Originally written on WeAreSuns  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Names like Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson weren’t going to grab the majority of the headlines. Not with “Steve Nash is a Laker” demanding all the attention.

Take a closer look from the Suns’ point of view, however, and you’ll find something nearly as shocking as L.A.’s new No. 10.

Phoenix’s management is playing it smart in the offseason.

Gone is the big-name, worse-contract spending frenzy. Instead Suns brass is nipping here, tucking there, and ultimately doing what they said they wanted to do in the first place: staying competitive while remaining financially flexible.

Wednesday’s word of the three-way trade to send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to New Orleans — and getting Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick in return — was yet another feather in Lon Babby’s cap. The pending trade rids Phoenix of what seemed to permeate the roster over the last four years: bloated contracts for role players.

Outside of layup lines, Hakim Warrick was never going to see the court this season. Not behind a rotation including amnesty robbery Luis Scola, second-year prospect Markieff Morris and Channing Frye. Babby knew this, especially after the acquisition of Scola. He also came to realize what every contender already knows.

You don’t pay through the nose for role players.

Hence the departure of Lopez, a backup-quality center who wanted starter’s money. As mentioned earlier on WeAreSuns, other teams have been quick to bid adieu to bench/role players, knowing they are easily had and even more easily paid. If Phoenix truly needs a simple “rim protector,” it shouldn’t be hard to find one on the cheap.

And as for the returns, it’s apparent Phoenix is stockpiling — nay, hoarding — draft picks. The strategy goes hand-in-hand with the kind of players the Suns have pursued this offseason. Young. Unproven. Intriguing. Most importantly, cheap. Nothing piques other teams’ interest quite like those assets.

Make no mistake, the Suns will need those assets if they want to land the true superstar they will eventually need. Dragic can be a borderline All-Star. He proved it last season. Beasley can do likewise if he plays like it’s 2010-11. But it’s hard to picture anyone on the current roster becoming an unquestioned alpha dog. Without one of those, all of the Suns’ nice pieces will be just that.

Babby swung for one in Eric Gordon and missed, the only downer in an otherwise encouraging offseason. It’s a shame, because Gordon would have changed the tone of the last two weeks from mildly intriguing/encouraging to downright exciting.

Plan B was O.J. Mayo, a less-talented option who wanted more money than he was worth.

Breaking all tradition, Phoenix passed.

Instead, the Suns will wait until next summer…or until they can directly benefit in a trade. Ironically, Phoenix is well positioned to play the part that seemingly every other team played on the Suns in years past.

You have to applaud Babby if he continues to be smart until that moment comes.

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

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Ex-NHL player viciously attacks opponent before game

Rick Barnes a possibility for Tennessee coaching job?

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.