Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.
Yes, the Suns will begin training camp on September 26, have a free open to the public scrimmage game in Prescott Valley on the 29th, play the first of five preseason games on October 3 and then - finally! - the regular season begins with a home opener against Portland on October 18. And to start it all off there's Media Day on September 25.
Hang in there, Suns fans.
The long, long offseason is almost over.
The Fantable Questions
This week I gave our Fantable two purely hypothetical questions (and I decided to chime in with my answers too. The first was prompted by all of the recent discussion about a potential trade with Cleveland for Kyrie Irving. Suns fans were quite divided about how much was too much to offer the Cavs for Irving which started me wondering if there were other players that the Suns (and Suns fans) would be more willing to push all of their trade chips onto the table to get... which brings us to our first question.
Question #1: Which 25 year old or younger NBA player would you go all out on to trade for IF that player suddenly came on the trade market (as Irving did), what would you be willing to give up to get him in a Suns uniform and why?
GuarGuar: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are the two 25-under players I would go "all out" for. If we are trading for one of these guys the object is to pair them alongside Devin Booker. So I would offer anyone/anything other than DBook. I think a potential deal for one of these guys could be JJ, Bender, Miami Picks, and an unprotected Suns first rounder or two.
Sun-Arc: There are quite a few players I would love to have on the team. There are others (Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo) that I think are good players but we may have little need for based on the positions they play and don't think they move the needle much. I have faith that JJ will be better than Porter and we don't need another guard in Victor. We need a big man, and there happens to be plenty of really good ones under 25 years old.
Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Nikola Jokic I would give an "A" effort to acquire. They all are, in my estimation, generational talents and true stars (though Jokic has more to prove thus far). What it would take to get one of these guys is hard to know. I'd trade Bled, JJ/TJ, Chriss/Bender, and up to 4 first round picks. If they want any of our three centers (including Len in this), they could have one or two of them too.
Myles Turner, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joel Embiid (injuries) I would give a "B" effort towards. Bled, TJ, Chriss/Bender, 2 first round picks and 1-2 of our centers. Jusuf Nurkic is intriguing, but I think at this point he's on the next lower tier.
We will also eventually need a Bledsoe replacement, so the one PG under 25 I would want to steal would be Schroeder, as much as I dislike his on-court personality. He's lightning quick, plays really hard, and can light up a score board. I would give "B-" effort to get him. Bled, TJ/Chriss/Bender, and two first round picks is what I'd trade. I'd MUCH rather have Wall- but he's over 25, as is Lillard, so they are out-of-bounds for this exercise. I'm also interested in Ball, Fox, and Dennis Smith, but they just got drafted so I consider them untouchable right now.
The one other player I would really go hard after is Giannis Antetokounmpo He does overlap with JJ & TJ via position- but if he's available you go after him with full on "A" effort and give back one SF in return. I'd trade basically whatever MIL would want. Bled, JJ, Bender/Chriss, picks, my dog, Jeff Hornecek's daughter, whatever it takes. I kid, I kid. Giannis is on that top tier for me along with Davis, Towns, Gobert, and Jokic.
I think several of these players could really be available this coming season or next summer. Some, such as Towns, Embiid, and Jokic are not likely to move at all. But Gobert? If Utah decides to rebuild he's now their best chip.
SDKyle: At the risk of being predictable, I'd give up darn near anything to put Karl-Anthony Towns in a Suns jersey. Literally the only knock on him is that he's not a dominant defender. He has everything else you want. Scores in volume? Yes. Scores efficiently? Yes. Rebounds? Passes? Shooting skills to stretch the floor? Yes, yes, yes.
And in terms of his defense, it's not as if he's bad. He's a positive. And he could improve a bit as he comes into his strength prime.
Is it controversial to say I'd put anything on the table? Maybe, but I think I would. I'd hope to keep Booker out of the discussion if possible, but it probably wouldn't be. Booker, Chriss and our unprotected first? Anyone else?
SouthernSun: Anthony Davis would be my dream. KAT is a close second, but I think we could use AD's skills more than we could use KAT's. Also, I think AD would actually cost a little less, because if he goes on the trade block, it means New Orleans doesn't expect him to re-sign with them, so they're preemptively trading him.
As far as how much I would give up for him... I would give up probably everything we have other than Booker and Jackson.
Suns send: Chriss, Bender, 2018 Suns 1st, 2018 Miami 1st, rights to swap 1st rd picks in 2019, Jared Dudley (for salary matching, if necessary).
Pelicans send: Anthony Davis and any contract they don't want.
Anthony is exactly the kind of star big we need to play alongside Book and JJ. He can do everything. Protect the rim, step out for the outside shot, run the floor. He's a monster, and if he ever becomes available, we need to scrape our asset cupboard bare in an attempt to get him.
Rod Argent: I wouldn't argue with anyone else's choices but I would add Rudy Gobert to the list. If Gobert suddenly decided he wanted to be traded, I'd offer anyone except Devin Booker and Josh Jackson and throw 1st round draft picks into the trade as well. Having Gobert to man the middle should almost instantly make the Suns a better defensive and rebounding team as well as giving them a reliable inside scorer for years to come.
Question #2: If the Suns were in the Eastern Conference instead of the West, how do you predict that would that change the number of wins this team could get this coming season? (And assume that Chicago, a team expected to be pretty bad themselves this season, would take Phoenix's place in the West.)
