NBA Summer League: Suns lose to Warriors in title game


The Golden State Warriors used one of the cleanest Las Vegas Summer League games and some of the cleanest shooting by rookie Ian Clark to give Suns coach Jeff Hornacek his first loss on Monday. The Dubs turned the ball over just 12 times and Clark poured in 33 points and seven threes against a broken Phoenix defense to win 91-77 in the inaugural summer league tournament championship game.

Phoenix remained close throughout, but a run put on by Cameron Jones and capped by more fireworks from Clark did in the Suns down the stretch. The Warriors outscored the Suns 26-16 in the fourth quarter.

Archie Goodwin scored 16 first-half points but only had two more in the second to lead the Suns with 18, and Marcus Morris scored 17 points to go with six boards. The bench didn’t do much after a big showing in the semifinals game against the Heat, and overall the Suns doomed themselves with poor defensive rotations against a red-hot Clark combined with untimely turnovers and missed opportunities.

The Suns allowed the Warriors to hit 11-of-26 three-pointers, and they only went 5-of-17 themselves.

But through seven games, the Suns overall accomplished in Vegas what they’d set out to do.

Hornacek’s new staff showed the ability to teach the basic philosophies of a system. While there were up-and-down performances individually, Kendall Marshall and the Morris twins received more molding with a coaching staff likely set on nitpicking the simple parts of basketball.

The fact that the group of young veterans led by 28-year-old P.J. Tucker could parlay the culture and philosophies built this summer into the regular season. Their commitment to playing all the games when they could have called it a tournament said a lot as well. A precedent of winning was set, as was a solid glimpse of what Hornacek will teach his full roster once it’s assembled.

What questions were answered?

What would Hornacek’s offense look like?

Jeff Hornacek said the Suns would run, but this isn’t Mike D’Antoni’s offense necessarily.

Of course, the roster in the summer league is of a different identity than the one in the regular season. It’s become clear that Hornacek will play to his team’s strengths. The summer league roster didn’t have a great deal of success stretching the floor because of the personnel, and giving the Morris twins touches for midrange shots and post opportunities was frequent.

The Suns push the ball quickly, but the basic actions once in the halfcourt are lightening quick. Often, a simple post screen would set up an immediate entry pass at the high or even low post areas. There was little reason for point guards or otherwise to pound the ball on the wing before initiating the offense.

Ball movement looked solid for Phoenix as well. Denied passes led to quick re-routes of the ball, and swinging a la the San Antonio Spurs made the opponent defenses work hard. Add in the running, and it’s likely Hornacek uses a pretty good bench this season.

What could the defense look like?

It’s hard to say how defensive matchups will be moving forward. The summer league is for tinkering, and with a roster that’s constantly putting out different lineups, who knows what Hornacek’s staff will do come the regular season?

P.J. Tucker was clearly a favorite to hang onto his job as the Suns’ best perimeter defender. He guarded Kent Bazemore for most of Monday and held the standout shooting guard to 8-of-18 shooting on the day.

Both Markieff and Marcus Morris showed signs that they’ve figured out how to play with intensity as well. Though both were foul-happy throughout, their aggressiveness in getting into opponents’ chests was something that was lacking at times last season. Their technical foul problems were also a good sign that, at the least, they were engaged.

Would Kendall Marshall show any marked improvements?

The worst news for the Suns was Marshall’s performance. Indeed, he showed leadership qualities needed of a point guard. As a true floor general, he ran things decently enough and took care of the ball, but the former 13th overall pick from the 2012 draft also failed to provide hope he’d added anything new to his game.

It was known he’ll throw wickedly accurate passes. While his shot has flaws across the board, he has confidence now to at least take the open shots and occasionally attack. His size and strength appear improved, and he finished over taller players through contact.

But after that, there’s a lot of worry. Diante Garrett, with all his own holes in his game, legitimately pushed Marshall. Garrett started in place of Marshall in the second half on Monday after Marshall’s starting lineup lacked the speed and urgency that Hornacek was looking for. And Marshall also became a huge liability.

