NBA season preview: Phoenix Suns


STAYING: Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Archie Goodwin, John Jenkins, Brandon Knight, Alex Len, PJ Tucker, TJ Warren and Alan Williams.

ADDED: Leandro Barbosa (Golden State), Dragan Bender (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marquese Chriss (University of Washington), Jared Dudley (Washington) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky).

GONE: Chase Budinger, Jon Leuer (Detroit), Ronnie Price (Oklahoma City) and Mirza Teletovic (Milwaukee).

STRENGTHS: Young and exciting backcourt … There’s a lot of talent in that guard rotation with Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker … Booker specifically turned heads in his rookie season … Looked like a potential All-Star down the road … The franchise has surrounded its young pieces with consumate pros like Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa who can teach them the ropes … More than decent fast-break team … Nice athleticism.

WEAKNESSES: They have been re-building for many years and remain pretty darn close to square one … Way too many unproven players … The emphasis for the coaching staff will be on developing young guys rather than winning … A lot of guys will probably be more focused on establishing themselves than playing within a team concept … A bunch of scorers, but not much in terms of playmaking … A lot of questions about chemistry … They ranked near the bottom of the league in both Defensive and Offensive Rating last year … They led the NBA in turnovers … Just not an efficient squad … There’s a whole lot of work ahead for inexperienced coach Earl Watson.

PREDICTION: 5th in the Pacific Division, 14th in the Western Conference.



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