The Suns and their All-Weird team status

After a pretty wacky trade deadline in February, the 2013 offseason likewise trended differently under the relatively new collective bargaining agreement. With teams strapped with only one or two players on max or near-max contracts, they are either going full-speed ahead or tanking – there’s little in between.

Both modes led to questionable, if not interesting, player movement. There are some weird rosters, and CBS Sports’ Matt Moore pinned down the weirdest. The New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers joined the Phoenix Suns on Moore’s All-Weird team list for 2013-14 and unsurprisingly, the Suns are billed as the worst off of those four clubs.

The Suns are like a meteor shower. Not pulled into any gravitational rotation, just speeding through the NBA universe on their way to the 2014 draft. But they sure are bizarrely interesting, and that’s before you bring up Michael Beasley.

Why is this Suns team so awfully weird?

Michael Schwartz and Ryan Weisert talked about this in our last VotS podcast. This team will probably win a few more games than last year, though it’s hard to see them winning too many. But the entertainment value of the new-look Suns will increase considerably.

Since making a depth chart based on reason is still pretty difficult, we might as well rework the lineups based on some themes.

The All-Dunk team

Ryan McDonough’s two major offseason trades alone turned Phoenix from a plodding team into one that could throw out one of the more athletic lineups in the league. Last season, Goran Dragic was barreling into defenders on one-man fastbreaks and hurting himself via hard falls in the process. Now he could actually find fellow Suns running with him. And if we’re being real about this, Dragic might not even make the All-Athletic team. There have been jokes thrown about the web about the Suns’ layup line being more entertaining than the game-time product, and here’s why.

PG – Eric Bledsoe
SG – Shannon Brown
SF – Gerald Green
PF – Markieff Morris
C – Miles Plumlee

The All-Veteran team

The weird thing about the Suns is that they still have a few too many veterans than a tanking team should. Last year, the Suns’ average age was 26.9 years old, which was only 19th-youngest in the NBA. Taking Luis Scola and Jermaine O’Neal out of the picture helps, and doing so last season made the Suns in the top-7 of the NBA’s youngest teams by average age.

This year’s team has an average age of 25.1 years old not including draft-day acquisition Malcolm Lee or un-signed second-round pick Alex Oriakhi. Phoenix can still put out an relatively grizzled lineup, though Caron Butler is the oldest Sun at just 33 years old.

PG – Goran Dragic (27)
SG – P.J. Tucker (28)
SF – Caron Butler (33)
PF – Channing Frye (30)
C – Marcin Gortat (29)

The All-Future team

Who’s going to be the core group down the road? We know Archie Goodwin and Alex Len will be in the mix. Eric Bledsoe is an intriguing piece that Phoenix must try out this year; that will help them determine if it’s worth keeping Dragic around even though he’s entering his prime. Kendall Marshall is the odd man out, but the Morris twins did themselves some good this summer in proving they can develop into, at worst, a solid duo of second-string players.

PG – Eric Bledsoe
SG – Archie Goodwin
SF – Marcus Morris
PF – Markieff Morris
C – Alex Len

The All-Small team

Since this season will probably be a throwaway as part of the #TankForWiggins campaign, there’s no reason not to try some new things. The athletes on the roster could make for one of the fastest end-to-end teams in the NBA. This might become a completely reasonable lineup for coach Jeff Hornacek if he really wants to run – it should be noted that I’d tag Archie Goodwin in there at small forward if I could, but Green’s transition ability ain’t too shabby and Goodwin’s strength at this point has no shot defensively against small forwards.

PG – Goran Dragic
SG – Eric Bledsoe
SF – Gerald Green
PF – P.J. Tucker
C – Markieff Morris

The All-Big team

Just because we have an All-Small team …

PG – Archie Goodwin
SG – Gerald Green
SF – Michael Beasley
PF – Marcin Gortat
C – Alex Len

The All-Castaway team

The Suns’ future is uncertain, but it’s likely we know who the new front office will keep and who’s either heavily on the trading block or really just biding their time on a pretty bad team. The names are pretty obvious if you’ve watched the Suns – probably even if you haven’t.

PG – Kendall Marshall
SG – Malcolm Lee
SF – Caron Butler
PF – Michael Beasley
C – Marcin Gortat

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