What: Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
When: Wednesday, October 21st @ 5:30 PM local time
TV: No Phoenix feed. FSSW (Dallas station) will televise the game, making it available on League Pass.
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
For the first time in what seems like a while, an NBA player feels betrayed by a team other than the Suns.
According to Paul Coro, Suns center Tyson Chandler isn't particularly pleased with the way he was treated in Dallas.
“I definitely felt like, after winning a championship and help bring it there, that I was going to be there for the long run,” Chandler said Tuesday. “I never heard of a championship team being broken up like that. When they traded for me to come back, I sat at the podium with everybody else and heard them say this was going to be a long-term deal and they weren’t going to make the same mistake as last time and blah-blah-blah. Seven months later, the same thing happens again. But I learned in this business that you can’t trust everybody. That’s why it is what it is.”
It's interesting to see a player other than a former Sun become frustrated with management. The Suns front office has dealt with a lot of disgruntled and betrayed players over the past couple of years, and whether you believe those players had the right to feel offended or not, their feelings have impacted the organization's reputation regardless. Despite that, Chandler obviously felt more comfortable in the Suns' hands than he did with Dallas, quickly pouncing on the team's 4-year, $52 million offer in July.
Chandler is on board for now, and the front office seems genuinely excited to have him as a starter and as a mentor. However, should the Suns once again fail to make a playoff push, it wouldn't be surprising to see Ryan McDonough once again treat his players as assets above all else. I'm not criticizing that strategy, but rather implying that it has the potential to create some hurt feelings as we have seen in the past. Chandler certainly didn't appreciate that approach from Mark Cuban and his associates.
In other news, tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks is the last preseason game. The Suns will go on to open their season against Dallas a week from today, but some questions about the rotation are still unanswered.
For instance, few head coaches ever use a rotation of more than 10 players except in blowouts. Has Jon Leuer's strong preseason play earned him some consistent minutes in the frontcourt, or will Teletovic and Len leave no playing time available? Additionally, the Archie Goodwin vs. Devin Booker battle still seems unsettled, though conventional wisdom would point to the relative veteran Goodwin starting the season with more minutes. Ronnie Price remains out until the regular season but is also a contender for some minutes.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks are just trying to avoid a winless preseason, having lost to the Nuggets, Rockets, Thunder, Cavaliers and Hawks already. Dallas is already dealing with a lot of critical injuries, as Chandler Parsons, Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews and Samuel Dalembert are all out for tonight's game. The real question is, can a 37-year-old Dirk and Zaza Pachulia lead the Mavericks to victory?
A win tonight would be nice, but it's also the expected outcome. The Suns will go into the game with an advantage at every single position except power forward.
Anything can happen.