For the Phoenix Suns, their motto is #TimeToRise. After their haul on draft night nabbing three possible long term starters in Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Elie Okobo to go alongside Devin Booker and Josh Jackson already has fans anxiously awaiting next season.
However, there is still some serious work to do with the Suns’ roster if they want to push toward their new expectations of relevancy in the Western Conference.
SB Nation had us put together fan expectations for the upcoming craziness we are expecting to see unfold once July 1 rolls around. Lets dive right into the three main questions facing the Suns’ fanbase heading into the second portion of their all-important offseason.
What can your team do in free agency that would make fans over-the-moon happy?
After selecting Ayton at No. 1 to give Booker his crucial front court piece down low, many are already ecstatic with that new 1-2 combination. What would take them to a whole new level, though, is capitalizing off of their aggressive mindset GM Ryan McDonough has been hyping up for months.
Obviously, LeBron James isn’t going to sign with the Phoenix Suns, but there are still names on the free agent board who would bring plenty of new eyeballs to their on-court product. Still in need of help at point guard and power forward, someone like Aaron Gordon in sign-and-trade scenarios clearing out the current logjam on the wing (package built around T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss and future first) would be ideal.
At that point, with Booker now flanked by two former Arizona Wildcats in Ayton and Gordon, expect many U of A fans to make the trek up from Tucson, too.
If we’re going purely off over-the-moon-type of excitement, I think Gordon is likely the most realistic option for fans to reach that stratosphere.
What might they do that makes fans super mad online?
Going through with the expected roster overhaul, but swinging and missing on all the big names who would push Phoenix closer towards a legitimate playoff push. Being aggressive doesn’t mean it has to be shelling out money to players who are undeserving.
With less than 30% of the league expected to have much wiggle room in flexibility this summer, Phoenix will be able to control the market. There’s no need to bid against themselves.
Shelling out bloated contracts to names like Doug McDermott and Jabari Parker wouldn’t really push the envelope for Suns fans.
For Phoenix, it’s all about playing it smart. If they can do that while adding the necessary pieces around their young core, I can’t see many complaining soon thereafter.
How likely is it that fans will be happy or sad afterwards? (confidence in team execution)
McDonough has been constantly mentioning three years as the window to rebuild. Now, those three years are up and it’s time for the front office to take action. Some fans are either fully in on #TheTimeline movement or nervous about what McDonough has up his sleeve.
If I had to wager what side of the fence the majority of our audience will land once free agency wraps up, I would say more towards the ‘happy’ scale.
Phoenix now has seven lottery selections on their roster, six of which are age 21 or under right now. That’s an outstanding foundation for the Suns to build on, and it starts with how they maneuver free agency next week.
If the Suns are able to add let’s say Gordon, not on a max contract via sign-and-trade, plus a reliable veteran point guard to add alongside Brandon Knight and Elie Okobo, Phoenix would be hitting their offseason out of the park.
After pushing in some of their chips into the table on draft night to land Bridges, expect more of the same from McDonough during this upcoming free agency period.