The Suns would like to start next season having added a quality backup for Steve Nash at point guard, a quality backup for Shaquille O'Neal in the post and a wing player with legitimate three-point shooting ability.
Now add in that Phoenix finally has a coveted draft position 15th overall in a draft that is unusually top-heavy with point guards and centers, and that several teams above and below the Suns aren't keen on keeping their picks for various reasons ranging from team chemistry to purely financial.
No wonder the Suns see an opportunity to be greedy Thursday. There's a chance, if the cards fall right, to emerge with an answer to each of their need areas or at least two out of three heading into free agency on July 1, which will include a glut of players and not very many teams flush with cap space.
Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said he'd be surprised if the Suns don't keep their pick at No. 15 and wind up with a player that can contribute from day one under the more liberal rotation plan of new coach Terry Porter. "There are multiple players that we feel will be on the board there ... that can play right away," he said.
The question is whether the Suns want to trade and can find a taker for Leandro Barbosa or Boris Diaw in exchange for not only a pick, which could be on either side of No. 15, but a veteran player who can also make an immediate contribution.
There has been a lot of smoke about the Suns pushing into the lottery, working deals with the Los Angeles Clippers (who may have a shot at Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless at No. 7, if rumors of his descent are to be believed), Charlotte (9), New Jersey (10) or Portland (13) by dangling Barbosa or Diaw. But with the picks a day away, there are no fires on any front.
Rumors that have bubbled to the surface a Portland deal involving Martell Webster, Clippers talks that might bring Corey Maggette or a New Jersey swap for Phoenix product Richard Jefferson have been waved off by sources. The same goes for any talks with former coach Mike D'Antoni and the Knicks involving the No. 6 pick.
But the Suns feel there are quality players to be had later in the first round, where teams like Toronto (17), Washington (18) or New Jersey (21) might be willing to deal without costing the Suns a rotation player.
"There will be guys in this draft, back to 23 or so, that are better than those in recent drafts, in our opinion," Griffin said. "This is particularly deep as drafts go."
After looking at Ohio State center Kosta Koufos, Rider power forward Jason Thompson and Kansas power forward Darrell Arthur, Phoenix had a private workout with Texas A&M center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday.
All of those players should be on the board at 15, or later if the Suns are inclined to add a pick in that direction. So if the Suns can get a "now" player at 15 - Brandon Rush or Mario Chalmers of Kansas are backcourt possibilities - a second pick could be earmarked for a project-type player.
But it's a strange summer for the Suns, who will start the same five players that ended last season (Raja Bell, Grant Hill, Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire), and will simultaneously begin the process of an extreme makeover.
"We still want to maintain a high position in the league, which I know we will, and at the same time make a transition as we go forward," Suns GM Steve Kerr said. "It's a delicate balancing act, but it's our job to figure it out."