The Phoenix Suns have been in the rebuilding stage ever since Steve Nash departed town, and there aren’t a lot of gains expected in 2017-18. One thing that could change that? A trade for Kyrie Irving. The Suns continue to be a common name linked to Cleveland’s star point guard, and if the Suns make the move for him it could lead to a quick increase in wins.
However, GM Ryan McDonough seems content to build more slowly around a nucleus that has talent but is still young. Devin Booker is the team’s star and he will be the focal point for the foreseeable future. Phoenix has had a lot of high draft picks in recent years, using them to select Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and, this year, Josh Jackson. If those players can live up to their potential, the Suns could start to turn it around, but the playoffs still seem like a longshot unless a superstar like Irving comes aboard.
2016-17 Record: 24-58 SU, 40-41-1 ATS, 50-32 O/U
2017-18 Regular Season Win Total: 25.5
Odds To Win Western Conference: +30000
Odds To Win NBA Title: +60000
The Phoenix Suns missed the playoffs for a seventh straight season last year, winning just 24 games and finishing last in the Western Conference. There wasn’t much for Suns to be excited about, except the upside of some of the team’s young talent.
Booker led the team in scoring, averaging 22.1 points a game. In his second season in the league, the 20-year-old made a lot of headway and even made history too, becoming the youngest player ever to score more than 60 points in a game when he put up 70 against the Celtics on March 24th.
Booker is a special player but he can’t do it alone. Eric Bledsoe was the other go-to guy on offense of the Suns last year, averaging 21.1 points a game and leading the team in assists with 6.3 a game.
Bledsoe, 27, who ended his season a couple of weeks early with knee soreness, had one of his better seasons of his career last season and is another player with the ability to be a game-changer. TJ Warren and Brandon Knight, two more young players with potential, added another 25.4 points a game combined.
Veteran center Tyson Chandler led the team in rebounds with 11.2 a game but he has not made the type of impact expected of him as a notable free agent signing a few years back.
The addition of Jackson has people in Phoenix excited, as the athletic forward has an ingredient the team has been missing: the ability to play defense. The Suns believe he will be another key piece moving forward, and the front office reportedly would not part with him in a proposed trade for Irving.
Chriss showed some signs of potential last year as a rookie and Booker is on his way to being a star. Bledsoe is the solid veteran in the group, although he has often battled injuries in past seasons and will aim to stay healthy. Knight has been a bust in Phoenix and is now expected to be out for the year with a knee injury.
If Bender and Jackson can play well this season the Suns could get into the 30-win range. However, all of these young guys have yet to master the learning curve.
Phoenix could be in pretty good shape if they can keep making gains and then find a star or two to add to this core. Irving is the popular name right now but it remains to be seen if that acquisition comes to fruition. If not, the Suns hope to prove they are a team on the rise and try to get players in free agency.
Phoenix has a brighter future than has been present in the past few seasons, but success is still no sure thing. It would be a big upset for this team to make the postseason, but if Booker plays well and the other youngsters do the same, that would likely be enough to keep fans optimistic.
|Phoenix Suns Regular Season Basketball Schedule|
|Wed, Oct 28||Phoenix Suns vs Dallas||10:00 PM|
|Fri, Oct 30||Phoenix Suns vs Portland||10:30 PM|
|Sat, Oct 31||Phoenix Suns @ Portland||10:00 PM|
|Mon, Nov 2||Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles||10:30 PM|
|Wed, Nov 4||Phoenix Suns vs Sacramento||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Nov 6||Phoenix Suns vs Detroit||9:30 PM|
|Sun, Nov 8||Phoenix Suns @ Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Thu, Nov 12||Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles||10:30 PM|
