On this, the pre-2nd Day of Christmas, Phoenix Suns fans should wish of their franchise – two specific roster upgrades.
For the first time in many years, the Phoenix Suns are actually a deep team with more roster holes filled than open. And yet there are two very specific holes that need to be filled to best make this roster a complete one:
Starting power forward and backup point guard.
Dario Saric has been a very solid addition to the Phoenix Suns this season, but he is just far too inconsistent on the offensive end to be the full-time threat the roster needs to take that next step.
Saric would actually be a fantastic backup power forward, and lineups with he and Aron Baynes in which hard-nosed defense and 3-point shooting would make for a very formidable lineup in short spurts while the true scoring PF and center, Deandre Ayton, rest.
It is the kind of depth and style changes that truly good teams have, and that the Phoenix Suns need to be competitors in the Western Conference.
The roster’s other major weakness is at backup point guard, as the team needs a veteran presence to keep calm that reserve unit; someone who can be trusted to make the correct offensive decisions under pressure (whether it is the right pass or right shot), and even be counted on to competently to fill in for Ricky Rubio when he is injured.
Elie Okobo has been a breath of fresh air this season as a reserve guard, and is looking like he might actually be the answer at backup PG in a year or two.
However, he and Jevon Carter have also been too inconsistent, and with their youth and inexperience, they cannot be trusted in the final clutch moments of a game to pull the team out if needed.
While the roster as constructed is potentially good enough to make the playoffs this season anyway (especially with the soon-to-be re-addition of Ayton), if James Jones is able to upgrade these two positions, not only does that all but guarantee a playoff appearance this season, but if the additions are made soon enough, than even a run at least the sixth spot in the playoffs, if not even the fifth, is not out of the realm of possibility.
Of course, these are just Christmas wishes on the second reverse day of Christmas, but ones that are very possible to be pulled off in time.
For starters, now that the December 15, deadline has passed, Jones can at least find a veteran point guard to acquire, potentially with just a second round pick (which hopefully would fall into the high 30’s, low 40s anyway, depending on how far the team is able to go into the playoffs).
A scoring power forward will be more difficult to acquire, but with a few movable pieces on the roster and plenty of teams entering rebuilding phases with the luxury of solid power forwards on the roster, options will be abound as the calendar inches closer to 2020.
Who knows what the near-future holds for the Phoenix Suns, but hopefully it includes a couple of moves to fill these two important holes on the roster and make this team a difficult playoff out – and maybe even a first round winner.
But if Jones is able to fill those them soon, it would make at least one of the 12 Days of Christmas be that much more special.