GuarGuar: If we were in the Eastern Conference, I would legitimately expect us to be in the playoffs. So I guess if we are projected 30 wins in the West (which I personally think is low), I would expect somewhere around 39-40 wins in the East. Playing the Nets, Magic, Knicks, and Pacers 2 more times a year really makes a difference. Also the top of the East is not nearly as strong as the West so it is more likely we steal some games from them. It's a shame the conferences are so imbalanced but we got to play the hand we are dealt I guess.
Sun-Arc: Suns East would probably win 10 more games than Suns West. If I estimate Suns West at 33 wins and be far away from the playoffs, Easterly Suns would get 43 wins, and be- what?- a 4th seed or something? Lol. I don't know. Predicting wins right now, particularly in the east is fairly pie in the sky.
SDKyle: I think the Suns are a bad but possibly fringe playoff contender in the East...maybe 37ish wins vs. 30 in the West. I think some people tend to overstate the conference difference. Last year the Suns went 11-41 against the West and 13-17 vs. the East. Can the Suns dramatically flip the script in the East? A good half those games are still against teams clearly better than us on paper.
SouthernSun: I believe the Suns could, if we switched to the Eastern conference, win something around 37 games. This team always plays well against the East, and they got even weaker this season. I could actually see the Suns perhaps even stumbling into the 8th seed over there.
Right now, in the West, with the current injury issues (get well soon Reed), the Suns will be lucky to break the 30 win mark.
Rod Argent: Last year the Atlanta Hawks got the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 43-39 record, the Chicago Bulls got the 8th seed with a 41-41 record and the East looks to be even weaker this season. Overall, the Hawks won 52.4% of their games. The Suns were 13-10 (56.5%) against Eastern Conference teams before they went into full tank mode and lost the last 7 games against Eastern teams after sitting Eric Bledsoe. If the Suns could play that well again against Eastern teams and get 10 wins against the West that would put them right at 39 wins. With a little luck - and hopefully some improvement in our young players - I wouldn't be surprised if they were to win 40-42 games and possibly make the playoffs in the East.
Once again many thanks to our Fantable... GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SDKyle and SouthernSun!
2016-17 Season Highlights
Eric Bledsoe Full Highlights 2017.03.05 vs Celtics - 28 Pts, 9 Assists, 6 Rebs!
Tyler Ulis 20 Points/1 Game-Winner Full Highlights (3/5/2017)
Alan Williams 11 pts 15 rebs vs Celtics 05.03.2017
Quote of the Week
Prayers out to Houston— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) August 27, 2017
News & Notes
Could Peter Jok Make The Phoenix Suns Roster After Davon Reed Injury? Ridiculous Upside
What should the Suns do next: A five-step plan. Clutch Points
Suns guard Brandon Knight undergoes surgery for torn ACL. Arizona Sports
Bickley: The Suns will regret passing on Kyrie Irving. Dan Bickley/AZCentral Sports
30 Teams in 30 Days: Phoenix Suns opt for continuity as rebuild continues. NBA.com
Phoenix Suns To Hold Training Camp In Northern Arizona. Suns.com
Suns History in Video
Walter Davis (40pts/Forces OT/Game-Winner) vs. Supersonics (1979)
Walter Davis played 11 seasons for the Suns and is the franchise’s all-time leader in points scored with 15,666, 3rd in total career points scored in the playoffs with 1,288 and 9th in all-time points per game average at 20.45. He ranks 4th in total assists (3,340), 3rd in total steals (1,040) and 13th in total rebounds (2,472).
Davis was drafted 5th overall by the Suns in the 1977 NBA draft and in his first year was selected to the All-Rookie First Team, All-NBA Second team, named Rookie of the Year and represented the Suns at the All-Star game. He would make the All-Star team five more times as a Sun (1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1987) and the All-NBA Second Team again in his second year in the league.
Statistics courtesy of Land of Basketball.com.
Previewing the Weeks/Months Ahead
August 31 - Last day teams may waive players and apply the stretch provision to their 2017/18 salaries.
September 5 - Deadline to sign second-round draft picks (picks become free agents if not given a required tender)
September 25 - Media Day
September 26 - Training camp opens.
September 29 - Suns to hold free open scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
October 1 - Last day for RFAs to sign qualifying offers.
October 14 - Last day for players on fully non-guaranteed contracts to be waived and not count at all against a team’s 2017/18 cap.
October 15 - Roster limits decrease from 20 players to 15. Last day for teams to sign a player to a rookie scale extension. Last day for teams to sign a player to a veteran extension in certain scenarios. Last day for teams to complete sign-and-trade deals. Last day for teams to convert an Exhibit 10 contract into a two-way contract.
October 17 - Day One of the 2017-18 NBA Season!
Last Week's Poll Results
The question was, "If this season doesn't start well, should the Suns crank up the tank again after the All-Star break as they did last season?" The results were:
47.3% - Yes.
19.3% - No.
33.3% - Ask me again at the All-Star break.
There were a total of 270 votes cast.
This week's poll is...
Since Davon Reed will miss at least the first two months of the season, what should the Suns do?
This poll is closed
Sign a veteran free agent to fill in as the backup SG.
Just give those minutes to Derrick Jones Jr, Peter Jok and/or Elijah Millsap.