Phoenix Suns 14th in West in ESPN Summer Forecast, NBAPET projection even worse

Posted by on August 21st, 11:19 pm

The Phoenix Suns have made a habit out of outperforming external expectations in recent years.

It won’t take too much to do that again this year.

Apparently the voters in ESPN’s Summer Forecast were not impressed like McKayla with the moves the Suns made after parting ways with Steve Nash as the group of 100 voters ranked the Suns 14th in the West with a 30-52 record that’s only one game better than Sacramento’s West-worst projected mark. Taking into account Monday’s East Forecast, the Suns are predicted to finish tied for fourth-worst with Detroit, with only the Bobcats and Magic below them along with the Kings.

Like #NBARank, the projections follow “wisdom of the crowd” logic whereby it’s thought that by averaging the predictions of the 100 voters we will get a fairly accurate assessment free of biases.

I am a voter in this project and pegged the Suns to finish 34-48, but it’s still a bit startling to see the Suns that low on the aggregate ballot.

That is, until I clicked on the projection from Basketball Prospectus’ Bradford Doolittle’s NBAPET system.

This projection dropped the Suns to the very bottom of the conference with a predicted 27.8 wins that’s 12.5 games worse than “last season’s total of Pythagorean wins per 82 games.” That projection would leave the Suns with more lottery balls than every team that Michael Jordan doesn’t own, and only the Bulls and Magic dropped by more games.

“We’re not exactly sure what the plan is in Phoenix, but the Suns are moving forward with a roster devoid of core players,” Doolittle wrote. “They won’t just be bad. They’ll be boring. We’ll have to see what the future brings.

The TrueHoop Network’s Ethan Sherwood-Strauss is not exactly high on the Suns either:

In preparation for this exercise I asked a few friends who follow the Suns to name a West team they feel will definitely be behind Phoenix in the standings and then watched them struggle to name many squads.

I feel the Suns should be better than the Kings, as they always seem to be a mess despite the nice young talent. I think they will be better than the baby Rockets unless Houston can find a way to roll its assets into a star. I also think it will take the Hornets time for their young roster to gel, so I expect Phoenix to finish ahead of them.

After that, I’m not sure. Especially if Curry can’t get healthy I could see the Suns ahead of Golden State, but on paper I’d definitely take the Warriors’ roster. The young Blazers squad could be behind Phoenix as well, and who knows if this is the year Dallas falls off a cliff.

I could also see the Suns using these depressing rankings as motivational fuel (and there’s plenty of it) and turning it on as the season goes along on the way to an underdog 46-win season. I can also see the bottom falling out on the way to Phoenix actually being the worst team in the West. My projection is somewhere in the middle with so many unknowns along with some solid talent on the Suns’ roster.

Teams often use the “nobody believes in us” cliche to buoy a surprise season regardless of how many people actually believe in them. Based on the wisdom of this crowd, the Suns would have every reason to shout this cliche if they end up enjoying a run to the playoffs.

Telfair first Sun on #NBARank

With P.J. Tucker apparently not making it on the ballot, Sebastian Telfair became the first Sun to have his ranking revealed on #NBARank, the second-year project to rank every player in the NBA.

The group of 104 ESPN-affiliated voters ranked Telfair No. 369, down quite a bit from last year’s No. 322, with a 2.77 score.

It’s no surprise for Telfair to be the lowest-ranked Sun, but I did not expect him to drop that much after his stellar final month. I doubt many voters were watching the Suns at that point, but after a lackluster first three months in Phoenix, Telfair finally showed signs of developing into a quality backup point guard in April.

And 1

  • This post marks No. 2000 in ValleyoftheSuns history in just less than 46 months. It’s been a fun, fulfilling journey, and we’ve come a long way from that first year when we were essentially a one-man band. Here’s to the next 2000 posts and all the innovations that will come with it!
  • Wages of Wins’ Arturo Galletti told me on Twitter that he projects the Suns to be a bottom-five team as well. “You lost your best player. You brought in Beasley. Somewhat self explanatory,” Galletti wrote. Galletti later tweeted that Beasley was “the biggest miss ever” by his draft model, so at age 23 perhaps there is still time for the lightbulb to turn on.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · TrueHoop Network

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

    This shows how little most critics actually study the players and the game, and how much they look only at established stars and the promotional “news” they themselves produce. Their treatment of Lin last year is totally emblematic of how the culture skews.

    With Dragic, Gortat, Scola, Brown, and Dudley, the Suns ought to get within striking distance of the playoffs. Whether they make it there or not has a lot to do with the bench play, and how well the players on the rebound (Beasley, JO, and WJ) – and the rookie (Marshall) – do.

  • 2 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Also, FWIW, I agree with Galletti that the Beasley signing was almost certainly not good. The Suns would have been better off with a number of different players, including Michael Redd.

  • 3 Ethan Sherwood Strauss // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Quick comment: At the time of my tweet, I’d momentarily, stupidly forgotten about Scola’s inclusion on this roster. I’d expect the Scola-Dragic combo to eke out something in the 20-30 win range.

  • 4 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

    @Ethan -

    lol … Surely that is damning with faint praise. ;)

  • 5 glyph // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    The last few years the Suns definitely overachieved or exceeded expectations. Analysts’ low rankings didn’t faze me at all.
    This year, however, there’s a reason not to be so optimistic. The only constant of those teams, Steve Nash, is no longer with the Suns. You know, the guy that can somehow ‘raise’ the level of production of all the guys he’s in the court with?
    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s team cannot prove the doubters wrong :(
    Damn. It really makes me wish the team didn’t had that late bloom post-All-star break, finished near bottom, got a higher draft pick, and got the potential make-their-own-shot-&-potential-cornerstone SG the Suns wanted or a Lillard or perhaps even the top-6 projected guy that somehow slipped (Barnes, Drummond) because another team (Cleveland) made a big reach (Waiters)…
    The bad record might tarnish Nash’s last year w/ the team, but since we’re likely gonna lose him anyway to a hated rival, us fans can take that bitter pill a bit easier, and have a better outlook for the years ahead.

  • 6 HankS // Aug 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I can’t imagine the Suns could be worse than the kindergarten Rockets… as a matter of fact, I’m on record for saying I can’t imagin anybody being worse than Houston this year…

    That said, it’s not inconceivable the Suns might be about as bad as this prediction says. If Dragic doesn’t produce, if Beasley tries in vain to be the man in a me-first way, if Gortat sees his production drop with no Steve Nash passes, if Morris doesn’t show much progress, if Fry never regains form, if Scola ages faster than expected, if neither Marshall nor Telfair can play a consistent back-up PG… I could go on, but you see the point. The potential for disaster is there.

    On the other hand, if this group of players can find its chemistry and play as a team in a non-selfish way, often with as many as 10-men rotations, they might surprise people.The potential for a nice little team is there, too.

  • 7 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 1:21 am

    @glyph -

    I’m happy with the pick the Suns made. They need a player like Marshall. He’s going to get better on offense, and that will be a big help.

    @HankS -

    The Rockets actually have a fair bit of size and talent, despite lacking experience. But now that they don’t have Scola and Lowry, we’ll see if they retain that pluckiness they’ve had the past few years.

    If the pluckiness follows Scola, though, then the Suns are in good shape.

    I think the Suns will surprise the critics, but the critics still won’t care. ;)

  • 8 DBreezy // Aug 22, 2012 at 1:31 am

    It’s nice to point out outlier seasons like 2009-2010 or 2005-2006, but looking at their performance the last few seasons ESPN has been pretty close on the Suns’ record and seeding, even predicting a better record in 2010-2011 than what resulted.

  • 9 glyph // Aug 22, 2012 at 2:14 am

    @Scott

    Either I’m stuck envisioning Marshall in Nash’s shadow or putting too much weight in comparing his Summer League showings to other first rounders, but…
    I too am hoping Marshall becomes integral to the Suns future compared to the other teen picks of recent years (Cabarkapa, Lopez, Clark. (I’m not sold on Morris yet))

  • 10 Sillmarillion // Aug 22, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Congratz on your 2000 posts!

  • 11 steve // Aug 22, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Congrats on 2,000, VotS!

    @DBreezy – Not that I’m doubting you, but I’m interested to see if you have a source.

    The only guy at ESPN that I know of who has constantly been high on the Suns during the Nash era was Stein. Since 2007-08, most of them left the bandwagon.

    I know it’s not a perfect stat, and you can argue the impact of Nash all you want, but win shares are actually a fantastic indicator of a team’s record. Predicting win shares from season to season can be a little iffy, as guys’ performance can go up or down in any given year, but based on win share totals from last season, this Suns team should finish with around 40 wins. I think production without Nash will drop slightly, so I personally have the Suns pegged for 35 wins. Anyone saying 15-30 simply didn’t take the time to look at the numbers.

  • 12 FRAZ // Aug 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I think Beasley was a great signing… potential superstar for cheap.

  • 13 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @glyph -

    I see Marshall coming in with about the same level of NBA ability as Dragic and Barbosa, but with a higher ceiling as a playmaker.

    At first I was thinking he might only ever amount to a capable 2nd team PG, or a lackluster starter for another team. But now that I’ve seen him play I’ve changed my mind. It’s not guaranteed, but as he gets his offense down and learns the NBA game, he could come in closer to Kidd and Nash. Maybe not Hall of Fame quality, or even as an All-Star (too early to commit myself there), but still quite competent.

    He’s got to learn to penetrate and dish, and he’s got to become a threat on his side of the pick and roll. He’s also got to get to the ball on rebounds. But his IQ, court vision, and unselfishness is exactly what the Suns need. He’s a true floor general.

    So give him a couple years behind Dragic to mature and learn the NBA game. He could be the Suns’ best draft pick since Amare.

  • 14 JT's Hoops Blog // Aug 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I can’t belive they ranked the Suns as the second worst team in the West. You’re saying that they are worst than the Sacramento Kings, the Golden state Warriors, even the Portland Trailblazers, or the Houston Rockets? I’m sorry, but the Suns has much more talent that many of these sites. I don’t think many of these even do the adequate research in making their rankings. Most of them just talk out of their asses, if you ask me.

  • 15 Ty-Sun // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I hope Gentry is already up late doing his “homework” before training camp starts. The key to this season – especially the early part – will be his lineups, rotations and the offensive focus. I think we’re all aware that the Suns are hoping to make Beasley the #1 offensive option and Scola will probably be #2 but that could also be Gortat if Dragic and he become comfortable running the pick and roll together. Dragic himself should be able to score when necessary but I think he will be opportunistic in his scoring and focus more on running the offense than being the offense.

    I know everyone has their favorite to start at SG but I can see a case to be made for Dudley, Brown and even Johnson. Johnson makes the least sense offensively but he may be the better defender of the three. Since whoever starts at SG isn’t going to be one of the primary scoring options, Gentry might decide to go with his best defender at the 2.

    If that were the case then I would expect the 2nd unit to be Marshall (1), Brown (2), Dudley (3), Morris (4) and O’Neal (5). With that unit on the floor I would expect them to try to run the offense through O’Neal and Morris or Dudley depending on the situation. If O’Neal is healthy I really don’t believe there are many 2nd team centers that can outplay him or even defend him well. And while I believe that Dudley is below average as an NBA starter, he’s definitely above average backup. Morris I’m still not certain as to his upside but I’m certain he’s at least a good, solid backup player at the 4 and will contribute off the bench. Brown I’m still not sure about. He’s very athletic and obviously has talent but he doesn’t seem to have a high basketball IQ. But I think he will be a contributor although an inconsistent one. Marshall we all know can pass and run an offense but is weak on scoring and defense. Hopefully he will improve in both those areas but it shouldn’t be a big minus running the bench unit.

    But there are plenty of starting unit combos that have potential. Dragic/Dudley/Beasley/Scola/Gortat and Dragic/Brown/Dudley/Beasley/Gortat are the two others I’ve seen proposed most often. There is logic to them all and I’m not proposing anything as the “best” lineup. I just hope that Gentry figures it all out quickly.

  • 16 Eric // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I agree with JT, I don’t think a lot of thought went into these rankings. If any team is going to bottom out this year it will be the Mavericks, they’re one year older and a lot less talented. The Suns will have 35 wins, and maybe even 40 if Gentry can work some magic. I also like the O’neal signing, you never know what could happen with the best training staff in the league.

  • 17 Ty-Sun // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Actually, if I wasn’t a Suns fan and looked at the Suns’ team this year then I would probably predict them to be very bad this season too. Nash and Hill are gone and replaced with Dragic and Beasley. Dragic played very well last season during the time he started but it could have been a fluke. Beasley has always performed under his expectations during his 4 years in the NBA so why expect him to suddenly live up to them? A lot of people expect Gortat’s offensive production to fall off without Nash to “spoon feed” him. And this year the Suns team will be made up of mostly new faces that no one knows how well they will play together. The safe bet is to just assume that this team will suck. Maybe they will but I think they have a lot of potential too.

    And one thing that I see as a plus in regard to Beasley is his “estate sale”. People who are legitimately trying to make changes in their lives often do rid themselves of things that they once held dear. That makes me think he’s sincere about making a new start in Phoenix because he’s not dragging all his old crap along with him. That doesn’t mean he will be successful but I take it as a sign that he’s at least committed to make the attempt.

  • 18 martin // Aug 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hey guys- interesting post. And congrats on 2000 and counting!

    I have gone thru the exercise of ranking our team, and this is what I came up with. But, I could be wrong, and we could be a bottom 4 team. I’d concur with the 34 win season.

    I looked at all 30 teams and where I would (humbly) rank us as currently constructed.

    Teams better than us:
    Lac, LAL, SAS, den, OKC, mem, dal, utah
    Bos, nets, nyk, phi, chi, Mia

    Teams we are potentially equal with:
    Gsw, min, por
    Ind, atl, was

    Teams we are better than:
    Sac, hou, noh
    TOR, CLE, DET, mil, cha, orl

    This places us between 9-12 in the west and 15-21 overall.

  • 19 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    Gortat played well for Orlando when they put him on the floor. We saw that when Amare would get Howard in foul trouble and Gortat would play extended minutes. IMO, while he’s not someone who creates his own offense, he defends even if he’s not getting touches, and he’s able to work with PGs other than Nash.

    So Gortat’s going to bring 10-20 points per game with any NBA starting PG. The idea that he would just disappear on offense is, I believe, a myth.

    And keep in mind that Scola is a crafty passer on the inside. That could help Gortat too.

    I agree that JO is likely to outmatch most 2nd unit centers, and Frye would do so as well, with scoring from the outside.

    While Morris was a key player in Summer League, at this point he’s looking to be one of the last players on the court. With Scola, Frye, and Beasley all looking to play from PF when they can, Morris is likely to take a back seat to all 3.

    As for Brown, while I think he’d be more locked in and playing hard if he’s in the starting squad, if Brown is with Marshall on the 2nd unit he should at least be handled better this year than he was last year. And if Brown is playing with anyone other than Beasley as his wingman, his production should be good … though passing on the wing will be a pain if he has to share it with WJ.

    I agree that it is possible, even likely, that Gentry could pick WJ to start at SG for his defensive abilities. It would provide roughly what the Suns had with Raja, though Raja has a higher b-ball IQ and handling ability.

    Also, it helps resolve the low IQ issue, in that if WJ starts at SG, most of the offense will go through the front court, and WJ will only be called upon to deliver open 3s and the catch the occasional lob in transition play.

    I guess the big question is how to get Gortat, Scola, and Beasley all playing well together, because everyone seems to expect them as starters in the front court, and that’s where a lot of the offense will come from.

    I also expect Gentry – who loves small ball – to occasionally put out an “all small” line up where Beasley plays at PF. Possibly this group would feature Frye (Morris), Beasley, Dudley (WJ), Brown, and Dragic (Marshall). The idea here would be to overrun the other team and put up points fast.

  • 20 Zack B. // Aug 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    This is the type of stuff that makes me not want to read blogs or articles, and just wait for the season. Beasley is “almost certainly” not a good signing? Nothing I hate more than a pessimist. He is a potential SUPERSTAR. He’s been a poor man’s Durant for the T-Wolves. He’s right there behind KD and Rudy Gay in the West. If he doesn’t get it together and he fails, OH WELL. This is a great chance to take. At just 6 mil a yr? Come on now. I would argue some more but I’m more of a wait and see kinda guy. These people make it so easy for our team and players to overachieve, sad to see we have some people here with an equivalent amount of pessimism. I rest my case.

  • 21 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    BTW, let me predict right now that if the Suns significantly outperform the ridiculously low projections of the critics, their success will be attributed to Gentry, and he’ll get his contract renewed.

    But the actual situation is that the projections of the critics are too low, and any NBA coach could do better with the talent the Suns have.

  • 22 Tony // Aug 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Firstly, I too want to echo some of the posters and congratulate VOTS on their 2000th post!!!! Way to go guys! Your articles are always well written and highly informative. So I hope for at least 2000 more!

    With regards to the Suns predictions, I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised the Suns would be predicted to be a bottom-dweller team…I mean, on paper they only have two proven starters in Gortat and Scola, a pg unproven as a starter for a full season, and role players at the wings. While Beasley has a lot of talent, he has obviously under-performed since being drafted into the NBA and the fact that he couldn’t stay in the TImberwolves rotation with a great offensive coach in Adelman, makes a supposed turnaround of his career dubious. Obviously Brown and Dudley have no business starting but one of them likely will be the starting sg.

    If the Suns had a really strong reserve unit to supplement the starters, then they might have been able to get away with a less than average starting lineup. However, the Suns bench is very weak and also very small and unathletic. That’s a horrible combination to have. Giving up Lopez, who was a legitimate 7 footer, took away the Suns best advantage against most opposing teams’. And with what I’ve seen from Marshall, I have no clue why he was drafted so high. He could get away with being a poor shooter if he was really explosive and athletic, but he’s neither fast nor athletic. This guy has draft bust written all over him.

    Moreover, most of the other bottom-dwellers are in the eastern conference and overall, the western conference should be even better next season. On paper, the Timberwolves, Hornets, Jazz, and Warriors have improved their respective rosters this off-season and have more talent than the Suns. Besides the Suns, the only western conference team to take a step back is probably the Rockets.

    Lastly, because the Suns have so many new faces, it’s going to take time for the players to develop chemsitry playing with each other. Of the teams in the western conference with similar records as the Suns last season, only the Rockets are coming into next season with so many new players who haven’t played together before. As the Suns have shown us over the past 3 seasons, a team without talent can achieve moderate success if they have great team chemistry. Now, the Suns have even less talent and no team chemistry.

  • 23 Ty-Sun // Aug 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Gortat’s offense may suffer a bit at the beginning of the season but I think he and Dragic will “click” sooner than later. Since Dragic is more familiar with Scola than Gortat, that might play into the early season chemistry between them and Dragic might try to force the ball to Scola rather than Gortat on occasion. MIGHT. But I think Dragic is smart enough to realize that playing PNR with Gortat is a smart bet very soon. And Scola is a very smart player. I think he will make Gortat a better player.

    I disagree that Beasley is a potential “superstar” but I think that he still has the potential to become an all-star caliber player. I think that in his first two years with Miami they put too much pressure on him to perform. I remember scenes of Wade screaming at him and Beasley just ducking his head and accepting it. In his first year at Minnesota he was playing for Kurt Rambis, not Rick Adelman. By then he was already considered “damaged goods” and was delegated to the bench when Adelman took over. No matter what your opinion of Beasley is, this year is when he will control his own definition. Hopefully he will finally prove that he was worth the #2 draft pick in 2008.

  • 24 steve // Aug 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    @Tony

    I agree with you on quite a few points, like the idea that it’s not unexpected for people to be low on the Suns, that Marshall will end up being a bust (or at least not be any good this year), that getting rid of Lopez was a mistake…

    But I can’t agree with you on this point:

    “Now, the Suns have even less talent and no team chemistry.”

    Less talent… I’m not so sure. They lost Nash, Hill, Lopez, Warrick, Childress, Price, and Redd. They gained Dragic, Scola, Beasley, O’Neal, Marshall, Tucker, and Johnson.

    By my count, they lost one great player, two average players, and four bad players. They gained one great player (albeit somewhat unproven), one good player, one average player with incredible potential, and four bad players. It’s pretty much a wash, at worst, if you ask me. If Dragic wasn’t a fluke and Beasley ends up playing like he can, then I think the 2012-13 Suns will actually have MORE talent than the 2011-12 Suns.

    And chemistry? If you think the 2011-12 Suns had chemistry, you have extremely low standards. They lost so many close games and could never seem to come up with the big plays when they needed them. They couldn’t find the right guy to score in the clutch. Nash flat out said he didn’t think his teammates were any good (and played like he believed that when the fourth quarter came and you could see the frustration building).

    Last season’s team was a mess. I see no reason to believe this team will have “worse” chemistry issues than last year’s team. If anything, they’re just starting with a clean slate and no one is tired of anyone else yet. I got the impression last season that there was discontentment and feuding in the locker room. Guys didn’t seem to have positive things to say about each other last year.

    It’s just a guess, just like what you’re saying is just a guess, so I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just disagree.

  • 25 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Chemistry will be an issue, but at least there will be a whole training camp and pre-season.

    If the Suns run a system similar to what they’ve been doing for years now, then Dragic, Telfair, Brown, Dudley, Frye, Morris, and Gortat already know the system. Only O’Neal, Scola, Beasley, WJ, Marshall, and Tucker are new to the system. Of these, I’m not sure any of them will have trouble with the system, for various reasons. It will be more of a situation of players getting used to each other’s abilities and disabilities.

    What will be good for Dragic as a starting PG is that he’ll have a relatively capable starting unit. Two of the players on the floor with him are capable of creating their own shot (Scola and Beasley), so he can focus a bit more on setting up the other two.

