As a site, we ranked all the NBA teams from worst to best for our release of season previews. Day twelve’s release of a season preview ends up being the seemingly always bubble team, Phoenix Suns. I will provide a recap of their past season, an offseason recap, and then finally the season preview all of us fans are eager for.
Last Season’s Record: 39-43
Playoff Status: Missed playoffs
Going into the season everyone was wondering how the Phoenix Suns were going to utilize their three headed monster at point guard. As we all know, the experiment was a complete disaster. Goran Dragic was traded to the Miami Heat, Isaiah Thomas was traded to the Boston Celtics, and then Phoenix traded for former Milwaukee Buck point guard, Brandon Knight, who they planned to switch to shooting guard. Markieff Morris had a productive season for the Suns, but for the rest of the roster it was pretty average play. The team battled for a final playoff spot, but they did not have the power to make a final surge, and therefore missed postseason play yet again. The offseason was suppose to be about big change, and we will evaluate how that went.
In the 2015 NBA draft, Phoenix was mainly linked with shooters, whether it be a stretch four or three point shooter. As the draft progressed and the picks began to be cemented, Phoenix was able to select Kentucky three point specialist, Devin Booker. Coming out of high school, Booker was seen as a good all-around offensive player, but at Kentucky was lost a bit in the fold of so many different players, and became relied upon for his three point expertise. As of right now, Booker is going to start coming off the bench, and with good play could end being their sixth man of the future. Kyle Casey and Deonte Burton are the other rookies on the team, but unless to excel in training camp they will likely either be cut or sent to the D-League. Adding another shooter to their bench helped make the Suns have a successful draft, as their bench needed more shooting.
Heading into the offseason, Phoenix was not looked at to be making any big moves. Once free agency began and the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes began, Phoenix was in the finals to sign him, and made the big move of signing Tyson Chandler to further enhance their chances of landing him. As we know, Aldridge ended up signing with the San Antonio Spurs. Chandler will still be a great piece in helping the Suns return to the playoffs. Although he is not the elite rim protector he once was, Chandler will still provide an upgrade, as well as giving the veteran leadership and playoff experience Phoenix needs. Mirza Teletovic, Henry Sims, Jon Leuer, Sonny Weems, and Cory Jefferson were also added to the roster during free agency. Most of these players are merely depth signings, but Teletovic will be able to help space the floor for the bench. If the Morris saga stays on course, and Phoenix decides to trade Morris, Teletovic has the ability to easily step-in and be the starter for the Suns, filling their role for stretch four. The offseason was pretty successful for the Sun’s, as they added depth and a few key players across the board.
Heading into the 2015-2016 season, Phoenix is looked at as not having the roster capable of making the playoffs. Phoenix does not have the established superstar of most other playoff contenders, but they do have a great core in Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Markieff Morris, and Tyson Chandler. The biggest hole is at small forward, but if second year player, T.J. Warren could find his scoring form from his collegiate days, Phoenix will be in good shape. I have wrote before how I think Warren should be looked at as a candidate for Most Improved Player, as he will have a bigger role this season. The whole Morris saga needs to be settled sooner rather than later, as the team needs to build chemistry if they want to complete in the Western Conference. The league is a business, and if you cannot handle playing without your brother you should not be in the league. The twins did take a pay cut to stay together, and maybe to settle this, Phoenix gives Morris more money, but for now the best situation would be to trade him for as much value as they can get for him. Brandon Knight has stated this past week how excited he is with how the roster is coming together and playing well, and Bledsoe and Knight could former a devastating back court capable of annihilating opposing defenses from anyone on the court. Both of these players should open the lanes for Warren to drive, as well as keep the paint open for Chandler to make his moves. Phoenix has a well balanced starting line-up, which should help keep their players from facing double teams, and allowing their offense to flow better. The defense will not be far off, as all of their starters are capable of playing solid defense.The bench is now full of shooters including, Sims, Leuer, Booker, Tucker, and Teletovic. As long as Phoenix can keep consistency on the court, they should not be overlooked for a playoff spot, as their overall line-up and bench has the potential to sneak into the playoffs.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17