Clark refused to allow Marshall to face the bucket as a ballhandler, essentially negating Marshall’s use in the offense. He ripped him once, and teammate Cameron Jones began the Warriors’ fourth-quarter burst by blatantly going at Marshall multiple times and also burying a standing three over Marshall in a typical hand-down-man-down type of situation.

Monday’s loss was the epitome of Marshall’s career thus far. For all the good — not great — there’s more bad.

And 1

The Suns’ training camp destination is still being discussed, but Paul Coro reports it could very well end up back in Flagstaff.

The last time Phoenix held training camp up north was in 2004, the offseason that led into the Seven Seconds or Less era. If Hornacek wants to run, the conditioning in Flagstaff is hard to top and a good way to test out the legs and lungs of his team.

  • phxsunsfaninla

    Like goodwin but marshall not so much. He had a few nice passes but that was it.pjs shot looks improved too

  • bill.simmons

    Same ole Suns, another second half collapse….haha, just kidding! ;)

  • Thunder Dan

    They

  • Thunder Dan

    did good to even make the Finals. Just like myself, Chuck and Kevin did back in 92-93. Not even the SSOL era team managed to do that.

  • Scott

    I like the idea of training camp in Flagstaff. The purpose of camp is to work. Not only is Flagstaff at high altitude which is good for conditioning, but there’s not a lot else to do in town except to enjoy the cool weather, the pines, and to relax between practices.

    As for Marshall, he totally froze up in that last SL game … when he most needed to get hot. If he doesn’t have some sort of religious experience between now and training camp, I don’t hold much hope of him ever being a competitor in the NBA.

    I hope all the junior Suns continue with their shooting practice. As that game against GS showed, you can never have too many shooters. The Suns need “more better” shooting from all spots.

  • Lon Babby

    What an exciting Summer League we had. To be competing in a finals game is a testament to the hard work and dedication we strive for everyday. I just want to thank Jeff for putting in the extra hours and to the players who participated. We realize we still have work to do, but we feel extremely confident in the progression that is being made already.

    Re-Building a team is a lot like stacking a sandwich. You have to take the time to open the bread, get all the condiments prepared, start placing toppings. But, one you complete building your meal you have the satisfaction of eating it. That’s what we are doing now. Building for the future so then we can collectively feast on the success. Thanks everyone.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Insane how guys like Ian Clark get through the Draft unnoticed. It’s just another example that you don’t have to tank in order to draft talent. All you need is good scouts.
    Obviously that’s something Phoenix does not have. Picking Marhsall? Yeah, well played. I really could forgive him any mistakes he makes, but when I see him on the court I’m under the impression that he simply doesn’t care. Picking Len? Sure, get an injured guy who will miss out most of his games and has a ceiling below that of Gortat, your starting center. Just another wasted pick.
    I don’t see any positives for the Suns going into the next season and surely I won’t share the hype about this possible 2nd unit. The Morris twins may be okay for SL, but they are no NBA material. They foul way too much which will even increase in the NBA. So they will sit on the bench or play softer.
    P.J. Tucker – come on, this is the guy you put your hopes on? Okay, so he plays with effort. Kudos for that. But there is a certain lever that he can’t reach, because he is not talented enough. But at least he is a fighter and I like his attitude a lot.
    Goodwin might become a good role player, but he seems pretty inconsistent. Then again, he is a young player and problably needs some time.

    What about the first unit then?
    Well, Dragic and Bledsoe are good players for sure, but I don’t know how they will fit together as they are basically both PGs. It could turn out well though.
    Butler is old and coud be a solid role player, not more.
    I like Scola a lot, but he is not that young or athletic, he’s also not the best rebounder. I don’t know how this should fit to Hornacek’s “rebound and play fast” system.
    And Gortat who can be a dominant center, but has some motivation issues. It’s the last year of his contract so he should play like there was no tomorrow, but you never know whether he can fix his mental problems. Him and Dragic also don’t play well together, because Dragic doesn’t really do the PnR thing. Maybe the presence of Bledsoe helps Gortat, we will see.

