Yes, the draft is not for another 11 months. But thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns are likely to have a lottery pick regardless of how they play this next season.

To recap, the final payment for acquiring Steve Nash is for the Los Angeles Lakers to parlay their first round pick to the Phoenix Suns in 2015 as long as they don't finish in the bottom of the league after the lottery balls are picked. If the Lakers ARE in the bottom five after the lotto, then the pick rolls over to future years until it finally parlays to the Suns.

Given that the East is generally worse than the West, that just means the Lakers have to better than one or two other West teams to ensure the Suns get the pick.

In Chad Ford's first mock draft for 2015, the Suns get the agile power forward they've needed since Amare left.

Next summer, all three Suns power forwards will be free agents or expendable, or both. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris will both be restricted free agents (like Bledsoe was this year), and Anthony Tolliver will only have $400,000 guaranteed for the 2015-16 season.

The Suns need a new, young PF to groom along with their young C (Alex Len, Miles Plumlee), SF (T.J. Warren), SG (Archie Goodwin) and PG (Tyler Ennis).

What's interesting about Ford's mock draft is that there are is only one point guard projected in the lottery. The 2015 lottery is full of Centers and Power Forwards, along with some wings. Good thing the Suns got all their PGs this year.

The Suns also have their own first round pick and possibly Minnesota's, but if the Suns get Minny's pick (top 12 protected) that's one more big competition for a playoff spot. Still, it's worth watching.

Check out DraftExpress's 2015 Mock Draft.

Welp.

That one word sums up the 2014 off season so far for the Phoenix Suns. The upstart 48-win Suns entered the summer loaded with assets and ready to take that next step into the NBA elite, but President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and General Manager Ryan McDonough have come up fairly empty.

"Where else would you rather go than the Phoenix Suns right now?" asked Lon Babby at the end of season media conference. "Where else would you rather be, with Ryan and [coach] Jeff [Hornacek] making our important basketball decisions and with an ownership that's committed to winning?"

The Suns went after the brightest stars this summer and whiffed. In fact, you could make the case that the team has slightly regressed after the first five weeks of the offseason. Add in the inability to close a deal with Eric Bledsoe and it's downright disconcerting.

This is definitely a summer of discontent for Suns fans.

It was bound to happen, really. Everything went right for the Suns in the past year, better than any of us had any right to expect. And a lot of that success was McDonough being fearless about mass turnover. McDonough had it easier last summer than this summer. It's easier to come in and trade someone else's team away than to trade away the one you've grown attached to over the past year.

A year ago, McD had no reservations about trading incumbent quality for fresh faces, shipping out two players - Jared Dudley and Luis Scola - for four new ones who were less proven. It was easy to sign off on because those two proven players had just finished a 25-win season and needed a change of scenery. Done. Even the contract dump of Marcin Gortat, Kendall Marshall and two others for what turned out to be Tyler Ennis was easy to sign off on when you've got no emotional ties to the outgoing players.

A year later is a lot different. A year later, coming off 48 wins you can't just dump veterans for youth. For one thing, the team has plenty of youth. For another, there's hardly any veterans left. But the biggest thing of all is that the Suns assets are now McDonough's assets - his pride and joy. He's not going to trade them for pennies on the dollar.

"We'd like to retain and extend the core guys and keep them together for a while," McDonough said of the dueling priorities this summer. "And we'd also like to use our cap space and draft picks to add to our core and keep getting better."

In an attempt to trade "up", the Suns have done nothing yet. The Suns still have all those draft picks and most of that cap space. A year ago, McDonough had already made three trades and by November had turned over 75% of the roster. This summer, nothing like that has happened. Given what we were told about all the constant trade discussions that occur during June and July, you know the Suns had their chances. The only reason you don't pull the trigger is because you value your own assets more highly than the other team does.

Are McDonough and Babby overvaluing their own assets this summer? Or are other teams just simply undervaluing what the Suns have to offer?

I'm not even talking about Minnesota and Kevin Love. That ship sailed. The Suns didn't have the high-end jewel they needed to compete with Cleveland's Wiggins.

I'm talking about other trades. The thousand other ones surely talked about. Clearly, the Suns need to improve in the front court to take that next step into the NBA elite. The Suns have a bevy of good players but no one that is great, or has the potential to be great. Maybe that's next summer's task, but it's interesting that the Suns have done nothing there this summer except downgrade from Frye to Tolliver.

I'll say again that the current team may have slightly regressed. To prove me wrong, the incumbent players all have to improve yet again. The Suns may have hedged their bets against regression in the back court with the signing of Thomas, but the front court is still a house of cards.

Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Miles Plumlee and Alex Len aren't going to scare anybody coming into the season. There's no mismatch nightmare in that group.

Sure, IF Keef can add the "stretch four" part to his game, he could be deadly. But that's assuming he doesn't regress from his astoundingly unexpected rise last season in the midrange area.

Sure, IF Mook and Keef can belly up in post defense more than they ever have before, the Suns could be okay at the PF position all year. But there's been no sign of that in prior seasons.

IF Miles Plumlee can develop some post moves and gets better at his own post defense, while Alex Len develops into an NBA rotation player, the center position can be solid.

But that's a lot of ifs and no room for regression.

This summer was bound to be more difficult than last summer. It's easier to go from bad to good. Much harder to go from good to "really good" or "great".

The biggest discussions last summer were about underrated acquisitions. This summer, it's about underrated losses. Losing Channing Frye will hurt. Alienating Eric Bledsoe could hurt. Adding Isaiah Thomas is great. Adding a talented rookie class is good, but rookies won't play much unless there's mass trades or injuries.

Counting almost entirely on internal player development is a solid strategy, but not a sexy one

Have the Suns already found most of their "keepers for the next great Suns team"? Or are they overvaluing their assets?

Either way, the summer has been a tough one for the fans to watch.

The Gift of Giving...

The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Playworks are teaming together for the fourth annual "Back-To-School-Back-Pack" Drive this Saturday to assist the community with school supplies. Playworks is a non-profit dedicated to improving the learning environment here locally in the Valley with events, drives, and support for the youth.

If you have kids you understand the importance of having school supplies and how costly it can be for some. This is an opportunity to give back.

On Saturday, August 9th at U.S. Airways the Mercury face the Minnesota Lynx and they will be accepting backpacks filled with school supplies before the game (between 5:30pm-7:00pm local time) and at two local Harkins Theaters.

Suns legend Alvan Adams will be on hand, assistant coach Mark West will be as well, the Gorilla, the Hip-Hop Squad, and so much more. For everyone that brings in a backpack with school supplies they will get two Harkins Ultimate VIP movie passes. No good deed goes unrewarded.

Details:

Harkins Chandler Crossroads 12  (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

(2980 E. Germann Rd., Chandler)

Suns Ring of Honor Member, Alvan Adams (10:30 - 11:30 a.m.)

Harkins Scottsdale 101  (2 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

(7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix)

Suns assistant coach, Mark West (2 - 3 p.m.)

US Airways Center (5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.)

Casino Arizona Pavilion

(201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix)

Shaquille O’Neal’s year and a half as a Phoenix Sun didn’t bring many playoff wins to the desert, one to be exact. But he did bring comedy and good times on and off the court. Who...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Shaquille O’Neal’s year and a half as a Phoenix Sun didn’t bring many playoff wins to the desert, one to be exact. But he did bring comedy and good times on and off the court. Who...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Page 983 of 2368

983

Web Links

Sponsored Ads