Saturday , Jul , 19 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Help Wanted in Phoenix: Cassell and Livingston should backup Nash

The Phoenix Suns may have no choice but to put the above ad in newspapers and Craig’s List. Since luring Steve Nash back to the desert in July of 2004, the team has failed to find a decent second-string table-setter. Leandro Barbosa is a scorer. Eddie House is a shooter, so he moved on to New Jersey before winning an NBA Title with Boston. And Marcus Banks sat for two seasons and then got dealt to Miami …

Help Wanted in Phoenix: Cassell and Livingston should backup Nash

Help Wanted: a back-up point guard, capable of playing fifteen minutes per night, running half-court sets, and filling-in when the starter is hurt. 

The Phoenix Suns must have considered placing the above ad in newspapers and Craig’s List. Since luring Steve Nash back to the desert in July of 2004, the team has failed to find a decent second-string table-setter.

Leandro Barbosa is a scorer. Eddie House is a shooter, so he moved on to New Jersey before winning an NBA Title with Boston. And Marcus Banks sat for two seasons and then got dealt to Miami.

Of course, Boris Diaw and Grant Hill can play point guard in an emergency. But the Suns – if they want to preserve their star and make another playoff run – have to find a backup for Nash.

Thankfully, a Help Wanted ad may be unnecessary. According to The Arizona Republic, Phoenix is looking to add depth at the one-spot by signing a veteran and taking a chance on a former can’t-miss prospect.

Phoenix will pursue Sam Cassell, Damon Stoudamire or Jason Williams to be its backup point and Carlos Arroyo if he fell to minimum-contract status. Shaun Livingston, a 22-year-old former No. 4 pick, could be brought in if he checks out with the medical staff.

Bringing-in former Clippers Cassell and Livingston is a great idea. Last year, I covered the Steve Nash Charity Classic in Vancouver, where Cassell played on Nash’s team. These two had obvious on-court chemistry, which goes back to their time together in Phoenix.

Cassell could play fifteen minutes per night at point guard and also line-up next to Nash at off-guard. The Suns’ veterans would ensure Gollum keeps his emotions, and mouth, in check, too.

However, Livingston is the wild card. This kid had blue-chip superstar written all over him. Unfortunately, the Clippers rushed him and he suffered a terrible knee injury.

With Phoenix, there’d be no pressure for him to play next year. He could watch Nash and rehab with the club’s famous training staff. In two years, who knows? Livingston’s potential is worth a minimum contract.

Nash needs a veteran backup. Finding a point guard for the future wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Who should Phoenix sign? Cassell? Stoudamire? Williams? Arroyo? Livingston? Let us know in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog fore more info. Image courtesy of  tragicx01’s on-line portfolio.