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Seriously, two years in a row with a disappointing finish at the Las Vegas Summer League? Okay, it is not that serious, but after a loss in the Championship Game last summer the Phoenix Suns were knocked out a little earlier ending the "work" part of the vacation for all Arizona based writers...

Overall there was a lot of good stuff from the Suns in Summer League, but, of course, it is Summer League. Have to throw out that disclaimer, because... Summer League.

Enough of me. Let's get to what matters, the takes of the staffers:

1. Breaking the Ice: Summer League ended for the Phoenix Suns with a thud this year, but there were some silver lining moments. What was yours?

Jim Coughenour:

Jacob Padilla:

Sreekar Jashti:

Garrett Benson: Outside of TJ Warren, there wasn't too much to get excited about for me.  Seeing Seth Curry and Dionte Christmas get hot against Philly was fun, but overall a bummer of a summer league.  We all expected Plumlee to be a man this year, but he didn't even look as good as he did last summer.  We didn't see much of Alex Len before he got hurt.  Alec Brown was even less NBA-ready than I hoped.  Now, Archie Goodwin had some nice moments in the first few games, Plumlee destroyed Jabari Parker with his block, and Curry was a streaky scorer, so it wasn't totally bad.  And of course, Warr Machine...

2. It is Summer League, of course, but how excited are you to have a scorer like T.J. Warren on the team next year?

JP:

SJ:

GB: Absolutely ecstatic.  Honestly, watching Warren is the only thing that justified the $5 purchase to watch the Summer League games.  The guy knows how to score the ball, and I really like that he gets his points in crafty ways.  He said he was nervous, but he looked pretty poised to me.  I feel better about the pick every day; we have to be careful not to read too much into Summer League, but Warren looks ready to contribute at the NBA level.  He'll be a nice addition to what is looking to be like a pretty potent bench next season.  If Marcus Morris isn't playing the 4, he might need to step up his game to keep Warren off his heels.

JC:

3. Who is the lost fifth wheel in the guard rotation next year Tyler Ennis or Archie Goodwin? (Based on Summer League play)

SJ:

GB: It's got to be Ennis, right?  I've been outspoken about my distaste for the Ennis pick, and his play did nothing to quell my concerns. I want to shake the Kendal Marshall comparisons in my head, but I just haven't seen enough from him yet.  I am, however, happy to see that he's getting steals at the professionalish level. It seemed like he was the beneficiary of a zone defense that allowed him to gamble in college, but hopefully I'm wrong and it translates to the NBA level.  At any rate, I don't see him getting meaningful minutes this season with three good point guards already on the team.  Ennis should probably expect Bakersfield to be his home for the next year.

JC:

JP:

4. Speaking of Archie Goodwin: Progression, Regression, or about the same? Overall thoughts on his play.

GB: While I certainly think he played better than Ennis, Archie didn't exactly knock my socks off, either.  He had moments, particularly in the first two games, that looked like he was progressing nicely.  He looked fearless driving the ball on Giannis Antetokounmpo, and shot well against Golden State.  He hasn't done much since then, but I'm not too worried about him.  Archie's only a second year player and 19 years-old.  He's still got room to grow (is he literally still growing? He looked a little taller...), and I think we need to be patient with his development.  But he'll be ripping off MVPs here in no time.

JC:

JP:

SJ:

5. Will there be any Summer League players that are not current contract players that make the roster for this upcoming season? (Based on Summer League play)

JC:

JP:

SJ:

GB: I wouldn't count on it. Curry had some moments, and I know Ryan McDonough's got a legitimate thing for point guards, but there's just no room for another.  Elias Harris was decent, but he didn't do anything that demanded a contract.  Neither Taylor Braun nor David Stockton played enough to even be considered. Christmas probably has a good chance of getting his contract picked up, but that's mostly for the cheerleader role he played last year.

BONUS: Things are about to get boring for a month or so... What needs to happen between now and Training Camp to finalize the roster?

JP:

SJ:

GB: The Anthony Tolliver signing was a nice short-term solution to replacing Frye, but I think the Suns definitely need to upgrade at PF.  There are slim to no options available through free agency, so it would have to come through trade.  McDonough was active on the trade front this time last year.  I hope he's working the phones, because right now I'm not convinced this team can make the playoffs, especially with Dallas improving its roster.  The Suns are loaded on the wings, too, so it seems like something needs to happen to balance the roster out a bit.  It goes without saying, but they need to lock Bledsoe up too.  The market is dwindling for him, and I'd love to see the Suns sign him for less than a max, but I'd hate to see Bledsoe's relationship with the Suns sour over the negotiation process.

JC:

Bright Siders, what do you think?

We talked about things....

This week Dave and Kris try to overcome the evils of technology with round two of the 59th episode of the Phoenix Suns Podcast. Did you catch all that?

In the episode we kick things off reviewing the comments and departure of Channing Frye from the two local interviews he did with the Arizona Republic and 620 Radio. Then we look at all the recent free-agency news from the Suns over the past week with Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Tolliver, and now the "32 Million Dollar" drama with the team and Eric Bledsoe.

Listen Here: Phoenix Suns Podcast Episode 59

Tune In/Subscribe: Click Here

RSS Feed: Click Here

P.S.

Sorry Sacramento Kings fans, but when the jokes are this easy they just happen. We did not intend for this. No Kings were hurt in the recording of this podcast... Well, maybe hurt feelings.

My first day at Las Vegas Summer League involved catching at least some parts of 7 of the 8 games played between Thomas and Mack Center (UNLV Basketball's court and Cox Pavilion (the smaller venue just adjacent).

