It’s time for the Phoenix Suns to embrace the tank

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns are already better than last season, but they’re realistically still a bottom feeder in the West. It’s time to embrace the tank.

The Phoenix Suns are much better than they were last year. And that’s great! The team truly is making progress, and Deandre Ayton looks like he’ll be a great player in this league for a long time. However, there’s no chance this team makes the playoffs, and it’s time to accept that.

Let me be clear, though. Tanking absolutely does not mean not trying. The players on the court need to bring their best effort every night to get better, and one can only hope the Phoenix Suns finally have a coach that can motivate them to keep playing hard with the addition of Igor Kokoskov.

Even Kokoskov himself shouldn’t be sabotaging the team when they’re playing well by pulling hot players at the end of games. Players should be rewarded with the chance to win the game when they play well. That’s how a bad team can keep a positive and winning mentality.

But when it comes to regular rotations, front office decisions, and fan outlook, the Phoenix Suns should be embracing another tank 100 percent. Not only is it the best option in the long term, it’s probably the most enjoyable option for the time being as well. Because this team isn’t ready to win yet. And there’s no quick and easy solution.

Josh Jackson should be starting. Ryan Anderson should not. Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, and De’Anthony Melton should all be getting regular minutes. Isaiah Canaan, Jamal Crawford, and Tyson Chandler should not. It’s time to embrace youth.

Maybe the young guys won’t be good enough, but maybe they will. The only way to find out how good they can be is to play them. And the only way for them to improve is to get consistent, meaningful minutes. Besides, just because a player is a veteran doesn’t mean he has a high basketball IQ or strong work ethic; just ask Crawford’s shot selection and defensive awareness and Chandler’s effort.

The front office should also embrace acquiring assets. Don’t trade for a short term fix at point guard. It really doesn’t matter. Try the rookies or even Devin Booker. Trade Ariza for a pick at the deadline. Don’t give up future picks. Instead, collect them to trade for a star when the team is actually ready to win.

Next. The Phoenix Suns are letting us down once again. dark

And for fans, don’t stress about all the inevitable losses and just look at Duke’s roster. Any of those guys would look really nice of the Phoenix Suns, as would many of the other top prospects in the draft. The team is already improved, and they’re going to win more games this year. So celebrate the wins and improvement, understand the losses and future, and embrace the tank.