Plain and simple, the Phoenix Suns were the most surprising team in the NBA last season. There was an increase in buzz from the season before, they revamped their team and they were ready to take on whatever came their way.
Phoenix Suns –
Key Additions Key Losses
Isaiah Thomas Channing Frye
Ex-Utah Jazz great Jeff Hornacek was named the head coach. The former Kentucky Wildcat guard Eric Bledsoe was acquired via trade. But there were questions about the system Hornacek would put in place. How would Bledsoe and Goran Dragic mesh? Would this team continue their streak of not making the playoffs?
You see, the Western Conference has been considered the tougher conference for many years. It’s not uncommon that a team in the West could win fifty plus games, and still not make the playoffs, so the Suns had a tough task on their hands.
The Suns were put together quite nicely exceeding expectations in every way. Goran Dragic had a coming out party. He posted career averages in all categories. He averaged 20.3 ppg, 5.9 apg, and 3.2 rpg. Eric Bledsoe was excellent as well, answering any questions doubters had a about a two point guard system. He averaged 17.7 ppg, 5.5 apg, and 4.7 rpg.
Jeff Hornacek lead the Phoenix Suns to an impressive 48-34 record that was just one game out of 8th place and a 23 win improvement; the largest one-year increase in league history. Hornacek clenched a close second to Greg Popovich for “Coach of the Year” by receiving 37 first place votes.
Goran Dragic walked away with the the “Most Improved Player” award. Throughout the year he showed poise and leadership, as he has cemented himself as the point guard for years to come in Phoenix. We can’t forget the impact and show that Gerald Green gave us last year. This video pretty much sums up his season: Awesome! Green not only provided us spectacular highlights but also a much needed scoring wing option.
But that leads us to today. This offseason the Suns have added young players in the draft who were proven stars in college. T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis both showed off their abilities last year in college ranks and will look to bring those skills to the professional level.
The Suns also added Isaiah Thomas, the small point guard from the Sacramento Kings. They signed Thomas to a four year twenty seven million dollar contract that left many of us shaking our heads. But the biggest story surrounding the Suns offseason is the buzz with Eric Bledsoe. The two sides have failed to come to an agreement after Bledsoe reportedly rejected a four year forty eight million dollar deal. The talks have stalled and recently Suns owner Robert Sarver stated that he hasn’t talked to Bledsoe in months.
“We haven’t heard from the guy in four months, so I couldn’t tell you. I do know that when he played here, he felt good about the organization, his coaching staff and his teammates at the end of the season. We had the same feelings toward him.”
So what does that leave us with. A pair of solid rookies, another point guard on the roster, and a disgruntled Eric Bledsoe. ESPN recently came out with their predictions for the season, and the Suns are forecasted to place ninth.
Do you think that ranking is valid?
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