This isn't a franchise that's used to losing. The Phoenix Suns have had the unlucky fortune of being named the "Best franchise never to win a championship" in the NBA. Although the Suns have yet to reach the promised land, the Suns are still viewed as being one of the top franchises in the league. In fact, John Hollinger of ESPN ranks the Phoenix Suns as the 5th best NBA franchise overall, ahead of several teams who actually have trophies in their book case.
So when a historically successful and proud team like the Phoenix Suns suddenly fails to produce wins, struggling even against many of the lesser teams in the league, the inevitable finger pointing is soon to follow.
Ask a dozen people what they think is wrong with the Suns and you are likely to get a dozen different answers...I know, I've done it. While the opinions as to what the problem is and what should be done to fix it may vary, the fact of the matter remains constant. The Suns just aren't very good right now.
A bad team means poor ticket sales and low merchandise revenue. As I write this, the Suns now rank 21st in attendance...that's down from 15th last season. Not only that, but Suns' owner Robert Sarver has already stated previously that,
As long as Steve (Nash) and Grant (Hill) are here, I feel an obligation to be as successful as possible... (and) I don't know that I can sit there for four years and watch a terrible team play. I think we have too many good players to be terrible, even if we wanted to try and be terrible.
Well Sarver's not talking, and neither is anyone else in the Suns front office for that matter. But one thing's for sure, something is bound to happen soon to try to right the ship before US Airways Center starts looking like a ghost town.
Will the Suns make a trade soon to acquire more talent, or could head coach Alvin Gentry be the first to go?
Read on after the jump for more.
First, let's be clear, the lack of talent on this roster right now is no accident. The Suns have made a concerted effort to limit expensive free agent signings this season so they could enter into the free agency period of 2012 with plenty of cash to spend. The Suns are currently made up primarily of expiring contracts and one-year deals, with only 6 of the 13 players on the roster currently under contract for next season.
In the first 20 games of this shortened season, the Suns now stand with a record of 7-13. The Suns already have four to six (depending on how you look at it) bad losses on their books, and only two quality wins. The bad losses include defeats at the hands of the Hornets, Cavaliers, Raptors, Mavericks (Without Dirk Nowitzki), Bulls (Without Derrick Rose), and Nets (without Brook Lopez); and the only two quality wins were against the Trail Blazers and the Grizzlies...both of whom have winning records.
Because of this, many analysts and fans have begun to question whether or not the Suns' front office plan on making changes, and what their options are. While there's no doubt the Suns lack the talent they are accustomed to, there's still a sense that the Suns are under-performing even considering the players currently on their roster. Last season the Suns got off to another slow start but picked up considerably after the trade with Orlando. The changes that have been made to this team between this season and last season after we traded for Marcin Gortat have been minimal (and many would argue that our roster has actually improved), yet the team seems to be playing markedly worse.
Again, and this can't be stated enough, the front office does not want to take on more salaries and contracts that will bog them down when they try to make a play for a couple of high powered free-agents next summer. I'm guessing they want better production with the team they currently have in place...and I seriously doubt they foresaw this team being this bad.
This leads me to wonder if they will resist making any substantial trades at all, and if the head coaching position may be the first change made instead?
What do you think?