It has been 192 days since the Phoenix Suns last took the court in a meaningful game. With only five days to go before they do so again, here is a look back at what took place over that span...for anyone who wasn't paying attention.
June 25, 2015 — NBA Draft
The Suns went into Draft night with the 13th and 44th picks and spent the first one on Devin Booker, a 6-6 shooting guard out of Kentucky. Phoenix then selected guard Andrew Harrison — also from Kentucky — with pick No. 44 but promptly traded his rights to Memphis for forward Jon Leuer.
Beyond that, Phoenix remained quiet, with none of the rumors that preceded the Draft about the Suns trading up for Kristaps Porzingis or Frank Kaminsky coming to fruition.
July 1, 2015 (June 30 at 9:00 p.m. Arizona time) — Free Agency Begins
Things started off in unexpected fashion for the Suns, with the team agreeing to terms with center Tyson Chandler on a 4-year, $52 million deal early on the first day. After also agreeing to terms with their own restricted free agent — Brandon Knight (5 years, $70 million) — they turned their attention to LaMarcus Aldridge.
It had been widely assumed going into July that the All Star power forward would decide between remaining in Portland with the Blazers or head for his home state of Texas, likely to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. Somehow, Phoenix weaseled its way into the conversation and after a multi-faceted meeting that included Aldridge sitting down with Chandler, Knight, and Eric Bledsoe, the Suns had become the second horse in the two-horse race.
Ultimately, Aldridge would choose the established Spurs over the unproven Suns in a decision that hopefully (for his sake) won't haunt him forever.
After the chaos of free agency's early stages wore off, the Suns proceeded with signings designed to better balance the roster. That started with bringing in 6-8 Mirza Teletovic, a 30-year-old stretch four from Bosnia and Herzegovina who spent his first three NBA seasons playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Phoenix rounded out its bench by signing shooting guard Sonny Weems, who spent the past few seasons playing overseas (last with CSKA Moscow), and point guard Ronnie Price, who last suited up for Phoenix in 2012.
July 10-20, 2015 — Vegas Summer League
As they do every summer, Phoenix sent a team of rookies, young prospects, and fringe NBA talent to the Vegas Summer League. It was an opportunity for Alex Len, T.J. Warren, Archie Goodwin, and Booker to work on their games while other guys battled for NBA attention.
Things started out well, with Phoenix going 2-1 and earning a first-round bye in the tournament. The Suns then knocked off Milwaukee and Chicago behind 23- and 31-point games from Warren and advanced to the championship game by defeating New Orleans on the strength of Booker's 31 points. However, they would fall to the Becky Hammon-coached Spurs despite 32 valiant points by undrafted rookie Mike James.
The four Suns under contract all performed well, with Warren earning All-NBA Summer League 1st Team honors. As for James, Josh Harrellson, and Mickey McConnell — who all showed NBA promise in their audition time — none earned a contract with the big club.
July 2-September 28, 2015 — Morris Drama
Any recounting of the Suns' 2015 offseason would be remiss without including the drama that enveloped the Morris twins. Those of you well-versed in the events may want to skip ahead. For those of you blissfully unaware there ever was a problem or for the masochists amongst our ranks, read on.
As part of the Suns' attempt to sign Aldridge during free agency, Phoenix needed to clear some cap space. That space came through a trade with the Detroit Pistons, with Phoenix sending Marcus Morris, Danny Granger, and Reggie Bullock to Michigan for a 2020 2nd round pick. The trade was immediately followed by Markieff tweeting, "Lol this a foul game here man!"
Lol this a foul game here man!— Keef Morris (@Keefmorris) July 2, 2015
Things continued to deteriorate as the summer wore on, with sparse contact between Markieff and the front office. Meanwhile, Marcus took a number of shots at the Suns organization through Twitter and the media, calling the team "clowns" among other things. Never were things worse than when Markieff was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer article as saying he wouldn't be in Phoenix for the 2015-16 season. He kept the heat on in early September by reasserting that his future wasn't in Phoenix via Twitter.
Yet the Suns continued to attest that everything would work itself out once Markieff got around his teammates, and when Media Day came around on Sept. 28, Markieff was there along with everyone else. Whether this is truly over or just a lull is impossible to say with certainty, but for now, there is peace.
Odds and Ends
The Suns revamped and reorganized their coaching staff and front office over the summer.
Nate Bjorkgren, who coached the Suns' D-League affiliate Bakersfield Jam last season, was brought on as an assistant coach and player development coordinator. Other additions to coach Hornacek's staff include Earl Watson as an assistant coach and Jason Fraser as a player development assistant. As well, Corey Gaines was promoted to assistant coach. Former assistant coaches Mark West and Kenny Gattison were not retained, with West returning to his role as vice president of player relations while Gattison's contract was not renewed. Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi remain on Hornacek's staff.
Chris Jent was tabbed to replace Bjorkgren as head coach of the Jam.
The Suns also promoted Bubba Burrage to director of player personnel in place of John Treloar, added Courtney Witte as director of scouting, and Antonio Williams as a scout.