The Phoenix Suns didn’t add any long-term assets in free agency, but there are other, smarter ways they can go about adding pieces for the future.
The Suns disappointed a lot of people in free agency. While they added Trevor Ariza on a one year deal, they didn’t bring in anyone who will be with the team long-term. And now that free agency has come to a lull, it seems unlikely the team will sign another significant piece before the start of the regular season.
Fortunately, there are avenues other than free agency and trades that can help a team accumulate assets. And a big one is going on right now. The Suns should be doing intense scouting around the Summer League to find a player to take a chance on.
Summer rosters are often filled with raw prospects who have low probabilities of becoming quality NBA players. A lot of them are undrafted and won’t make a roster regardless of how well they play. That type of player is who the Suns should be looking at.
A longshot from the Summer League would get a small, team-friendly contract. And if he doesn’t pan out, the Phoenix Suns can replace him with another potential contributor by taking advantage of ten day contracts. There are G-League players readily available to be signed, and there are plenty of success stories to inspire confidence in that process.
By the end of the season, the Suns can bring in five to ten young players who fit whatever style of play they hope to add to the team. With careful scouting, the odds are pretty high they can find at least one sleeper prospect good enough to fit with the team going forward. And best of all, they would be signed to a contract that doesn’t affect the Suns’ ability to pursue free agents going forward.
The Phoenix Suns were smart to not commit to any free agents long-term, but they should still be trying to add assets. They just need to look in a different place.