    All in all you have 3 solid players on your roster (Dragic, Bledsoe and Gortat), 2 guys who once were good, but are pretty old now (Scola and Butler) and 1 guy with big potential (Goodwin).
    Also this team has almost no experience. Okay, Brown is a 2x NBA champion (but I don’t think he’ll be an important part of the roster) and Butler is the 2011 NBA champion (but he didn’t play a single game in these playoffs). Gortat played in the NBA finals once and several times in the playoffs always being the backup of D12. And that’s it. Who’s the leader of this team?

    P.S. I miss Steve Nash…

  • Azbballfan

    I dont think Len will be a bust at all

    Marshall struggles alot and he doesnt seem to be a part of the future

    but most of this roster as it is right now was brought in by people who no longer have jobs in the NBA

    McMiracle came in and fired nearly all the scouts and hired his own

    we have to wait and see with Len

    the odds of a top 5 pick being a total bust are pretty low

    those players are typically scouted to death too which makes their bust potential more likely

    nerlens noel has way more potential to be a bust than Len does

    very limited offensive game, coming off two ACL tears in the same knee, supposedly has an attitude problem

    McMiracle raved about Lens qualities in a interview i heard on i think KTAR

    Len is coming off a comparatively minor injury, has a much more advanced offensive game, and everyone i saw that was a GM or scout type for the Suns said he was a great kid

    you have any evidence that len will be a bust?

  • Azbballfan

    oops i meant to say that players in the top 5 are scouted to death, which means that they are less likely to bust….otherwise of course,why would they picked that high?

  • Azbballfan

    one other thing

    Len is recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in one, maybe even both ankles

    Its hard to tell if its one or two becuase i have read articles that say one ankle and others that say both

    but in any case, Len has said he will be ready for training camp

    so if thats the case how is he going to miss most of the games in his rookie year?

    secondly, Gortat is a rental in the last year of his contract

    i cant really see a situation where Gortat signs an extension unless its a sign-and-trade scenario

    Len is the best center prospect we have drafted since Alvin Adams and i will continue to feel that way until he rpoves otherwise

  • john

    Had McLemore and Noel been gone at 5, I don’t think anyone would really be ragging on the Suns’ pick. If they had taken Len over Zeller and Bennett, for instance, I doubt anyone would care.

    Point being, no one thought Len was a bad pick or unworthy of the top 5, they simply thought Noel and/or McLemore were *better* options.

    Btw, if you gave me the option of McLemore at 5 or Goodwin at 29, I’d take Goodwin all day every day. Heck, if you gave me the option of either one at the same pick, I might take Goodwin.

    And Noel? Is he more Mutombo or Biyombo? From the little bit that I’ve seen, I’d lean toward the latter.

    I’m not convinced Len will pan out. But I also can’t definitively say they should have made a different pick.

  • Azbballfan

    i agree

    i really like Biyombo but his game is very limited offensively

    he rebounds well, blocks shots, is getting better at being a help defender

    people like him have value in this league

    Mclemore could be very good, he played well in SL

    but Goodwin could be just as productive

    I wish Marshall did better in SL, but oh well

    he is what he is, and with the competition we have going on at the back up point, its not like he is really going to play all that much this year unless something radically changes

  • Foreveris2long

    Other than getting sick every time I see Marshall in a Suns uniform knowing the Suns could have drafted Henson who played on the same team as Marshall, it was a great summer. Goodwin got quality time and gave me optimism that his work ethic is going to make him a really good player. In fact I cannot wait until next summer when we have Goodwin, hopefully a healthy Len and another lottery pick.

    Morris twins will likely be lifetime reserves so I am not overly concerned about them. They are just not good defenders. Between now and next summer we need a really good small forward and a power forward. I liked Len from day one and I have not seen anything to make think otherwise. I was never that excited about drafting Noel with 2 knee surgeries on the same knee and Goodwin may be as good if not better than McLemore.

