Thursday, the Suns signed Michael Redd to a one-year deal, picking up the often-injured shooting guard hoping to add… more shooting.
That has been how to define the Suns in recent years. Offense, offense and more offense. The championship window for Steve Nash and the Suns closed a while ago and it seems every move is made with the hope of regaining that championship status. The only problem is, defense has constantly been neglected and the Suns offense is not as prolific as it once was.
Redd, if healthy, will surely be a guy who can help Phoenix find some offense. The former All Star has spent his entire career in Milwaukee and averaged at least 19.0 points per game from 2001-09. He was one of the most gifted shooters in the league at one time shooting 44.9 percent from beyond the arc for his career.
The only problem is, we have seen much less of him in recent years. He tore his ACL 2007 and has not been the same since. He has played more than 50 games just once since that season and has played only 28 games in the last two years.
If Redd is healthy, then he can do a lot for the Suns. He would be another 3-point shooter to add to a team that traditionally has strong 3-point shooters.
The Suns though have gotten off to a slow start. Defense is as much of a problem as the offense. But this is not a typical Suns offense either. Steve Nash has 10 turnovers in two games. Phoenix is shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and 19.4 percent from beyond the arc. Phoenix has a 90.2 offensive rating through the two games and 83.5 points per game.
These are not the Suns we remember.
It is a much different team offensively too. Steve Nash and Grant Hill are not the youngest players in the world, although still solid. Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick are the team’s leading scorers with 14.0 points per game each. Really, Phoenix needs an instant offensive influx.
Redd might be able to provide that. But how much?
No one is quite sure what is health is right now and Redd has not been on an NBA floor since coming back in March for a stint to the end of the season. Redd scored only 44 points in 134 minutes over those 10 games, shooting 23.5 percent from beyond the arc. It has been a long time since we have seen Redd healthy and ready to contribute.
That seems to be, once he gets in game shape and up to speed, what Phoenix is expecting of the veteran sharpshooter.
At the moment, Phoenix’s shooting guard rotation includes Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown. Both are serviceable, but hardly consistent starters in the league. Redd, if healthy could be that. The Suns just do not know.
If he can be the player he once was, he could be a great shooter and scorer off of Steve Nash. If the Phoenix training staff cannot work its magic and make Redd suddenly healthy again, he is at least a one-year experiment. Redd is such a good shooter he deserves a chance.
Just don’t expect him to suddenly turn Nash and the Suns back into an offensive juggernaut.