|Sat, Nov 14||Phoenix Suns vs Denver||9:00 PM|
|Mon, Nov 16||Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles||9:00 PM|
|Wed, Nov 18||Phoenix Suns vs Chicago||10:30 PM|
|Fri, Nov 20||Phoenix Suns @ Denver||9:00 PM|
|Sun, Nov 22||Phoenix Suns @ New Orleans||6:00 PM|
|Mon, Nov 23||Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio||8:30 PM|
|Wed, Nov 25||Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Nov 27||Phoenix Suns vs Golden State||9:30 PM|
|Sun, Nov 29||Phoenix Suns @ Toronto||6:00 PM|
|Tue, Dec 1||Phoenix Suns @ Brooklyn||7:30 PM|
|Wed, Dec 2||Phoenix Suns @ Detroit||7:30 PM|
|Fri, Dec 4||Phoenix Suns @ Washington||7:00 PM|
|Sun, Dec 6||Phoenix Suns @ Memphis||3:30 PM|
|Mon, Dec 7||Phoenix Suns @ Chicago||8:00 PM|
|Wed, Dec 9||Phoenix Suns vs Orlando||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Dec 11||Phoenix Suns vs Portland||9:30 PM|
|Sun, Dec 13||Phoenix Suns vs Minnesota||3:30 PM|
|Mon, Dec 14||Phoenix Suns @ Dallas||8:30 PM|
|Wed, Dec 16||Phoenix Suns @ Golden State||10:30 PM|
|Fri, Dec 18||Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans||10:30 PM|
|Sun, Dec 20||Phoenix Suns vs Milwaukee||5:00 PM|
|Mon, Dec 21||Phoenix Suns @ Utah||9:00 PM|
|Wed, Dec 23||Phoenix Suns vs Denver||9:00 PM|
|Sat, Dec 26||Phoenix Suns vs Philadelphia||9:00 PM|
|Mon, Dec 28||Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland||9:00 PM|
|Wed, Dec 30||Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio||8:30 PM|
|Thu, Dec 31||Phoenix Suns @ Oklahoma City||8:00 PM|
|Sat, Jan 2||Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento||5:00 PM|
|Sun, Jan 3||Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles||9:30 PM|
|Wed, Jan 6||Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Jan 8||Phoenix Suns vs Miami||9:30 PM|
|Tue, Jan 12||Phoenix Suns @ Indiana||7:00 PM|
|Fri, Jan 15||Phoenix Suns @ Boston||7:30 PM|
|Sun, Jan 17||Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota||3:30 PM|
|Tue, Jan 19||Phoenix Suns vs Indiana||9:00 PM|
|Thu, Jan 21||Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio||10:30 PM|
|Sat, Jan 23||Phoenix Suns vs Atlanta||9:00 PM|
|Tue, Jan 26||Phoenix Suns @ Philadelphia||7:00 PM|
|Wed, Jan 27||Phoenix Suns @ Cleveland||7:00 PM|
|Fri, Jan 29||Phoenix Suns @ NY Knicks||7:30 PM|
|Sun, Jan 31||Phoenix Suns @ Dallas||7:00 PM|
|Tue, Feb 2||Phoenix Suns vs Toronto||9:00 PM|
|Thu, Feb 4||Phoenix Suns vs Houston||10:30 PM|
|Sat, Feb 6||Phoenix Suns vs Utah||9:00 PM|
|Mon, Feb 8||Phoenix Suns vs Oklahoma City||9:00 PM|
|Wed, Feb 10||Phoenix Suns vs Golden State||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Feb 19||Phoenix Suns vs Houston||9:30 PM|
|Sun, Feb 21||Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio||5:00 PM|
|Mon, Feb 22||Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles||10:30 PM|
|Thu, Feb 25||Phoenix Suns vs Brooklyn||9:00 PM|
|Sat, Feb 27||Phoenix Suns vs Memphis||9:30 PM|
|Tue, Mar 1||Phoenix Suns @ Charlotte||7:00 PM|
|Thu, Mar 3||Phoenix Suns @ Miami||7:30 PM|
|Fri, Mar 4||Phoenix Suns @ Orlando||7:00 PM|
|Sun, Mar 6||Phoenix Suns @ Memphis||4:00 PM|
|Wed, Mar 9||Phoenix Suns vs NY Knicks||10:00 PM|
|Thu, Mar 10||Phoenix Suns @ Denver||9:00 PM|
|Sat, Mar 12||Phoenix Suns @ Golden State||10:30 PM|
|Mon, Mar 14||Phoenix Suns vs Minnesota||10:00 PM|
|Thu, Mar 17||Phoenix Suns @ Utah||9:00 PM|
|Fri, Mar 18||Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles||10:30 PM|
|Mon, Mar 21||Phoenix Suns vs Memphis||10:00 PM|
|Wed, Mar 23||Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles||10:00 PM|
|Fri, Mar 25||Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento||10:00 PM|
|Sat, Mar 26||Phoenix Suns vs Boston||10:00 PM|
|Mon, Mar 28||Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota||8:00 PM|
|Wed, Mar 30||Phoenix Suns @ Milwaukee||8:00 PM|
|Fri, Apr 1||Phoenix Suns vs Washington||10:30 PM|
|Sun, Apr 3||Phoenix Suns vs Utah||6:00 PM|
|Tue, Apr 5||Phoenix Suns @ Atlanta||8:00 PM|
|Thu, Apr 7||Phoenix Suns @ Houston||8:00 PM|
|Sat, Apr 9||Phoenix Suns @ New Orleans||7:00 PM|
|Mon, Apr 11||Phoenix Suns vs Sacramento||10:00 PM|
|Wed, Apr 13||Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles||10:30 PM|
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