    It was a good summer.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    The Prince banged The Duchess
    hoped to make a Gem
    the most awaited birth
    since that kid from Bethlehem

    GO SUNS !!

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    Azbballfan, to answer your question, Len has had surgery on both ankles with the second being very, very precautionary. It really shouldn’t set him back any more than the previous surgery would have.

    -Foreveris2long, yep. Morris twins might be reserves but we’ll see if they get better. Very interested in the forward positions and who will stand out between Morris, Scola, Frye, and Morris, Beasley, Tucker, Butler

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Gary Neal from the SA Spurs is available. Suns should get him. What do you think?

  • Scott

    @Sillmarillion -

    The Suns already have a full roster of players under contract.

  • Azbballfan

    Sure, just…….where does he get minutes since we are stacked at SG and PG and SF?

  • frenchysunsfan

    @ Silmarillion:

    Neal would be good for the Suns but they’ll have to trade Brown.

    Concerning what questions were answered about the roster, the first thing I would say is that Marshall must be traded, he’s not good enough to play in the NBA but we already knew that but this is no big deal, we have Dragic and Bledsoe to play at PG.
    My biggest concern is about the PF spot. Markieff Morris will not shoot over 40%, he’s a weak rebounder (he might improve but has a lot of work) and he can’t defend. Scola is getting old, he’s the best PF we have by far while he would be a back-up in any other team. I hope Frye will be healthy and will play the way he did in 2009-10. No comment about Beasley, I don’t want to write rude words. Millsap and Hickson were available, why didn’t we sign one of them ? For the moment, we have the worst team inside of all the NBA. Gortat is good but I don’t see re-signing for the Suns. Len is good but has health problems.
    The good news are about Goodwin, Tucker and Marcus Morris. Goodwin is tough, athletic and he doesn’t have such a bad shoot as insiders said.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    That’s what I’m asking. Some trades, releases, waives, whatever. You guys are the experts concerning the rules and legal possibilities, I’m just throwing this topic up.
    Also, we have 4 PGs (Dragic, Bledsoe, Marshall and Goodwin?), but no other SG than Brown. And I would rather see Gary Neal than Shannon Brown on the roster to be honest.

    P.S. Wikipedia even lists 16 players as current roster, but 15 is the limit (it is, right?). This list includes Frye, Lee and Oriakhi though. I have no idea about Frye’s health, but I’m not sure that he will ever return to basketball. Lee isn’t really needed and where the hell should there be minutes for Oriakhi with such a crowded frontcourt?

  • frenchysunsfan

    Tucker is not the most talented player in the league but but he can defend. Marcus Morris will be a good back-up to Butler, he’s improved offensively, I hope he’ll keep working his defense.

  • frenchysunsfan

    @ Silmarillion: Oriakhi did not sign anything, the Suns have the rights for him so he can’t sign with another NBA team except if they trade the rights.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      That is correct. I would not be surprised if he doesn’t make the roster.

  • Scott

    While it would be good to get some trades going to improve the roster, I’m sure McD has been busy trying to get something done and there must be no good trades out there at the moment.

    I suppose what we’re waiting for is a situation or two midseason where a team has an injury or makes a trade that leaves their roster unbalanced. For example, If Kendrick Perkins has more knee trouble during the season, maybe that would push OKC into making a good trade with the Suns. Or maybe some contending team will have their main PF go gimpy, and end up trading a young quality asset of theirs for the semi-expiring contract of Scola.

    Or maybe a GM will become delirious and trade, say, Cody Zeller and Jeff Taylor for Marshall plus the Morris twins. ;)

    As for trimming the roster down to 14, the logical man out would be Lee. But he does have a valid contract for the season, so he’d have to be bought out. At this point, I’m not sure it benefits the Suns to spend that $1 million on the buyout, and then go out and pick up a free agent on a small contract, especially when there’s not a lot of court time to go around for the existing players.

