The Phoenix Suns definitely have a lot to watch for this season. I previewed the Suns for sheridanhoops.com - you can see the entire post here.

2013-14 Preview in 1000 words

I'd love to think you will click through to the article, but I'm not THAT optimistic by nature. Here's a piece of it:

There is duplication at every position with similar middling talent. After McDonough said prior to the draft that it is hard to develop two rookies who play the same position, he nonetheless has several positions on the floor with at least two very young guys trying to beat each other out.

Something has to be done to reduce the logjam at some of these positions, or everyone's development will get stunted. Ideally, the Suns would execute a many-to-one trade before the season begins, sending out two or three young guys for one with a higher ceiling. Each season, one or two teams trade their extension-eligible fourth-year players before committing big money to them.

The Suns have already acquired Bledsoe from the 2010 draft in such fashion. Could they acquire another good 2010 player by Halloween to pair with Bledsoe?

The theme of this year's preview is a wait-and-see attitude. We all get to wait and see what's next.

Here's my guess, in order:

  1. Release Michael Beasley
  2. Announce the (safe and slow) return of Channing Frye
  3. Make a small trade by Halloween to send out 3 players/picks for someone else's 1 player, just to clear the logjam if nothing else
  4. Experience a bout of unbridled optimism as the season begins ("This team is BETTER than last year!")
  5. Watch the youngsters lose a lot of games
  6. Trade Gortat and/or Frye to playoff teams by the trade deadline
  7. Draft Andrew Wiggins #1 overall

2013-14 Preview - True BSotS Style

That preview on Sheridanhoops.com is just the trailer for the feature film about to be produced by BSotS in the coming two months. No one does season previews like BSotS does season previews. And this year we're stepping it up another notch. Watch for it. It's coming.

Preseason is only a month away! Regular season only two months away!

Walk down Memory Lane

Optimism will begin to ride higher and higher as the weeks go by, at least until mid-November. In the immortal words of George Zimmerman, "I guarantee it."

Check out last year's preview for sheridanhoops.com, where I listed ""Five Reasons for Optimism". That preview was written after a few preseason games had already been played (last October), and I was already more invested in the team than I probably should have been.

We have seen in preseason that the starting unit of [Goran] Dragic, [Luis] Scola, [Marcin] Gortat, [Michael] Beasley and Jared Dudley can really play well together, grabbing strong leads in each game.

No orange-colored glasses here, right? There was a lot of quiet optimism around the Suns front office last season with a starting lineup that appeared to have a chance to play competitively all year. Some of that optimism was shared by fans as well. If Beasley had come around...

If the season goes well, they spend the picks and money on players to supplement a core of Dragic, Scola, Dudley, young power forward Markieff Morris and maybe even Beasley, who has impressed the team with his all-around game and willingness to do whatever is asked, including defend and rebound.

LOL

At least I summed it up nicely in the final section:

If it doesn't go well, they still have the money, higher picks and they can jettison the entire front office and coaching staff - all on the last year of their contracts - for yet another fresh start.

This season is a transition year, but one that Suns fans knew was a long time coming.

Just for grins, check out the comment section of that Bright Side post to see what you were saying a year ago. MMotherwell was quite the visionary.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Poll
Let's check the optimism meter, in true "Bright Side" fashion

  204 votes | Results

While there's no doubt that 19 year old Archie Goodwin is currently one of the brightest beacon's of hope for the future of the Phoenix Suns franchise, it's also possible that he could be the primary source of frustration and disappointment for many fans next season who are too eager to see immediate results.

Goodwin gave fans plenty of reasons to be excited about his arrival during Summer League, where he was consistently aggressive and at times appeared almost unstoppable.

In addition to demonstrating a knack for attacking the basket and drawing fouls, which he was known for in college, he also showcased what appeared to be an improved and much more reliable jump shot from beyond the arc, shooting an impressive 57%, which was an area of his game he struggled with as a freshman at Kentucky.

His play for the Suns in the Summer League was a breath of fresh air for a fanbase who has been searching for a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

But is Goodwin really ready for prime time?

Perhaps we should take it from the guy who drafted him, general manager Ryan McDonough, who said himself that he believed Goodwin would have been a top 10 pick in 2014 if he had stayed in school another year.

Clearly McDonough saw Archie Goodwin as more of an investment for the future, rather than a "win now" type of player who was ready to make an immediate impact for the Suns.

Conventional wisdom would certainly agree with his assessment, as Goodwin struggled to find his niche at the University of Kentucky last season and looked like anything but a finished product. There was no question about his talent or his potential, but Goodwin struggled to find any consistency and it looked as if the game was just too big for him at times.

Here is a look at his stats from his freshman season at UK:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Archie Goodwin 33 31.8 4.8 10.8 44.0 0.5 1.9 26.6 4.1 6.4 63.7 1.5 3.2 4.6 2.7 3.1 1.1 0.5 2.9 14.1

The biggest positive you can take from these stats is that his aggressive style of play that fans loved about him in summer league was also his trademark in college. Averaging 6.4 free throw attempts per game is very impressive for a guard (and was the highest in the NCAA at any position last season).

However, his 63.7% shooting from the stripe is another story. Add to that his 44% shooting from the field overall, and dismal 26.6% from beyond the arc, and you can start to see why Goodwin hurt his draft stock last season after initially being ranked one of the top prospects coming out of high school.

