3. Abandoning defense
The Suns hired a defensive-minded coach in Frank Vogel, but did they give him the tools to work with? Phoenix finished seventh in defensive rating last season and was ninth after the Kevin Durant trade, but they were fourth-worst in the playoffs by giving up 118.3 points per 100 possessions.
The Suns are extremely thin at three positions. Jordan Goodwin is the only nominal point guard on their roster. Bol Bol and Toumani Camara are their power forwards, and Phoenix lacks center depth behind Deandre Ayton. If any of their top four players go down, they will be difficult to replace, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Can the Suns cobble together a stout defensive group given the talent on their roster? Bradley Beal is 6’4, but his defense has waned in recent years. Kevin Durant has slowed down, and the role players are uninspiring defensive names.
Josh Okogie and Damon Lee are the only two players on the Suns’ current roster to finish inside FiveThirtyEight’s top 100 in defensive RAPTOR last season. That is not strong. The Phoenix Suns do not have a true defensive stopper and rim protection could become a massive issue, especially if Deandre Ayton is not playing motivated basketball.