Season preview: Phoenix Suns

Season preview: Phoenix Suns


Season preview: Phoenix Suns

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STAYING: Dragan Bender, Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Troy Daniels, Shaquille Harrison, Josh Jackson, Davon Reed and TJ Warren.

ADDED: Ryan Anderson (Houston), Trevor Ariza (Houston), Darrell Arthur (Denver), Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Mikal Bridges (Villanova), Isaiah Canaan, Richaun Holmes (Philadelphia), George King (Colorado), De’Anthony Melton (USC) and Elie Okobo (Pau-Orthez).

GONE: Marquese Chriss (Houston), Jared Dudley (Brooklyn), Danuel House (Golden State), Brandon Knight (Houston), Alex Len (Atlanta), Elfrid Payton (New Orleans), Alec Peters (CSKA Moscow), Tyler Ulis (Golden State) and Alan Williams (Brooklyn).

STRENGTHS: The offensive punch of Devin Booker … He can shoot it from anywhere and has developed into a fine playmaker too … He’s only 21, but already an All-Star/scoring champion candidate with a bright future ahead of him … There’s a ton of intriguing young talent around Booker … Most notably No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, who’s expected to make an impact this season already … In Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson, they added savvy veterans who have winning experience, which this team sorely lacked.

WEAKNESSES: Massive hole at the point guard position … They are going to acquire one sooner or later, but will presumably not be one in the top echelon at the position … Defense-wise, they are starting from the bottom … Phoenix was last in defensive rating last year … There was just no effort or focus there (with Booker being no exception) … Three-point shooting can only get better … That’s because they hit only 33.4 percent of their attempts last season … Can they be semi-decent there with Ariza and Anderson as Suns now? … It’s been a poorly coached/managed team with a losing culture for many years … You don’t shake bad habits quickly … They don’t have the most raucous fans in the NBA these days … But who could blame them?

PREDICTION: 4th in the Pacific Division, 14th in the Western Conference.


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