  • Kendall Marshall

    I’m eating pancakes at IHOP. I earned it after dominating summer league!

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    @ Kendall Marshall

    IHOP is reporting that you not only dropped your pancakes but spilled a bottle of maple syrup in a horrible rash of turnovers.
    ps….don’t forget to tip the waitress.

  • Azbballfan

    Yeah Oriakhi probably wont make the team

    he barely played in summer league, not a good sign when you just got drafted

    i know the Suns staff keeping saying “Goodwin is a PG!”

    but really i think he is a combo guard, and should be able to start at that position or come off the bench in a Leandro Barbosa role especially if we end up moving dragic or bledsoe sometime down the road

    it never hurts to have firepower coming off the bench

    kinda surprised we havent heard any trade rumors reguarding scola yet

    we have too many power forwards as it is

    Scola

    Beasley

    Both Morris Twins

    Frye

    Onuaku or Oriakhi if one of the two make it?

    Gortat can be a 4 if we wanted to go big with him at the 4 and Len at the 5 (eventually of course)

    Suns gotta move some people before the start of the season

    the ESPN Trade Machine

    will do a Scola and Beasley to Cleveland for Alonzo Gee deal

    i would take that

    the Suns last season were rumored to like him

    we ship beas and scola to a better team than us, and we get salary cap space in return because we only getting one contract back

    Gee is really athletic and could start at the 3 if we needed him too

  • john

    @azbballfan

    I agree about Goodwin being a combo guard. I would even lean more toward off guard. I know he likes to think of himself as a PG, but I just don’t see that in him (in a good way).

    Regarding the PF situation, Scola seems a likely candidate to be out of a Suns uni by midseason. I don’t think he’s enjoying PHX, and I don’t think PHX wants to keep him in a situation where he isn’t happy. I haven’t heard any updates regarding Frye’s situation, which I would take as a sign that he has not been cleared. Marcus is most definitely not a PF. He might have the size to play a small PF, but his game wouldn’t allow it. And Beasley could either sit on the end of the bench all year or play every minute depending on whether the Suns want to try to compete or if they want to lose every game.

  • Ty-Sun

    Hey, if the Suns really want to tank this season then they should start Marshall, Brown, Beasley, Morris and bring back Luke Zeller to start at C. Neither Morris is really that bad but with Brown and Beasley on the court at the same time I would predict that they would take at least 90% of the shots so who starts at the 4 wouldn’t matter.

    On a more serious note, I think Scola, Gortat and Butler stand a good chance of being traded by mid-season. And a few other players might be moved with them.

    Goodwin might one day turn into a good PG but I think he would always be an “attack first” type of PG like Westbrook instead of a distributor.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    Any idea of how Butler might be moved? His salary is a bit high.

  • Azbballfan

    I could see him being traded to Dallas for a pick

    other than that i would have to dig into the trade machine

  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – Butler is still a very good SF and he’s on an expiring contract. I believe that a contending team might want him for a half season rental if they need to plug a hole in their roster at the 3 due to an injury. The Suns might not get any good trade offers for him but I bet they will get some offers.

  • Ty-Sun

    Barring some sort of miracle breakout season by one of the Suns’ players, they will be lucky – VERY lucky – to finish this season with the 10th worst team record in the NBA. And that is if they don’t trade away Scola, Gortat and/or Butler between now and then. And if the Dragic/Bledsoe backcourt doesn’t work, I expect one of them to be traded too.

    I don’t think that the Suns are planning to “tank” this season but I do think that they are going to try to acquire the best players that they can – regardless of team needs – this year to prepare for the future. Other teams wanted Bledsoe but the Suns got him even though they really didn’t need him. If it doesn’t work out, the suns still get a good spot in next year’s draft and Bledsoe remains a good trade chip because he was playing on a bad team. No one considers him a franchise player so a mediocre season on a bad team won’t do too much to affect his trade value. Or Horny and McD might decide that Bledsoe is the future PG for the Suns and Dragic is expendable. He’s already proven himself and wouldn’t be hard to trade if the Suns decide to go in that direction (although I personally don’t want to see Dragic traded).

