NBA Preview 2013: Phoenix Suns

phoenix-suns-logoWelcome back to another instalment of the Sports Script’s 30 team NBA preview! The first article was the number 30 team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers, so if you missed out on that one, make sure you check it out here. The next team on this list is another that has been floundering in mediocrity, after being systematically being picked a part by an organization and owner that simply did not care for it’s success. That’s right, it’s the Phoenix Suns!

Key Additions: Eric Bledsoe (Trade via Clippers) Alex Len (Draft) Archie Goodwin (Draft) Gerald Green (Free Agency)

Key Departures: Jared Dudley (Clippers)  Jermaine O’Neal (Warriors) Wesley Johnson (Lakers) Luis Scola (Pacers) Michael Beasley (Heat)

Projected Starters: PG Goran Dragic, SG Eric Bledsoe, SF PJ Tucker, PF Markieff Morris, C Marcin Gortat

The Phoenix Suns are not the worst team in the league this year, which is about the only good thing that will come out of this season, save for a high draft pick. The Suns don’t have much going for them this year, they don’t have an outright star to rely on, and most importantly, they have an owner that does care one iota about this team’s well-being.

Looking at what they brought in, Eric Bledsoe is the one big name they brought in, who make a difference a few years down the road. Trading away Jared Dudley, a big fan favorite among Suns fans, hurts but it’s worth it to pick up a player as tantalizing as Bledsoe, but more on him and what he brings later. Alex Len was the big draft addition, picked 5th overall before even Nerlens Noel, someone who was considered by many to be the first overall pick. Len comes in with foot issues, but considering how good the Suns medical staff is, saving the careers of guys like Steve Nash and Shaq, and should be able to get the most out of him. They lost a lost of production in Luis Scola and Michael Beasley, but it wasn’t particularly hard to replace production, and it shouldn’t be hard to find someone more efficient than Beasley and his shot jacking ways.

Looking at the starting lineup, the big question is how two guards like Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe will coexist. Bledsoe is such a raw, high potential player, and someone who played very well in short burst last year with the Clippers. In extended time, like when Chris Paul was sitting out with injuries, he didn’t have nearly as much success. Another question that comes up, is playing Bledsoe out of his natural point guard position. They really have a mess of guards, which includes former lottery pick Kendell Marshall sitting on the bench as well, not being used to his full potential. PJ Tucker is a forgettable player, but can be serviceable while you try to tank away the season. Markieff is the better Morris, or maybe it’s Marcus? Either way, neither one of them should be starting in the NBA, and should be nothing more than rotation bench players. Gortat is the final intriguing player on this roster. He’s an above average NBA center, and while he has good value for the Suns, it won’t be playing for them. I would imagine that Gortat gets dealt away to another team, he should be able to bring back good value, and also opens up the path for Alex Len to take that starting spot.

This another in a long line of teams, who are doing their very best to tank away this season in hopes of landing a game changing prospect in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Suns are obviously hoping they’ve done the best job, and a team that features a Morris twin starting along with PJ Tucker is doing a pretty good job. Again, watch for what Bledsoe and Dragic are able to do, they’re both quite talented, and they might just blow up and win these Suns some big games, or the experiment will fail miserably and the Suns will benefit with a high lottery pick.

Final Prediction: 25-57, 15th Western Conference


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