Phoenix Suns: Is their window closing and they don’t know it?

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns need another All-Star or another defensive stud in order to have any serious chance at making a championship run.

I know, how on Earth can the window be closing on the Phoenix Suns when they just started to play great? “Great” is a relative term, they just started to play great compared to the last decade. In my opinion, the window isn’t even open for the Suns to have it shut on them.

Usually, “windows” are in reference to championship possibilities or aging out in sports. Am I saying the window is closing for the Suns to make the playoffs? Of course not. But is that your goal as a Suns fan, to just make the playoffs?

A quick look at the roster/cap and you will see a huge problem coming up at the end of this next season.

In a previous article, I wrote:

"“Ricky Rubio, Cameron Payne, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and the 2020 Phoenix Suns draft pick (#10).These players’ salaries combined, come out to be $70,882,890 on a cap that is projected to be $115,000,000 (as of now).”"

The Phoenix Suns need to bring in either an All-Star or defensive stud.

Well, the cap is $115 million (as of now), and adding Kelly Oubre and his $14,375,000 to those numbers will leave the Suns with $29.7 million of cap space, with 10 players under contract for this upcoming season.

They should probably pay $10 million to $12 million to keep Dario Saric, or they will pay $15million to $17million for a more expensive version of Dario Saric not named Serge Ibaka. Regardless, they need a better than average forward/center just to maintain where they were inside the “Bubble”.

They can then finish out the team with the rest of the cap, sign a few one-year deals or they can cheap-out and pick up five scrubs.

The only thing good about cheaping-out is that it would save them money for the 2021 Free Agent Bonanza.

I hope they don’t Sarver it and cheap-out.

Related Story. Will Sarver go the cheap route with the Suns?. light

Herein lies the problem, during the 2021 Summer Free Agent Bonanza,  Kelly Oubre will become a $20 million+ free-agent waiting to get rich(er). Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges are a year from restricted free agency (extension time), and they’ll still have nine additional spots left to fill.

Oh, by-the-way, I’m betting there will still not be a second or third All-Star on that team to help Devin Booker.

Again, they need to trade Oubre, he’s neither an All-Star nor a third star in waiting. Trade him and get something for him now. Jerry Colangelo would (and has).

The Suns are a fun team to watch and I have documented this last off-season of supporting every move that the Suns made in the summer of 2019. But if you talk to Suns fans, which I do, they don’t want to make any meaningful trades (Oubre) this offseason, because they want to keep this (eight-game) winning contingent of players together for continuity and experience.

So let’s look at what real continuity and experience look like in the projected NBA Final Four teams playing right now.

  • The Lakers have six players with NBA Championship experience, and within that group, there are three NBA All-Stars and two MVPs.
  • The Clippers have five players with deep NBA Playoff experience, two All-Stars, and one league MVP.
  • The Celtics are five-deep with playoff experience, three of which are All-Stars, and all five can play defense as they just proved in closing out the World Champion Raptors.
  • Finally, the Miami Heat are a little bit of an outlier here, but no fear, their “destiny” will end next series. But the Heat still have four quality players that could start for most NBA teams, one is a legit All-Star, and they all have deep playoff experience along with three excellent defenders.

Meanwhile, the Suns have zero NBA championship experience (assuming Aron Baynes does not come back), one player with 11-games of playoff experience, one All-Star player that was added to the team due to injury.

But what they really don’t have, and why their window will is closing in regard to a championship?


Like it or not Suns fans, as you know defense wins championships….still.

More from Valley of the Suns

Even when the Warriors were winning their last championship with a lot of offense, they were ranked third in the league in defense and point-differential. The Phoenix Suns this year are ranked twenty-second in defense, twenty-first in rebounds, and 29th in point-differential.

How does that get better with this same group of players?  By the way, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying blow up the team.  Just jump, if there’s a star out there that makes sense, go for it.

Looking again at the probable “Final Four” of this NBA Playoffs this season, the Lakers, Clippers, Celtics, and Heat, they are collectively ranked third, fourth, fifth, and 8th in defense respectively.

So, if you never want the Phoenix Suns to win a championship with this twenty-second ranked defensive team, and no stars foreseen coming to the Valley, then the Suns should stick with the players that the Suns fans want.

Thankfully James Jones doesn’t do polls on what he should do, but what he won’t be doing is standing pat.

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