Originally posted on WeAreSuns  |  Last updated 7/25/12

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.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sean Payton responds to rumors he might leave the Saints

NFL denies DeAngelo Williams’ request to wear pink all season

Arby's offers to cater Steve Spurrier's retirement party

WATCH: Antonio Gates catches 100th career TD pass

The Cubs win Game 3 loudly, set MLB record with six home runs

Report: Steve Spurrier retires as head coach of South Carolina


Blue Jays push ALDS to Game 5 with 8-4 victory over Rangers

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Report: Big Ben wants to play, but longshot for Week 6

Ex-Celtic Terrence Williams denies ties to Louisville scandal

Did the NFL get major sports blog Twitter accounts suspended?

Clayton Kershaw: MLB 'bullied' into Chase Utley suspension

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Clayton Kershaw: MLB "bullied" into Chase Utley suspension

Michael Jordan really likes Jeremy Lin

Texas governor makes embarrassing Astros flub

Ruben Amaro Jr. looking to become MLB manager

Steve Sarkisian fired by USC

USC enabled and snitched on Steve Sarkisian

Colin Kaepernick believes the 49ers could still go 12-4

Tommy Lasorda calls for rule change following Chase Utley incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker