March 10, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry reacts during the second quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 98-91. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Long Road Ahead For Phoenix Suns

In the modern day era almost all NBA title contending teams consist of two superstars along with one or two all-star caliber players. The Suns have maybe only one all-star caliber player(If that) currently on their roster so it’s safe to say the Suns are a lot of talent away from being contenders. In order for the Suns to get back into contention a few things must happen.

Mar 18, 2012; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Kendall Marshall (5) dribbles in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Blue Jays 87-73 in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men

First the Suns would have to lucky in the draft which means they have to find a diamond in the rough, two the Suns would need one of their young players step up; yes Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson I’m looking at the two of you. Third the Suns have to score big on some trade opportunities, and finally the Suns have to dedicate a lot to player development.

So let’s start with the draft, also known as where stars are born. It’s almost mandatory the Suns draft well if they want to get back into contention. Now I’m not saying they have to score an all-star every draft like the San Antonio Spurs does but they do have to draft high quality players. The Suns did well in the 2011 and 2012 drafting Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall but with six first round picks in the next three seasons the draft is one of the areas where the Suns front office must put a lot of focus on.

Stepping up, a term used in sports for when players step up and rise above themselves and show the world what their capable of; Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson haven’t even come close to doing that. If one or better yet both of those guys step up and play like players that were drafted at their respective spots(2 and 4) the Suns will be that much closer to a title not to mention Beasley and Johnson’s careers will be back on track again.

Trades, this is probably the second biggest factor in the Suns path back to contention. Like the trade they made for Marcin Gortat, yeah the Suns need a couple more of those where they give up very less for more; in the Gortat case, a lot more.

Last but not least, player development. When the Suns drafted both Shawn Marion(1999) and Amar’e Stoudemire(2002) with the 9thpick in the NBA draft they dedicated a lot of time into nurturing those two guys and letting them grow into all-stars. The Suns then set themselves up as contenders by adding Steve Nash. So the Suns pretty much has to bust out that blue print once again, develop young players, and ice the cake by nabbing a big time free

Jan. 6, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward (12) LaMarcus Aldridge drives to the basket under pressure from Phoenix Suns forward (11) Markieff Morris and center (4) Marcin Gortat in the first half at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

agent come free agency.

Obviously not all of these things have to go right for the Suns to contend because the likelihood of it all going the Suns way is slim to none but at least a couple of those things has to happen for the Suns to compete against these star studded teams. It’s not insane to say that the Suns will be contenders three seasons from now but it’s also not insane to say they won’t be contenders for the next decade. The rebuilding process is a very delicate one. Take the Atlanta Hawks for example; they did a fine job rebuilding, adding Joe Johnson, drafting Al Horford and Josh Smith but during the 2005 draft when Atlanta passed on Chris Paul to take Marvin Williams is ultimately the choice that led them to where they are today. Get ready Suns fans this rebuilding roller coaster is going to be one bumpy ride, and there’s a long ways to go.

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