How Can The Phoenix Suns improve this offseason?

The Phoenix Suns look like they're out of options to improve their roster, but are there actually ways they can get better this summer?
Phoenix Suns Introduce Kevin Durant
Phoenix Suns Introduce Kevin Durant / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

After a very frustrating regular season the Phoenix Suns entered the NBA playoffs as the sixth seed and hoped to make some noise and silence the doubters, but unfortunately they failed to do so. The Suns matched up with the three seed Minnesota Timberwolves and did not put up much of a fight, getting swept 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

Since the embarrassing first round loss there has been a lot of talk of what the Suns should do this summer, from trading everyone to running it back with the same group, but what does the future really hold for this organization?

The Suns will go into this offseason with seven players still under contract (Grayson Allen, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Drew Eubanks, Nassir Little, and Jusuf Nurkic) and four players with either a team or player option (Eric Gordon, Damion Lee, Josh Okogie, and David Roddy).

They also have a late first round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Like last season the Suns could make a lot of changes again and look like a brand new team again outside of the "Big 3", and that is probably the best case scenario.

When the Suns acquired Beal they seemed to envision a historic scoring trio dominating their way to a championship, and that very well could still end up happening, however they need to surround them with the right pieces.

The easiest and most likely start to that is by trading away Eubanks and Nurkic. Since the beginning Nurkic’s fit in Phoenix was very questionable and following this year's playoffs it is undeniable that he is not the right guy to be playing center for the Suns. 

Nurkic is a great passer for his position and can have games with monster rebounding numbers, but outside of that he does not provide much. With the Suns already having three prolific scorers in their starting lineup they should be prioritizing defense when looking at the center position.

Nurkic does not provide any defensive presence, along with a lack of offense, so packaging him in a trade, hopefully with an upgrade at center in return, would elevate the Suns to new heights.

Beal, Booker, and Durant can score very efficiently at all three levels combined with the shared ability to handle the ball and initiate an offense, and adding a center who is a lob threat plus a positive defender would bring out the best of the Suns stars.

With most of their points coming from the mid-range and three point line the Suns need someone to balance that out, forcing the defense to respect all 5 of the Suns starters and not feel so comfortable helping off the big man and putting pressure on the perimeter stars.

The entire season the Suns had problems at the center position. Eubanks had a good start to the season off the bench but quickly turned into one of the most frustrating Suns players to watch.

Having two inconsistent centers who do not compliment the stars is bad enough, but the Suns never even found a third string center. As much as Nurkic may have slowed the Suns down, any game he was out it got bad at the center position very quickly, especially when it was time for the reserves to come in.

Another point of emphasis this summer for the Suns should be athletic wing players who can play defense, score without the ball in their hands and hit the three when needed. The Suns really lacked size in their starting lineup this season with Allen being the starting small forward and that made it tough for the Suns when trying to defend bigger forwards.

Just like the center position whenever Allen would miss games with injury the Suns would struggle finding positive minutes to replace him. Post trade deadline the Suns were able to start O’Neale in his place and see some positive play but that was not always the case. 

Gordon started a lot of games while Beal was injured and his lack of defensive ability especially against taller and faster players hurt the Suns. While Gordon provided good offense and veteran leadership he lacked on the other end of the floor, but the Suns did not have many other options.

Okogie lost his spot in the rotation later in the season but much of that is due to his lack of offensive ability. Okogie is a terrific defensive player but looks lost with the ball in his hands and is a unreliable 3-point shooter, his struggles on offense makes it difficult for him to receive consistent minutes. Watching the Suns attempt to guard Anthony Edwards in the playoffs should convince any doubters they need an all around revamp at the wing spots besides Durant and O’Neale.

Ever since the Beal trade there has been a lot of talk about the point guard position. Ideally the Suns should add a backup point guard who can step into the starting lineup when needed and help balance the offense. I never understood the obsession with finding a starting point, Beal and Booker can thrive together in the backcourt and that has been shown in plenty of games.

But when one of the two are resting or out with injury the Suns need someone who can take the load off of either Book or Beal and help make their life easier. A motor and facilitator for the second unit should be towards the top of the Suns offseason plans.

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Aside from the obvious roster changes that need to be made for the Suns to truly contend for a championship, owner Mat Ishbia should look into front office and coaching changes as well. Head coach Frank Vogel left many fans frustrated here at the end of the season, and rightfully so.

General Manager James Jones has also been facing heavy criticism, he failed to surround the Suns stars with the correct pieces to elevate their production and has done so for the past few years. Outside of Beal, Durant and Chris Paul essentially forcing their trades to Phoenix to play with Booker, Jones has not done much to move the needle and the fans are ready for a change.