fact Suns fans, quit talking about Ja Morant because you’re going to give Bobby Sarvs the idea that it would be okay to take hime #1 overall, especially after he reportedly flew to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament to scout him. If the Suns land the #1 overall pick and take anyone but Zion, its time to burn the city to the ground and just start over in like Prescott. If they land the #2 overall pick, we’ll still Pipe It Up and if they land the #3 pick, it’s time to become a hockey fan.
Paul Goldschmidt Gets Paid
- The Diamondbacks big offseason mistake just got a lot bigger. Goldy got a fair deal to retire as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, not a fair deal to retire as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The most frustrating part about the Paul Goldschmidt saga is that it was so avoidable. So many time in sports, star athletes force their way out of an organization to a bigger platform or play their way out of a smaller market team’s budget.. With Goldy, the Dbacks voluntarily traded their foundational star player 9 months before they had to for a package headlined by their Opening Day #4 starter and one of their 3 MLB catchers. And adding insult to injury, in an era where (younger) superstar baseball players are getting contracts longer than a decade valued at $300 and $400 million dollars plus; he signed for a fraction of that. Its clear the Diamondbacks simply did not value Paul Goldschmidt the way Paul Goldschmidt should have been valued. I don’t know what Goldy will be at age 36 and 37. I don’t particularly care. He was worth the investment and the team may never get another opportunity to have a player and person for their entire career like Paul Goldschmidt.
- Bobby Hurley has an agonizing game ahead of him and considering he doesn’t eat on game days and listens to hype music before games, I’m genuinely concerned for what this game will do to him. I thought ASU would struggle more with a limited Remy Martin against St. Johns but the good ASU showed up and got their first tournament win in over a decade. Now, they take on Hurley’s former team who are coached by his former protege. They can beat Buffalo. They can beat Buffalo with an emaciated head coach who’s foaming at the mouth. They could also get run off the floor if the wrong ASU shows up. For now, I’d bet that Hurley finds a way to will his team to victory to avoid the personal embarrassment and that the Sun Devils get a chance to play on Sunday.
The Kelly Oubre Decision
- Oubre is out for the year and now the countdown is on for the biggest offseason decision the Suns will have other than what good luck charm they should bring to the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. There’s no denying the impact Oubre had once he entered the starting lineup and the energy he brought to the team. He also endeared himself to a fan base that just wants someone to tell them how pretty they are. Here’s the thing with Oubre though: this has happened many times before, its called the Contract Year Bump. Was Oubre a product of being driven to cash in on a life changing second NBA contract or was he motivated to finally get out of the shadow of Wall/Beal in DC and start carving his own path? I have no idea. I’d be willing to give Oubre the same 4 year, 52 million dollar contract Marcus Smart got a year ago but anything higher and it could be too big of a risk for a young Suns team that should be fiercely protective of their long term cap situation.
Cardinals Free Agency
- Darius Philon is the latest addition for Steve Keim’s offseason redemption tour. Philon is a former 6th round draft pick thats is getting better. After notching 5 sacks a year ago, he adds some much needed punch to the Cardinals front 3. He’s not the kind of player that would prevent the Cardinals from going Bosa or Williams at #1 overall but he is the kind of player that good teams sign. The Cardinals roster still has lots of issues because Steve Keim only has 3 players making an impact on their roster from all of his draft classes between 2013-2017 but their free agency moves this year have helped move the team in the right direction.