5 biggest mistakes the Suns made in 2023-24

The 2023-24 season did not go as planned for the Phoenix Suns, and there were five big mistakes that the franchise made along the way.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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3. Starting Jusuf Nurkic

This is going to sound like a criticism of center Jusuf Nurkic, when all he did was come in and be exactly what the Suns needed him to be during the season. Not only did he remain more healthy than anybody could have imagined, Nurkic was the opposite of previous big man Deandre Ayton. That is he was selfless, never rocked the boat with the media and looked like an ideal teammate.

Unfortunately for Nurkic, he was also the opposite of Ayton in that he is nowhere near as athletic or talent as the current Portland Trail Blazer, at least when he is engaged like he was during the Suns' run to the 2021 NBA Finals. So Nurkic starting and giving his team basically an 11/11 each night is not his fault, and he had a great bounce back season by his standards.

But if Nurkic is your only viable center option - before a steep drop to backup Drew Eubanks - then how can you ever expect to go on a deep postseason run? The sheer size of the Timberwolves exposed Nurkic and made him unplayable by the end of that awful series, while the likes of the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers have beef across their frontcourt as well.

There's a reason why this incoming big man should be given serious consideration by the Suns, and that's because they're just not good enough at that position to compete with the best. Perhaps if Durant was a few years younger this wouldn't matter. But with big men back in fashion again, it was a massive mistake to think Nurkic could be a championship level solution.