Phoenix Suns labelled a ‘loser’ of free agency so far

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns offseason has prioritised the retention of key personnel, assuring they’ll ‘run it back’ despite a disastrous conclusion to the 2022 playoffs.

The franchise re-signed starting center Deandre Ayton and handed out extensions for superstar Devin Booker and head coach Monty Williams. Handcuffed by little salary cap flexibility, the Suns free agent additions were small ones around the edges of the roster rather than any major move.

Phoenix have brought in 2022 NBA champion Damion Lee and defensive minded wing Josh Okogie, while also trading for Australian big man Jock Landale. They most recently signed former Pacer Duane Washington Jr. to a two-way deal.

The Phoenix Suns lack of major additions, via trade or free agency, has seen them labelled a ‘loser’ through the offseason so far.

Speaking on the most recent episode of The Hoop Collective Podcast, ESPN writers Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps and Tim MacMahon were critical of the Suns transactions to date.

Bontemps alluded to the Suns ‘small window’ with Chris Paul, suggesting ‘they’re either the same team or worse’.

"“They’re definetly a TBD but the fact they are a TBD and they haven’t gotten better, when they have Chris Paul as one of their key pieces going into a season where he’ll be 38 in next year’s playoffs, that makes them a loser for me”, Bontemps said."

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

MacMahon is concerned with the long-lasting effect of Phoenix’s embarrassing playoff exit. After leading their second round series against the Dallas Mavericks 3-2, the Suns were annihilated in the final two games and abruptly eliminated.

"“When you get kicked in the lower region like that, the pain endures. That lingers… You have to do something to jolt the franchise, to reinvigorate the franchise”, MacMahon said."

Clearly the trio don’t believe a reinvigoration was made, although Windhorst did identify the Suns young players, in particular Mikal Bridges, as reasons for potential improvement next season.

However, Windhorst also indicated that the Suns league-leading regular season may have been a false pretense,  stating, “you could argue that maybe their record wasn’t indicative of their actual quality as a contender”.

Next. Lowe and Schwartz affirm need for change at the Phoenix Suns. dark

The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks were also identified in the loser category, while Eastern Conference contenders, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, were seen as major winners.