I admit that much of the time I was buried in the laptop, reporting on Randolph and Bledsoe, but I did catch enough of the action to make some observations.

Here are some of the players that made an impression on me today:

  • Noah Vonleh had a very forgettable day, racking up his limit of 6 fouls in only 17 minutes and not making a big impact when he was out there. Vonleh looks raw and unsure what to do on offense. Basically, he looks 18.
  • P.J. Hairston shot the heck out the ball, never fearing from taking a long shot not matter how contested. Today, he connected on a lot - getting 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting.
  • Dante Exum, also 18, looked better than his stat line showed (5 points, 2 assists, 0 rebounds). He looks like a player for sure. He's tall and lanky, but smooth with the ball. He played point most of the game, with Trey Burke off the ball. Not sure if that will continue in the regular season, but I doubt it. Burke is a better point guard at this time. Exum looks talented, but he still doesn't really know how to play the game.
  • Rudy Gobert (my #10 pick in the SB Nation Mock Draft last year) looked good in his minutes. He's long, smooth and can pass the rock better than you'd expect. He can also inhale rebounds and score at the basket. He scored 12 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in only 18 minutes because he racked up 5 fouls.
  • Rodney Hood, with 19 points and 5 rebounds, played well but I didn't notice him much so he wasn't that kind of stand out player.
  • I only caught a few minutes of Adreian Payne but he looked exactly as I expected - active on the court, and deadly from deep (3 for 5 on 3s) for 19 points, but he only grabbed 3 rebounds. He moves well on the court and will fit in the Atlanta rotation very well. The Hawks were #2 in the league three pointers taken per possession, just ahead of the Suns.
  • Walter Tavares, 7'3", is as huge as you'd think. He made an impact on the game with his size in the paint, scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in limited minutes.
  • Andrew Wiggins is a true talent in this league. He stands out from everyone with his size and athleticism and shwag. He just looks the part. Today, he drove, drove and drove some more, drawing 20 free throws (making 15) on the day. He made some nice passes that his teammates didn't convert into scores, and grabbed five rebounds as well. On the other end, like many stars today, he committed several fouls (4) and turnovers (4). After the game, Wiggins was not made available for interviews even though he was supposed to be. Maybe it had to do with rumors. I dunno.
  • Anthony Bennett looked better today than I thought he would, but he still didn't have a big impact despite being one of the largest guys on the court. He scored 11 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, but committed 5 fouls and 3 turnovers as the Cavs lost.
  • Doug McDermott - For much of the first half, Doug acted as a decoy by just running to the corner/angle three point line on the weak side as the action (mostly through Tony Snell) ran on the other side. On the defensive end, he was occasionally targeted but held his own okay. His best sequence was a double block on a guy driving on him, followed by a long three at the other end within seconds. McBuckets indeed. To put the two blocks in context, Doug had 6 total in his last two years of college (per a tweet I saw. Don't kill me if I'm wrong, Jacob!). McD finished with 11 points, 2 blocks, 5 rebounds, 4 turnovers and 5 fouls.
  • Nerlens Noel - his kid is definitely athletic. He guarded the paint with persistence, often leaving his man early to contest the drive. He can sky, showing that he has not lost any athleticism from the injury last year (or, it means he was THAT much more athletic than most everyone here). However, I still can't get over how loose his joints are. Arms and legs just moving every which way. When he went down (to what turned out to be an ankle twist), the replay showed his knees buckling this way and that and that DIDN'T EVEN PHASE HIM. Meaning, they are bendy all the time. Meaning, he's got to worry about someone falling on him. Meaning, I can see why the Suns docs passed on him, despite his talent.

SummerSuns tomorrow

The Suns play their final SL game tomorrow, a welcome respite for a team that played 4 games in 5 days and came up short against the trees of Minnesota.

I'll be at the game tomorrow and will provide coverage like a normal game day.

Hopefully, the Suns won't rest any of their guys but don't be surprised to see Miles Plumlee and/or T.J. Warren sit out. But really, why would they sit? They don't have any more games until October after this.

Will keep you updated throughout the day.

Shavlik Randolph‘s non-guaranteed deal will be picked up by the Phoenix Suns for the 2014-15 season, according to RealGM’s Shams Charania, putting the roster total at 13 guaranteed...

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Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe wants the whole enchilada, while the Phoenix Suns would rather stay with what the best PG on the market got this year. It's a standoff.

Now we know, at least far as you can trust a report of this type, from Chris Broussard.

Screen_shot_2014-07-17_at_3.29.18_pm_medium

So, the Phoenix Suns want to sign Bledsoe to a contract just like proven veteran starter Kyle Lowry got two weeks ago as an unrestricted free agent. Twelve million per year.

Bledsoe, on the other hand, wants to break the bank with a nearly-full mini-max 5 year contract that averages $16 million per year. The $80 million is not quite the max that the Suns could offer. With a contract starting at $14.746 million (the mini-max for Bledsoe) with 7.5% raises over 5 years is actually $84.75 million. So there's that. He IS giving a discount. (numbers per cbafaq.com)

But clearly, no one besides the Suns can give Bledsoe all that so there's no competition at the $80 million mark. Yet, it appears that even a 4-year mini-max deal of $64 million with 4.5% raises isn't going to come from anyone in the NBA either. Only Philadelphia has that much money left, and Broussard says the Suns have rebuffed any sign-and-trade discussions to this point.

Not sure when this gets done. But I am sure this report is coming from Bledsoe's camp in an effort to get the Suns off the $12/yr number they've probably been sitting on for three months now.

The standoff continues.

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