The Phoenix Suns will likely rank among the bottom two teams in every preseason prognostication of the Western Conference, with the majority likely to rank the Suns dead last.
The surprise to me in the ESPN Summer Forecast ranking of the West came from the fact that the Suns bottomed out with a gruesome projected record of 22-60, eight games below No. 14 Sacramento and 10 behind No. 13 Utah. If the Suns lose 60 games, they would finish three games behind the 2012-13 Suns as well. Considering the large number of voters in this poll, that means an awful lot of people think the Suns will be putrid this season with only Philadelphia earning fewer projected wins.
As somebody who feels strongly about how winning the draft lottery could change the fortunes of this franchise, I don’t think this would be the worst outcome in the world. As commenter @FatHunty wrote: “Give Dragic and Bledsoe a year to work out their roles together and then draft Wiggins? Future looks bright in Phoenix.”
Yet with the additions of two potential impact rookies in Goodwin and Len, a talent like Bledsoe and a new organizational culture that Jeff Hornacek started cultivating in Summer League, I do not see the Suns being that far behind Utah and Sacramento.
One mitigating factor is the fact that the West is so good from 1-12 and so elite from 1-6 that the Suns could “improve” on the court but not have it show up in the win column. That would seem to be a best-case scenario to me as it would allow an organization that hit rock bottom last season to start taking positive steps while still being in a choice position come lottery day.
Tags: ESPN Summer Forecast