    Likewise, if Marshall plays with Dudley, Frye, Brown, and O’Neal, as veterans, they’ll be able to help him along. He’s going to have to learn how to score though, because he’s going to be given a lot of opportunities. I expect to see him coming out of pre-season looking better than he did at the end of Summer League (which was his best game).

  • 26 Scott // Aug 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @steve -

    I don’t know about feuding, exactly, as I think they were all nice guys who were able to get along, but I’d agree there was an underlying current of discontent, with Nash and Hill not having the playoffs-capable team they wanted, Redd slow to re-prove himself, and Childress and Warrick being glued to the bench. Lopez was frustrated that he wasn’t getting more minutes or touches, and that’s at least partly because neither Telfair nor Price were able to really run the 2nd unit.

    If the Suns FO had picked up a more capable PG for the 2nd unit, someone who was more of a floor general, I think a lot of those problems would have washed out.

    In other words … no feuding, just frustrations brought about by questionable decisions made by the GM and coach.

  • 27 Joe // Aug 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I can’t wait for the season to start and the Beasley bandwagon to get rolling…

  • 28 shazam // Aug 23, 2012 at 3:10 am

    congrats on 2000..im clueless about next season and thats a plus because last year i knew sarver was trying to just choke some ticket sales out of 2 time..thank god we had enough smart fans not to fall for it or we would have signed steve up again for another predictable crap season…at least now i see how we can rebuild..it might take a season or 2 but we arent locked in to a ticket con anymore

  • 29 Luka // Aug 23, 2012 at 4:28 am

    First off, people should be letting out a collective sigh of relief that we don’t have to put up with: Childress, Warrick or Lopez anymore.

    Secondly, the expectations are relatively unchanged from last year. Be a scrappy team that can maybe sneak in as a sleeper 7th or 8th seed. They are still buying time to plan who will be their next franchise guy.

    The thing that jumps out to me about this roster is sheer athleticism. Dragic, Beasley, Brown and Gortat will really get up and down the floor. Scola and Gortat will do some damage up front. Rebounding concerns won’t be a concern.

    The bottomline is this: anything can happen, but the Suns can’t really lose in the long run. Management did it’s job restoring cap space for next year, added a few key pieces, and acquired picks. So even if they win 30 games or so they can turn to the draft.

  • 30 BEAS4PRES // Aug 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    everyone wants harden but for max I say we pass

    question is

    How much would derrick favors cost? I do not think he would be max I think somewhere around 9-10 mill a year. I think he could be the defensive middle PF we need

    then we draft Shabazz (the new harden)

    imagine that lineup and youth

    dragic
    shabazz
    beasley
    favors
    gortat

    bench
    marshall
    brown
    dudley
    morris
    Frye

    that is a good team

  • 31 Paul // Aug 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Morris played some defense and rebounded which is more than you can say for some suns, and his offense was never terrible.

    Gortat went from complaining about lack of defense when he arrived to contributing to lack of defense in a hurry and without Nash, I don’t think he has much offensive game.

    I’d much rather see Scola have the ball in the post to score creatively or setup others.

    Dragic…has shown flashes at times but I’m still not convinced. Maybe he’ll finally blossom into that player we get glimpses of.

    Beasely scares me but he can score. Where is defense going to come from on this team? I’m guessing a DUI or possession bust for Beasely within 6 months of the season starting.

    I can understand 30-56 predictions since it’s really tough to peg the suns outside of the fact that they have few quality defenders. Zero defense with Nash to make scoring competitive is one thing. Zero defense without Nash could be brutal to behold.

  • 32 Paul // Aug 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

    The most insane thing about the upcoming season is not so much that the Suns might be unwatchable for the first time in years…

    …but that I’m seriously considering league pass for the first time to watch all laker games to see Nash go to work with such a potent lineup. IMO, the lakers will have the best mix of quality weapons he’s ever had at his disposal and it should be a thing of beauty to watch.

    It’s hard to maintain my hatred of the lakers with Nash on their team.

  • 33 Scott // Aug 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @Paul -

    League Pass is good, but you may find you’ve been spoiled by the excellent Phoenix broadcast teams.

  • 34 Hayden // Aug 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    14th would be a pretty good place. Bottom out, get a high draft pick. Attempt a rebuild. Only problem is it’s a weak draft next year. Misery and woe.

  • 35 Phoenix Suns believe they can ‘surprise a lot of teams’ // Oct 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    [...] ESPN Summer Forecast taking into account the opinion of 100 ESPN-affiliated voters tabbed the Suns to finish 14th in the [...]

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