An Open Letter to the Phoenix Suns – From a Fan

Sep 26, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (left), guard Tyler Ulis (center) and forward Marquese Chriss pose for a portrait during media day at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (left), guard Tyler Ulis (center) and forward Marquese Chriss pose for a portrait during media day at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Dear members and employees of the Phoenix Suns’ front office,

I have been a fan since I was 8 years old, and from that day on, I have bled purple and orange. I watched them re-sign Steve Nash to usher in what would become the 7 Seconds or Less era. When Joe Johnson went down and we lost to the Mavericks, I cried in frustration. I watched Robert Horry clothesline Steve Nash, and I had never felt angrier in my life. I watched Shaq dive into the stands and laughed so hard. The day that Amare Stoudemire left for the Knicks in free agency, I remember feeling so helpless, so empty. I remember the battles with Kobe’s Lakers, Duncan’s Spurs, and Nowitzki’s Mavericks.

And I also remember the dark days. I cringe at the names of Josh Childress, Michael Beasley, and Hedo Turkoglu. Year after year of missing the playoffs, of losing, of feeling like the franchise lost all direction. I have been a fan through it all. Because I’m a younger guy, I missed the Suns’ championship series against MJ’s Bulls. I missed watching many of the Suns greats and can only look back on the internet for a glimpse at what it would be like to be a Suns fan before I was.

The direction of this team is incredibly encouraging. It is obvious to most fans here, and in nearly every other city in the country, that the Golden State Warriors are going to win the next three to fice NBA Championships. They have too much talent, too much versatility, and their best four players are about to all be locked into long-term deals.

For the Suns, we just dusted off our shoes from another dismal season. We tanked for a top pick and still didn’t get it. We have several young talented players on the roster that we think could be really special. Yet weirdly enough, it’s still an exciting time for Suns fans when they think of this team three years down the road.

This offseason has already been a whirlwind of trade rumors, draft rumors, and actual crazy trades. What’s been the most interesting thing though is that the Suns have been a part of darn near every rumor out there right now. As a life-long fan, despite my life not being super long yet, I am begging you:

Please, please, please stay the course.

The most prominent rumor has been the Suns targeting Paul Millsap, first as an outright free agent, but now as a pickup through a sign and trade. Millsap is an All-Star level talent, there’s no mistaking that. However, he’s on the wrong side of 30-years-old. By the time a max contract of his would be up, he’d be around 37 years old. The Suns don’t need a player that age on the team, especially not for that much money. Furthermore, he would stunt the growth of both Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.

The next rumor worth noting is the Suns having trade talks with the Knicks about Kristaps Porzingis. Now this is a rumor I can get behind, one I actually implore Phoenix to make happen at almost any cost. The key word there is almost. A trade proposal from Phil Jackson was floated that he wanted both Devin Booker AND the fourth pick in the draft for KP. Devin Booker is basically untouchable at this point, and while the fourth pick is certainly an asset the Suns could use to get Porzingis, pairing it with Booker for only one player back is a horrible idea. The Suns need to get this deal done, with basically anyone but Booker, and arguably Chriss, being off the table.

Another whispering on Twitter recently was that the Clippers had contacted Phoenix about trading DeAndre Jordan for the number four pick and Tyson Chandler. This trade is conflicting for me personally. The number four shouldn’t be involved in this deal. However, trading Chandler and Miami’s protected first rounder next year for Jordan is a trade I could be happy with. Jordan is about to enter the last year of his deal, and he would bring some excitement to Phoenix, not to mention, much-needed defense. We wouldn’t have to re-sign him unless we wanted to. Plus, we’d dump Chandler’s contract and a pick not guaranteed to be all that good, in return for an All-Star caliber center on the last year of his deal. I’m not in favor of giving up any of our truly valuable assets, but Chandler and the Miami pick are two pieces I’m more than happy to move, even for just a “rental” player.

The last idea that’s been floated around lately has been the signing of Blake Griffin. I am still torn on this idea as well. Griffin mentioned Phoenix as one of his favorite NBA cities, and the speculation went wild from there. He is right in the prime of his career, nearing the start of the downslide perhaps. He has struggled with injuries a lot recently. When healthy though, he is a top five power forward in the league. Blake can handle the ball, he can rebound, he’s a solid defender, and offensively he can put up 20 points a night with little problem. People know him for his dunks, and frankly it would be awesome to have that kind of excitement back on the Suns – athleticism and power we’ve missed since the departure of Amare. However, Blake still doesn’t fit with the Suns rebuilding timeline, same as Millsap or Jordan.

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In short, I am asking you, front office of the Phoenix Suns, to cool down.

Don’t see a big name and let it fool you. Don’t try to accelerate the timeline, again. The fans here just want to see the next great Phoenix Suns team. Adding teo or even three older stars by sacrificing our future is the opposite of what we as fans want. We want a winning team, absolutely, but we want a team that can get back to the heights it once stood. We want deep playoff runs with the hope of Finals appearances, not first or second round exits.

No one can get past the Warriors right now. And even if we could, we couldn’t get past the Cavaliers in the East. Let the rebuild take it’s course. The only players you should be trading are big contracts, and the only players you should be trading for are young star-potential players or expiring contracts. It is not the time to go crazy.

So, again, please, please, please…

Draft the best player available at number four. If no better deal arises, take us into next season with a young, talented core fully intact.


A lifelong, die-hard fan