SI said the Phoenix Suns should tank. No. They shouldn’t.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31: Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Devin Booker #1 after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31: Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Devin Booker #1 after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns have been in “tank mode” for far too long and finally appear to be on their way up. And yet one Sports Illustrated writer said the tank should continue.

If you are a Phoenix Suns fan, you are sick and tired of the losing.

With over 200 losses in the past four years, most of us could care less if there was another Michael Jordan projected to come through the NBA Draft in 2020, what we want now more than anything is to support a winner.

It appears finally too that Robert Sarver has hired the right people to end the losing, with James Jones being the primary architect, a general manager who actually filled the most pressing needs of point guard (Ricky Rubio) and power forward (Dario Saric); not to mention the drafting of players who actually spent time in college rather than full-on projects who may never to even develop.

And yet, one writer for Sports Illustrated online, added the Phoenix Suns to a list of five teams who he believes should continue tanking.

Oh, hell  no.

The problem too is that he didn’t actually make a definitive point as to why the Suns should  tank – it’s more of a nebulous idea, than a truly tangible reason the team intentionally lose.

First, he rightly and accurately points out that there are a lot of teams ahead of the Suns who are far more likely to make a run at the playoffs this season than Phoenix is.

This is fair, and likely  true, although not a certain, set in stone truth that one can make with absolution.

Just…Give them a few games before we start making such unemotional proclamations. You never  know.

He then mentions that he was considering replacing the Suns with the Memphis Grizzlies, however he noted that the likes of Jae Crowder, Ande Iguodala, and Jonas Valanciunas (coupled obviously with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant), is a core which is stridently ahead of the likes of Rubio, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Kelly Oubre – an opinion that this Phoenix Suns fan formally disagrees with).

Lessening the potential super-stardom core that Booker and Ayton are expected  to develop into, he goes onto state that “if Rubio fits as the point guard of this team…”


M-V-Rubio is one of the best passing point guards in the league, and will be leading an offense full of shooters – a particular flaw in his game.

Sure, he is probably no Morant long-term (although we still obviously have to see Ja play in the Association to make any formal declaration of his ability to be a star), but to even imply that the eight-year veteran won’t mesh with a team who needed a point guard more than anything the past couple of years and who needed that floor general to be a non-ball-hogging shooter, is lazy.

The author further goes on to point out that the Phoenix Suns need to figure out who is going to be their core rotational players for the future – and who are the last the bottom of the roster and G-League players.


They need to tank so that they can find out who is going to be at the back end of the roster?? And who is going to be the core of their rotation moving forward?? As if that cannot be figured out…in the preseason??

This is the most ludicrous idea I have read this summer, and let’s face it: the summer is where the most outlandish and click-bait written ideas come to play as there isn’t much to talk about in the offseason.

While I do not think that the Phoenix Suns are not going to make the playoffs, I still do believe that (if healthy) they will make a push at 40 wins on the year – although fall just a hair short.

This is not a roster that is going to struggle to even reach 20 wins anymore.

This is a team that has true starting NBA caliber talent at every position, veteran depth at most  positions (I still believe that Jones needs to find a veteran to backup Rubio), a legitimate head coach in Monty Williams, and most importantly, a plan for success.

With zero “projects” on the roster, the team can worry about which role players are going to get what minutes as the games are played, and still  remain competitive, winning far more than they have in the recent past.

At this point too, it would be undeniable that the team could tank without  projecting it as an outwardly intentional plan – something they had done the final three years under Ryan McDonough.

Devin Booker would literally have to be sat down for an extended period of time with an “ingrown toe nail.”

Deandre Ayton would have to average far fewer minutes than he is projected to have this season.

The same would have to be said about Kelly Oubre, let alone he would probably have to be traded  to be kept off of the court – it seems that he possibly loves the game more than anybody on the roster and would kill to play all 48 minutes of every game.

Ricky Rubio would have to be moved to shooting guard and taken off the ball, forcing both Booker to play out of position once more and Rubio to take far more 3-point shots than he should ever be taking based on his history as a poor outside shooter.

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The Phoenix Suns should absolutely, hands down, 100%, without question, not  tank.

This is a ridiculous idea, and while we as fans might be able to accept enough losing to miss the playoffs for the (gulp) tenth year in a row so long as they are far more competitive, they are neither going to be in the position to tank intentionally, as this one author of Sports Illustrated has claimed they should.