The Suns are the best team in the Pacific Division

It might not seem like much, but the Phoenix Suns are still the best team in the Pacific Division ahead of next season.
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns find themselves in a tough spot this offseason. Despite winning 49 games in 2023-24, they suffered the embarrassment of a playoff sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves at the first hurdle.

They followed that up with the firing of head coach Frank Vogel - with Arizona native Mike Budenholzer quickly taking the post - and as a result of having three stars making $160 million next season don't have any meaningful roster flexibility.

Yet despite all of these setbacks and roadblocks to the Suns having success, they are still the best team in the Pacific Division.

This might not seem like much. After all, do they give out banners for winning your division each season? Actually yes, they do, but that is besides the point. When you have Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal on your roster, being better than the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings isn't going to excite fans.

But being the best organization in the division is actually a nice starting point for trying to win a championship in the next couple of years. If you're a fan in The Valley, consider what it is like to support one of the other four franchises in the division.

The Los Angeles Lakers just hired a head coach in JJ Redick that famously has zero coaching experience, and seems to have gotten the job by going through a months long interview process by appearing on the excellent Mind The Game podcast alongside LeBron James. Would you swap Redick for Budenholzer? Would you even trade him for Monty Williams?

So the Lakers have an unproven head coach and a near 40-year-old James calling the shots, while the Clippers have looked on this offseason as Paul George has flirted with leaving the organization. Should that happen - and it is important to note he is from Southern California - a roster built around Kawhi Leonard's health and James Harden is not better than what the Suns currently boast.

The Warriors have their own problems, not least the increased likelihood that Klay Thompson will be bouncing from San Francisco this summer. He's already unfollowed the organization on social media, and an up-and-coming roster like the Orlando Magic looks like a great fit, even if there are still some stumbling blocks to getting a deal done.

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With Draymond Green another year older, Stephen Curry closer to the end of his career than the start and a similarly disastrous cap situation to that of the Suns, it is hard to make the case they're a better team in the Pacific Division. If you had to pick one to even make it back to the playoffs next season, the Suns would be the safer bet.

Which leaves the Kings, who two seasons ago finally made it back to the playoffs, only to take a step back again last time out. De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are two excellent players, and Malik Monk coming back is a big plus. But better than the Suns? They couldn't even manage that last season, and that isn't going to change. Pacific champs in 2024-25? It's a start...