Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns writes:
Although the Suns are prohibited from trading Scola until next July 1 (and can never trade him to Houston), depending on where his salary comes in at they just acquired a very attractive future trading piece. Even as he ages a durable, productive and cheap power forward is the kind of trade chip the Suns have lacked in recent years when frankly there has not been much of interest to entice trading partners.
This was a rather curious move. As we can infer from the Rockets’ decision, there isn’t a market for Scola. The types of asset from which the Suns would benefit–young players and draft picks–were what the Rockets themselves had pursued and obviously, after that search turned dry, they chose the route of amnesty. Only contenders would have interest in the 32 year old and contenders don’t have desirable pieces with which they’re willing to part. The best case for Phoenix would be nabbing a late first rounder from someone near the top, but even then, they’d have to swallow quite a bit in undesirable deals for a match.
Not so unlike the Rockets’ addition of Sam Dalembert last summer, this is a peculiar move for a team that has made nothing but that type since its glory days early last decade. After breaking up the league’s most potent offense over financial concerns and eventually allowing Amare Stoudemire to walk, the Suns quickly squandered that money ‘saved’ by inking the likes of Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick to offensive deals. They then held on to Steve Nash while he still held value.
The moves for Goran Dragic and Eric Gordon (the latter not coming to fruition) signaled steps in the right direction. But adding the 32-year-old Scola pushes Phoenix towards the middle doing nothing in the way of providing a foundation for the future. As we in Houston know, mediocrity can be painful and difficult to reroute from. Luckily, with their decisions this summer, and the ones still pending, the Rockets seem to be headed clearly either up or down. It looks like Phoenix might be placing a bid for Houston’s resident 14 spot.