The team is shooting 49.9% from the field and 36.3% on three-pointers, 43.5 rebounds, 9.0 steals and 105.2 points per game, all up from last year by a wide margin. On the downside, the Suns are only making 61% of their free throws and committing 18.8 turnovers per game.
Earmarks of a young team and a deep, deep rotation. Seventeen different players have seen action in at least 3 of the 5 games, with 11 of them getting at least one start. Only three players are getting at least 20 minutes per game (Eric Bledsoe, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat). And only one player is getting less than 10 minutes per game (Viacheslav Kravtsov), probably an indication that he will start against the Thunder.
While the Suns aren't running as hard as they want to throughout the year, they are playing fairly well and showing some moxie. After the loss to the Clippers last week, Jamal Crawford said, "they played hard. It's a preseason game but they played hard and the guys that came in really produced."
Here are some other random preseason numbers, in relation to the rest of the league:
Clearly, the Phoenix Suns have not stopped making moves. Not one position is solidified for the future with a potential All-Star in the making. Maybe by the end of the 2013-14 season one or two will emerge from among Eric Bledsoe, Archie Goodwin and Alex Len but that's a long shot.
Eric Bledsoe is who he is - a really good all-around player who doesn't excel at the pretty things like scoring. He is a bulldog on defense and gets a lot of steals, rebounds and blocks for a PG but All-Star voters don't respond to that (or Tony Allen would be an All-Star). He can pass, but he's not a natural floor leader. He can shoot, but he can't make them very often.
But Bledsoe will produce roughly 15 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game - his per-36 minutes numbers from last year backing up Chris Paul. This preseason, he's putting up basically those per-36 numbers with a few more assists (though he's only playing 23 minutes per game).
Archie Goodwin and Alex Len have the raw talent to someday be All-Stars but that talent is very, very raw indeed and may never turn into skill. At 19 and 20 years old, respectively, both have a lot of growing to do and will get the time to do it.
No one else on the current roster has the potential to be an All-Star. Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat are the team's best statistical players, but neither is top-10 at his position let alone rare enough to make an All-Star team.
So, the wheels must keep on turning.
For this exercise, let's focus on the following
With the Suns trying to improve their future, it's okay to include one or more future draft picks if that's what gets the deal done for a better individual player than anyone on the current roster.
Here's what the Suns have:
Within the narrow scope of STAYING young and acquiring only players with upside, I am limiting my targets to players from the 2010-2012 drafts. My assumption is that it's too soon for another team to give up on a 2013 player.
I have also narrowed my choices to teams who want to fight for the playoffs this year. Only they would be wiling to dump younger talent for a chance to win games this season. So, no trades with Philly or Orlando, for example.
Looking for a rookie extension going into his fourth year, Monroe is a good player that deserves $10+ million per year. He would cost a lot to acquire - likely 2 first round picks from among the 2013 (Len, Goodwin)/2014/2015 drafts AND a veteran that would help Detroit win games, such as Channing Frye, Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe.
Ed Davis never did establish future stardom in Toronto, then was traded (with others) for Rudy Gay last spring and now sits on the bench behind a really good front line on long-term contracts. He did not attend Summer League, thinking he was beyond that, which frustrated the Grizzlies. I am thinking Davis wants a playing opportunity he won't get in Memphis and would probably leave for a good offer next summer that the Grizz couldn't afford to match.
He's been an incredible disappointment in Washington, with no NBA position besides "undersized center". Has barely played for a really bad Washington team that suddenly wants to make the playoffs.
Another real disappointment since being taken top-5 in 2011. He and Vesely are quite the pair. A tweener who likely belongs at power forward in the NBA as an undersized guy, he hasn't even garnered a rotation spot in Minnesota this year - having already lost a starting spot to Corey Brewer. Corey. Brewer. He may not even get his fourth year option picked up.
A surprise inclusion on this list, and one that likely is a laugher. Yet with Brian Shaw saying he wants to go more traditional in Denver, it's easy to see how an undersized power forward in Faried might not fit the new plan. Especially with Faried certainly wanting $10+ million a year next year in a rookie extension. Maybe the Suns could steal him for a package of prospects?
Turner has no interest in staying in Philadelphia and they likely have no interest in keeping him. They probably want to trade him before having to pull a Thabeet - not giving a 4th year contract to a former #2 overall pick (2010).
Lots of Suns fans - and Suns front office folks - wanted Jeremy Lamb last year. He's currently under a great deal of pressure to succeed in OKC as a third scoring option and likely won't meet their expectations so early in his career. Plus, he's really only a 3-and-D player, like a Courtney Lee once was for Orlando.
Teammate Derrick Favors just got $49 million over 4 years, and Hayward has done more in the NBA than Favors to this point. Would rebuilding Utah give out two big-money contracts in the same offseason (or next year) before knowing if those guys lead to winning? This may be an OKC situation - where the team decides to keep the big and trade the wing. But then again, who knows what Utah will do.