    Although the evidence is limited so far, I think that McD will only make trades that favor the Suns’ future. And if you read the free agent rumors, you’ve rarely heard the Suns mentioned in them. That is a good sign to me. It tells me that the Suns aren’t looking for a “quick fix” that will add a few short term wins but will stunt their future growth.

  • Luka

    I was watching the Jazz vs the Bulls 1998 NBA Finals last night. They featured game 5 where Malone dominated and the Jazz narrowly won.

    I seriously believe Jeff Hornacek should have Markieff watch that tape. Kieff should be in the weight room, and he should be bullying guys on the low block. Instead of shooting threes, learn to shoot an unstoppable mid range shot.

    Kieff’s got an opportunity to start on the Suns, and he’s quite frankly blowing it right now. He said he was like Rasheed Wallace when he was drafted. Put your money where your mouth is Kieff.

  • Scott

    If the Suns can’t make any trades, this season will be a looooong one.

    However, one plus is that if Bledsoe and Dragic do play together, it will be very high speed play, which should be high scoring and fun to watch. I don’t know if they will have any running partners, though, unless they play small. For fun, I envision a lineup of …

    PG: Bledsoe / Lee
    SG: Dragic / Brown
    SF: Goodwin / Tucker
    PF: Butler / Marcus
    C: Beasley / Markieff

    Heh. :)

    Another plus is that once the season is done, the Suns have Goodwin, Len, Dragic, Frye (if well), and Scola, possibly Bledsoe if he signs, 2 first round picks in 2014, and a clean slate. There’s no reason to keep Marshall, the twins, Tucker, or any of the other players … unless the Suns have spots they need to fill.

    And if trades do happen this season … I would not be shocked if the only players left from the current roster are Goodwin and Len.

  • frenchysunsfan

    Butler is a real starter at SF. I think we need good veterans to play with our young guys and Butler can be that type of player. His contract is too expensive for the moment but we may sign him for a contract like 12M over 3 years if he plays well this season.
    The biggest for Horny and McD will be to find a role for Beasley.
    Depending on what will happen next season, the Suns FO should choose between Butler and Beasley or the Morris twins. The twins are cheaper but I’m not sure that they’re talented as much as Butler and Beasley are.
    Wait and see.

  • Scott

    I like Butler too, but he’s had a lot of injuries, IIRC. I’d like to see him play for a while before thinking about signing him to a multi-year contract.

    I also don’t know how highly other teams still rate him. At age 33, he’s likely perceived as being on the wrong side of his career. His PER is only 12.50, which is on par with the Morris brothers and below the 13.14 PER of Shannon Brown.

    On the trade front, I’m looking at the Kings and Hornets (Cats) and wondering if maybe a 3-team trade (or two trades) could deal away the Morri and Marshall, and net McCallum and Zeller.

    The Kings very strangely have Landry, Hayes, Thompson, Patterson, and Mbah a Moute listed at PF, and Vasquez, Thomas, Fredette, and McCallum at PG. Probably the intention is to play Thompson and Hayes at C and Mbah a Moute at SF, but their signings do seem a bit weird, even so. And I’d assume they’re looking to drop Fredette.

    It’s possible to do a trade of the twins to SAC, Patterson, Thompson, Fredette, and Marshall to CHA, and Zeller and McCallum to PHX.

    I don’t know if all the teams would like this, but it would give salary relief to SAC (while improving position coverage), build a better roster for CHA (with only 1 long mid-range priced contract), and for Phoenix it would turn 3 of Blank’s players into 2 of Scott’s. ;)

  • Scott

    ^^ Let me amend that to add Brown to SAC, as they could use veteran backup at both guard spots without taking on a lot of contract.