Goodwin's struggles were further exacerbated when asked to play the point guard position, where the Wildcats were searching for anyone to step up and take the reigns. Although by all accounts, Goodwin is a more natural two-guard, he tried his best at running the point for Kentucky with less than stellar results, as evident from his negative assist to turnover ratio.

Still, there's no question what Archie Goodwin can do...attack, score, and defend. He is super athletic, has a high motor, and plays with energy and effort on both sides of the court.

Since head coach Jeff Hornacek stated that he plans for Goodwin to make an immediate impact this season, this is what I believe the Suns will use to their advantage right off the bat from him. Despite what looked to be an improved jump shot in Summer League, I wouldn't count on him suddenly becoming a three point specialist for the Suns overnight, nor would I hold my breath that the Suns will actually make good on their original plans to make him into a point guard (at least I hope not).

Archie was still learning to play the game at the college level last season, so Suns' fans may do well to temper their expectations for him this year. Goodwin will have to make a huge adjustment to the fast pace and level of talent in the NBA, and for a 19 year old kid who is still so young in not only his age, but in his development as a basketball player, it may be unrealistic to expect much more than the minimum while treating anything else as just a bonus at this point.

I am extremely optimistic about Goodwin's future with the Suns, as I believe he has the potential to be one of the best players on the team in the near future. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this season is more about patience than production.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Here's the whole enchilada of Suns podcasts with Kris and Jim during the 2012-13 season, through June 30, 2013.

Some of the topics discussed include the Suns woefully pathetic defense, rotations, personnel, scheme, coaching, organizational changes, (lack of) talent, over/under on a player going for 30, the TNT refund game and a look ahead into the coming week.

Like I mentioned, it's a pilot, so please have mercy on us me. It can only get better (or not). Special thanks to Kris for joining me in this undertaking.

I was also thinking about doing some artwork (even better than my current creation) for the standard tag image for the podcast posts and a name, so any suggestions would be more than welcome.

Enjoy.

Podcast #1 12/4/12

LIKE Bright Side of the Sun on Facebook!

Bright Side of the Sun has been predicting a Beasley release sometime after September 1 since the day after the news broke that Beasley was pulled over again for speeding, and then suspected of possession of illegal drugs.

As with any troubled person you might know, when they get in trouble yet again you're disappointed but not surprised. Beasley did not progress over the past year in laid-back Phoenix with a management team committed to his success. In fact, he regressed into his worst NBA season yet. Maybe the pressure to grow up made him retreat even further into this own brain than ever. Whatever it was, Beasley got worse.

It hasn't been a good few years in the free agency market for the Phoenix Suns. I'll repeat what I wrote above. The Suns will likely be paying Childress and Beasley $13.18 million this year to watch basketball from the sidelines.

By releasing Beasley after September 1, the Suns can eat all $6 million of this season's pay this year without stretching it over 5 years and wishing in 2014 they had just a few more dollars for that role player they need as they rise from the ashes. Or 2017 or even 2018 for that matter. Why make the Beasley pain last 5 more years!??

Now, we're all waiting for the day.

Finally, new Suns GM Ryan McDonough let slip the Suns best-laid plans last week in response to a question about the relationship between the Butler salary dump and Michael Beasley.

"Trading Caron Butler has nothing to do with the Beasley situation," McDonough said to Paul Coro of azcentral.com/sports late last week. "We thought this was a good deal for basketball reasons. I'd imagine over the next week or so we would have resolution (regarding Beasley)."

Sometime in the next week. Meaning, sometime in the first week of September.

Previously, the Suns had been completely tight-lipped about their next action with Beasley. Some people take that as biding their time until the best opportunity arose (ie. after September 1) and not wanting to show their cards too early, while others let their minds wander into dark corners and assume the worst: that Beasley would never be released.

Frankly, I've been of the mind this entire time that Beasley would be released sometime conveniently after September 1, and that the Suns just didn't bother broadcasting it to the nation. I took their silence as simply a preference to DO the right thing over TALKING about doing the right thing. The latter is disingenuous, and potentially damaging to both the team and the player if unexpected twists and turns come about by September 1.

Anyway, now it's just a matter of convenience. Training camp starts in 4 weeks, the season starts in 8 weeks, and the league-year's first paycheck doesn't come for 10 weeks.

Sometime in there, the Suns will most likely release Beasley.

The question is when

  • September 1 is a Sunday
  • September 2 is Labor Day
  • September 3 is the podcast recording day. Maybe the Suns don't want to give Jim the satisfaction of releasing Beasley before he records the podcast?
  • September 4+ is... well, boring and anticlimactic
  • October 1 is just before training camp, but enough time to see if anyone wants to take Beasley for anything of value. It's still better to trade Beasley than eat the contract. The Suns traded Butler for the same reason
  • October 29 is just before players start earning their 2013-14 money, and teams' last chance to change their rosters before their season starts

Let's have a BSotS SUPERCOOL RELEASE DATE contest!

It's your turn to guess the date!

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Poll
What date will the Suns release Beasley?

  570 votes | Results

It’s the final day of August, which means the Suns’ decision of taking on Michael Beasley’s full $6 million salary for next season’s books has arrived. There’s a good...

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