The Phoenix Suns have had an absolutely fantastic offseason ahead of a crucial 2023-24 campaign. They made their moves early, sending out Chris Paul for Bradley Beal, in a move everybody was able to get behind.
The ageing point guard being replaced by a 30-year-old sharpshooter, who can make some plays himself. This was followed up with a whole host of free agency signings, as well as a sneaky play late in the day to replenish some of their lost draft capital through a deal with the Orlando Magic.
On paper all of these signings made by the Suns look great and make sense, but a championship was never won on paper.
As good as the eight free agents signed to minimum deals look right now, and there really is very little you can say negatively about the acquisitions, once the season begins, it is going to be a different story. By January of 2024 in fact, it will be clear that some of these individuals aren’t going to work out with the organization, for all manner of different reasons.
Predicting who these will be can be tricky. Keita Bates-Diop for example won’t be appearing on this list, because he looks like a home run signing for the Suns. A 27-year-old who is an excellent defender? Sounds great! But Bates-Diop is also on his fourth team since 2019, including a brief stint with the defending champion Denver Nuggets. Nothing is guaranteed with these signings.
3. Eric Gordon
Like every player who is going to appear here, on the surface Eric Gordon is an excellent pickup who makes all the sense in the world. He’s a veteran player who provides the Suns with some high level defensive play, and can also make some 3-pointers when required.
He has tons of experience playing with James Harden in the past with the Houston Rockets, and so will have no problem standing in the corner while one of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant or Beal do their thing. The only issue is health, but it is a glaring one when you consider the makeup of this roster.
Durant can no longer be trusted to play most of a regular season, and Beal is starting to show signs of wear and tear as well. At 34-years-old and with over 800 regular season games played, relying on him too much could lead to disaster. The Suns will need Gordon to be in top form for the postseason… but they’ll also need him for those signature games in December as well.
The Suns were smart to draft Toumani Camara, in the hopes he can learn from Gordon while they play together. Bates-Diop is another who can do a lot more work during the regular season. But with the franchise hoping Gordon can close out certain opponents come crunch time, that is a big gamble to take on a player who is not getting any younger. This could blow up in their faces.