Nov 16, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats power forward Anthony Tolliver (43) looks to pass the ball while Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) defends during the second half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Miami defeated Charlotte 97-81. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Suns Mailbag: Why the lack of frontcourt upgrades?

Welcome Suns fans to a new weekly feature at Valley of the Suns. Every Friday, I will answer reader questions from the week in a mailbag form. You can leave your questions for next week in the comments section below in this post or you can look for a Tuesday post that will ask for your questions. Great questions from everyone this week and we appreciate all the reader interaction.

Czolotor: I would like to know why the Suns are not upgrading their power forward and center positions. Surely the Suns know that they are very thin in this area. One injury to either Plumlee or Len and I think the Suns will not make the playoffs. I realize that the draft next year has some really good players in those positions, but shouldn’t the Suns be trying to upgrade now.

Thanks for hearing me out. I am really going to enjoy this new section.

Anytime, we appreciate the question, Czolotor.

The Suns didn’t upgrade the center position this offseason because they think the talent they have (Len and Plumlee) will improve  from last season. Both Len and Plumlee have yet to reach their offensive ceiling and the Suns are banking on them to get better. In my opinion, I think both players will dramatically improve this year. Len showed flashes in his limited minutes last year and he has added muscle to his frame this offseason. I am very interested to see if he can start making that next step.

As for the power forward spot, I agree it is a little light in depth with only Markieff Morris and Anthony Tolliver. Don’t forget though that the Suns can play Warren at the four in certain small ball lineups, which does give them options at the spot. Also remember that the Suns still have a bank of draft picks and can make a move if they are in a position to win now and have a weakness on the team come the trade deadline.

DBreezy: Do you see this as a make it or break it season in terms of the Bledsoe/Goran backcourt if they don’t show that they’re a playoff squad with upside?

I am not sure I would classify it as “make or break”. The Bledsoe/Dragic backcourt only played 38 games together last year due to injuries and the team was 25-13 in those games. Over 82 games that pace is good for 52 wins, which would have gotten them into the playoffs. They are one of the better backcourts in the league and if they can stay healthy then this  no doubt a playoff team.

Zeke: Is there a chance Eric Bledsoe and the Suns repair their rumored damaged relationship?

In the words of Mary Swanson, the chances seem to be about one in a million. But there is still a chance! All honesty though, who really knows. If Bledsoe chooses to sign the qualifying offer he very well could be traded. I don’t think you can have a disgruntled Bledsoe play out the year in Phoenix on that contract for chemistry issues. From the outside it seems like a pretty mucky situation. Rumor has it that they still are not even negotiating, which could make the process play out well into September.

Jbay38: Who do you think will be rookie of the year? Does warren have a shot?

The Rookie of the Year is without a doubt going to Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker. In my opinion, he is the best player in this draft and if the Bucks can even get to 30 wins he will be viewed as a savior. As for Warren, it will be tough for him to get into the mix for ROY, but that doesn’t mean he will not contribute this year. There is a lot of depth at the 2 and 3 spot in the Suns lineup, which will make rotation minutes somewhat limited for Warren. I expect Warren to have a very solid rookie season, but it won’t be enough to win Rookie of the Year.


It is easy to say that the law of averages will come into play and reward the Suns with a championship, especially being one of the winningest franchises in all of sports without a title. But when you think like that you get that Chicago Cub fans who will tell you otherwise.

Luka: Why does Robert Sarver have to own the Suns?

You know, Robert Sarver has quietly turned into a very competent owner. Everybody wants to bash him for letting Joe Johnson go, trading Steve Nash and not resigning Amare Stoudemire. Well, two of those three moves actually worked out for the better, especially if the Suns get a lottery pick from the Lakers next season (pick is top-5 protected).

Sarver was also responsible for bringing Goran Dragic back to Phoenix. The old regime of Lance Blanks wanted to sign Raymond Felton over Dragic, but as the story goes, Sarver struck up a deal to bring the point guard back to Phoenix inside the US Airways paring garage. Can you imagine if Felton was the point guard that came here instead of Dragic?

Yes, there are moves fans haven’t liked, but more often than not Sarver has made the right move. You don’t make the Western Conference Finals three times in six years otherwise. I say it is time Suns fans start changing their viewpoint on Sarver and start appreciating that they have an owner that does care about winning and is doing what’s necessary to being a championship to Phoenix.

Sunsfanatic24: How much have the Suns deviated from the original “build from within” plan given the surprising success of the team last year?

Not much, if at all have the Suns deviated from their original plan and this offseason is a perfect example of that. They made no panic move after failing to land one of the stars that they coveted, which is a mistake many teams make these days. Instead, they made a strong value sign with Isaiah Thomas and brought in Anthony Tolliver on a low risk contract. They still have all of their cap room and have yet to trade a draft pick. The Eric Bledsoe has the potential for some plans to be changed, but right now everything has been status quo.

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