The Earth revolves around the sun. Meanwhile in the NBA, losses revolved around the Phoenix Suns. A team that had every intention on competing this year has been completely been over-matched in the early season. Starting the season off with a win, they have managed to win a handful of games since then. With a putrid 6-24 record, they aren’t even competitive in most games, getting blown out games so early that the game is typically decided before halftime. Devin Booker recently said that he would love to be on a super team, but insisted that he wanted the team to “come to me.” It’s going to take more than just budding young stars to attract free agents. This team is in complete disarray and couple that with the owner, Robert Sarver, recently threatening to move the Suns franchise away from Phoenix and you have an environment not yet ready to be a winner. I’m no GM but I can give my two cents on what’s wrong with the Suns and how they might turn things around. Key word: Might.
WANTED: Point Guard
The last few years have taught us that point guards are very important to a winning team. Look around the league and look at the perennial playoff teams; each of them have an above average point guard. The Phoenix Suns don’t have one, at all. Here are the point guards listed on the roster as of today:
It’s forgivable if you have absolutely no idea who any of these people are. It’s not to say that they aren’t going to be exceptional NBA players. However, they aren’t ready to lead a team that’s in desperate need of control. The team has tried to use Devin Booker as the point guard and his assists number show promise (6.7) but if you move your eyes a few more columns over, you can tell it’s still a work in progress (turnovers currently sit at 4.1). Booker is more suited to playing the shooting guard, as he’s one of the better young scorers in the league. The Suns DID make a trade for Austin Rivers but it remains to be seen if he’s the answer the Suns need at the point. Wait…what’s that? They bought out his contract? Therefore, the seemingly never-ending search continues.
Figure Out Who You Are
As stated previously, the energy from the Suns organization was that they were going to compete this season and possibly make the playoffs. They signed Trevor Ariza and Jamal Crawford, two veterans who have been on winning teams and have had playoff success. They also had Tyson Chandler, another grizzly veteran. However, Chandler was traded to the Lakers and Ariza was shipped to Washington. The Suns are now a super young team. They need to make the decision now, what direction they want to go in. Even though Austin Rivers doesn’t seem to be in their plans, that trade did net them Kelly Oubre Jr, a young athlete who has showed promise. If it were up to me, I would start unloading any players they don’t feel will be a part of their future. Players such as Dragan Bender and Ryan Anderson are clear choices to part ways with, while players such as Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson should be evaluated throughout the season to see if they are going to be a fit.
What’s That Big Vehicle the Army Uses..?
Newsflash: The Suns aren’t making the playoffs. They aren’t going to be anywhere close. I don’t see any free agent looking at Phoenix as a budding spot to play. So the 2019 draft is what the Suns need to look forward to. The prospects of this draft have teams salivating unlike we’ve seen in a long time and they need to get in on that action. Recently, Booker and Deandre Ayton got into a shouting match over effort and though the fire they have as competitors is admirable, the front office needs to get into their ears about this season. There is no extra benefit of winning 30 games; in fact, it hurts them. The top 5 prospects look to be can’t miss players (Zion Williamson, RJ Barret, Cam Reddish, Bol Bol, and Kevin Porter Jr) and the Suns should make sure they are in on that action, even if it means they continue to rack up losses.
The Phoenix Suns are a team that is far away from being a contender in the wild, wild Western Conference. If they are going to right the ship, the time starts now.