Originally posted on WeAreSuns  |  Last updated 7/2/12

Eric Gordon. Michael Beasley. Goran Dragic.

Quite a shift from the they-are-who-they-are names Phoenix has crippled itself with in the past.

It looks like the Suns have made a decision on the team’s direction, leaving Nash to be bid upon by the Knicks, Raptors and others while Phoenix focuses on young talent, both over and undervalued. The Suns already met with Michael Beasley on Sunday, and have plans to meet with former Phoenix guard Goran Dragic and Hornets scoring machine Eric Gordon.

Gordon appears to be Plan A, a refreshingly smart choice based on talent, long-term potential and the team’s need for a go-to scorer. Unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse. Gordon is a restricted free agent, and word is the Hornets have every intention of matching whatever lucrative offer Gordon receives. Suns fans can feel even more pessimistic, knowing a Hornets core of Gordon, Anthony Davis (sprained ankle, Monday morning) and Austin Rivers may sound more appealing than a foundation of Gordon, Marcin Gortat and Kendall Marshall.

On a perfect Planet Orange, the Suns would net both Gordon and Beasley, addressing their two biggest holes on the roster: scoring power at both wing positions. The moves would also prevent the Suns from overspending to keep Shannon Brown, who is older and wants the raise and long-term security Phoenix would rather spend on younger, more talented players.

The x-factor may still end up being Robin Lopez, who the Suns appear ready to keep to the point of matching offers he may receive from other teams this week. Phoenix would be well served to remember the Spurs’ example. In 2006, San Antonio big man Nazr Mohammed – a rim protecting, role player big man like Lopez – was offered five years and $30 million from the Pistons. The Spurs elected not to get into a bidding war for Mohammed, knowing they could easily procure another serviceable big man for much cheaper.

They did, signing center Francisco Elson for two years and $6 million. Elson proceeded to play an important, but still marginal, role in the Spurs’ 2007 title.

So while the Suns have taken a decided turn toward getting younger, it remains to be seen whether the financial means of getting there will be any smarter.

Matt Petersen can be reached at wearesunsblog@gmail.com. You can follow WeAreSuns on Twitter at @WeAreSuns.

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