It’s January 7th and with three writers on staff, I decided to start the year off right and resurrected the Weekly Writers Roundup so we can do a roundtable, discussing timely Suns topics in a more casual forum.
Let’s get into it!
1. What do you think of the Suns signing former Sun Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract?
Lorenzo: The signing of Barbosa will help the team fill the void with Bledsoe out for a week or so. Because of Goodwin’s lack of experience this signing was something that was expected; the team hopes that Barbosa can show some of the spark he showed while playing with Boston last year where he was averaging a little over five points per game before he tore his ACL.
He was also a big fan favorite and now could prove to be a valuable veteran presence if he’s retained for longer than ten days. If all goes well, I would be surprised not to see him retained for the season. If things don’t work, then it was only 10 days and no harm done. Really, it’s a question of why not? I think this was a good move for the Suns.
Troy: I think it’s a decent move. He’s a solid guard with good speed and quickness, so he may turn out to be a decent fit for a fast-paced squad. If nothing else, he’s a fine stopgap while Eric Bledsoe heals.
Eric: Leandro “the Brazilian Blur” Barbosa will be perfect fit in the Suns offense, and will be an upgrade at the third guard position. I see the Suns keeping Barbosa through the season.
2. Should Archie Goodwin be sent to the D-League to get more playing time?
Lorenzo: I believe that Goodwin can be a solid contributor to the Suns roster with more experience and playing time so I think moving him to the D-League for a short span might help him and the team in the future. He still has issues with turnovers and the D-League might be the perfect place for the moment for him to work out some of the areas of opportunity.
Troy: Definitely yes if Barbosa sticks around, because Archie Goodwin has too much potential to sit on a bench and not improve. He’s got talent, but he needs to develop key elements of his game. It’s better for him to do that in the D-League than in very limited minutes on an NBA bench.
If not, I think Goodwin should stay unless the Suns make rotational changes. Ish Smith has only gotten significant time due to injury, so unless they want him as the reserve guard, Goodwin is really the only other option. If they are prepared to trust Smith with a bigger role, send Goodwin down. If not, keep him.
Eric: I think, regardless of Barbosa’s impact, the Suns should send Goodwin to the D-League for a bit. He’s only 19 and pretty raw overall. He will be greatly helped by competing on a smaller stage, with significantly more minutes, with himself as the offensive focus. It will greatly help his development.
3. How well do you think the Suns will do on their long road-trip?
Lorenzo: The Suns are 8-7 on the road this season and are headed for arguably the toughest road trip of the season with some back-to-back games. The trip includes stops in Chicago, Minnesota, Memphis, Detroit and New York. Those teams are a combined 36-48 at home with only Chicago and Minnesota sporting winning records. I expect them to win four out of the five road games and come home to face the Lakers with a 24-13 record. The two back-to-back games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, Saturday will be big tests for the Suns.
Troy: The Suns should do pretty well. The Suns will of course be without the services of Bledsoe, which will be significant. They are 4-4 in games without him. The Suns also have a lot of games in short time, and will have to push themselves to stay the course.
Still, all of their opponents are under .500, and the Suns can still run teams out of the building without Bledsoe. If the Suns continue to play the way they have been, and if everyone picks up a little to compensate for Bledsoe’s absence, the Suns should fare well. I’d bet they go 3-2 on the road trip.
Eric: Despite Phoenix playing the next five games on the road, the Suns could potentially win all of the matchups since they are all against sub-.500 teams. Though, since they’re all on the road and in six days, the Suns probably will drop one of the second games of the back-to-backs. Therefore they’ll finish 4-1 on the road-trip.