    This would open up two roster spots for the Suns to absorb players in future trades.

    For example, the extra spot would allow the Suns to trade Gortat to OKC for Perkins, Adams, and Roberson. ;)

  • Ty-Sun

    Last year Butler only missed 4 games but did miss 19 the season before that. The 10-11 season with Dallas was actually the only season he didn’t play at least 70% of the games. I’m not sure how well he actually fit in with the Clips which could in part be the cause of his below average PER. He’s athletic and likes to drive to the rim which could have been difficult with Griffin and Jordan keeping the opposing teams D packed in the paint which would have mostly left him shooting from the outside (which probably makes Dudley a better fit at SF for the Clips). and playing D. But he’s not a bad 3-pt shooter (.339 career/.388 last season). If he says healthy this season (and I’m sure the Warlocks will find ways to help with that), I would bet that all of his stats will improve just because he’s now on a team that will rely on him to be more than a role player again.

  • Foreveris2long

    Luka,

    I agree with ya about Marquieff. He spends way too much time on the perimeter on offense instead of perfecting some low post moves. However the other problem I have with him is he still cannot defend without fouling.

  • DBreezy

    To me I guess it comes down to if the things we worry about are the same things that Horny and the front office are. There don’t seem to be any winning expectations being placed on this season as crystallized by McD’s process over results comment in SL.

    I tend to think they aren’t too worried about the rotation specifics at this point, just the process and not making any loser deals just to make deals. If the right deal doesn’t materialize for their vets, I tend to think that they’ll have no problem doing what other teams have done and strategically benching those vets in favor of who they wish to play. Outside of Gortat, I don’t think it would affect their trade values much. Gortat matters imo only because of the specifics of his contract situation.

    I’m interested in how Babby manages the cap going forward. He’s sort of the forgotten man this summer, but he’s very important going forward as he and his team are the ones that will be making key financial decisions. Imo Goodwin’s demeanor/maturity was the most impressive thing about his play in summer league. The talent is most definitely there, but it’s there with a lot of guys who were projected as high lottery picks but slipped. Many of those guys aren’t mature enough to get the growth in their games needed to reach their potential. So far that doesn’t look like the case with Archie.

    For planning purposes if I was Babby, I would view Archie as someone who I likely will have to pay substantial money to in 3 or 4 years. Until proven otherwise, I would expect the same for Len over the same timeframe. Add in the likelihood of getting a top 5 pick in a good looking draft and you could be looking at least 3 guys who will need to get paid over a short period. That requires long term planning to avoid what happened/is happening in OKC.

    I’m interested to see how Lon handles the Bledsoe situation. I don’t think you can give him Lawson type of money before he plays a game here and shows what he’s capable of as a starter. If he is willing to take something more reasonable, great as it will leave the Suns with excellent flexibility, otherwise wait it out.

  • Ty-Sun

    The Suns actually seem to be positioned well to manage salaries in the future. I like Goodwin but he’s still a long way away from proving that he will deserve BIG money when his rookie contract runs out. That goes for Len too. Bledsoe has two years left on his contract and the Suns won’t have to worry about offering him an extension until after this season.

    Babby certainly needs to plan for the possibility that the Suns will need to pay big money to some of the younger players eventually but, as I said, it already looks as though they are positioned pretty well to deal with that if it comes up. Just take a look at the Suns’ salaries page on this site if you don’t want to take my word for it and decide for yourself.

  • Scott

    Another trade I would suggest would be Nash to Toronto, Scola and Lowry to LA, and the NY 2016 first round pick to Phoenix.

  • Foreveris2long

    Ty-Sun, Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent next summer if the Suns do not sign him to a contract by I believe October 2013

  • DBreezy

    @Ty-Sun,

    I agree no one has proven that they deserve that money yet. However Babby’s job is to plan for that eventuality and how to be able to sustain success. If a few things fall their way, they could suddenly have the most financial planning to to do since Sarver first took over the team, but with a far more punitive luxury tax system.