The best free agent addition for each of the Phoenix Suns’ Pacific rivals

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a 2021-22 season where only two of the five teams made the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns are expected to face a much tougher challenge to win the NBA’s Pacific division.

The division has long been a minefield stocked with elite level talent, with the Pacific possessing the past eight Western Conference champions dating back to the 2014-15 season.

That will likely stretch to a ninth season as the Suns, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers hold the top three positions in Western Conference favouritism.

The Phoenix Suns face a mounting task to hold Pacific division supremacy, with each of their four rivals focused on making the postseason.

For over a decade, the division has always appeared to have a straggler – a team that isn’t interested in winning and wants to rebuild by gaining access to high lottery picks. That was the Suns at one point, but they’ve since graduated into a genuine championship contender across the last two seasons.

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Sacramento Kings have perennially been that team. They currently hold the NBA record for a postseason drought having missed 16 straight since 2007. But even they, equipped with a new coach and some solid offseason additions, are confident in their ability to end the dry spell.

The Warriors and Suns shared similar offseasons, both with the priority of retaining their own free agents. In doing so, Phoenix have joined Golden State and both Los Angeles teams as being in the NBA’s luxury tax, inhibiting their capacities to be major players among the free agency landscape.

This left the Kings as the only Pacific team capable of being a major free agent player. They took advantage of that, while the Warriors, Clippers and Lakers made some shrewd moves around the edges to bolster what they hope will be not only a playoff contender, but a roster that lands them in the title picture.