“The waiting is the hardest part.
Every day you see one more card.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.”
Lyrics from “The Waiting” by Tom Petty
Having to try to be patient after missing out on the playoffs for seven years in a row is a hard pill to swallow for most Suns fans but it is a pill that we are going to have to swallow no matter how unpleasant it seems at the moment. There certainly are other alternatives but I'm glad that this is the path that the Suns have decided to take.
The main thing about this path that is bothersome is that there are no guarantees that it will actually work. Giving the young core of players time to grow and develop into what we all hope will eventually turn into a title contending team sounds like a great idea but there are many things that could make it ultimately fail and the Suns' playoff drought could last many more seasons than people are expecting. #TheTimeline is catchy and hopeful but if this plan doesn't ultimately pan out then it could wind up as something that Suns fans might someday look back on with scorn and distaste.
But I'm not here to preach doom and gloom. I honestly think that this is the best plan for the Suns moving forward although how #TheTimeline will ultimately unfold and how many seasons it will take is a matter of conjecture at this point.
Especially at this point.
I say that because so far we've seen little more than a glimpse of the future promise of most of our younger players. We all know that Devin Booker is already a gifted offensive player but he still has a way to go before he could join the ranks of elite NBA players. TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, Tyler Ulis, Dragan Bender, Alan Williams, Derrick Jones Jr and rookies Josh Jackson and Devon Reed all have looked as though they also could play a part in that "young core" that will develop and grow together into a future contender... although it is unlikely that all of them will still be with the Suns when that finally happens. There is a lot of uncertainty not only about how long it will take for this young group to grow into a contender but also whether all of the young pieces of this puzzle will actually fit in the completed picture. Only time will tell and that's probably the most frustrating thing about #TheTimeline... the "time" part.
If we are extremely lucky, almost everything could fall into place quickly, players will outperform expectations and this team could shock everyone as the 2013-14 team did and wind up at least sniffing at that 8th playoff seed at the end of the season. It's extremely unlikely but not completely out of the question. And if we are extremely unlucky then the opposite could happen. New players won't mesh with the squad, some of our young core make no progress or actually regress and play worse than last season and the Suns' 50th season turns out to be the worst season in franchise history.
The safe bet is that it will fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
But we won't know for sure about the upcoming season until it actually plays out, just as we won't know how our young core will eventually turn out or even how this off-season will turn out. There's still a lot of time before the season starts and there may be trades between now and then that could turn this into a very different team by the time the first game of the season is played.
Until then all we fans can really do is keep up with news about the team while we discuss, debate and play armchair GM here at BSotS... and try to be patient too.