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ESPN predicts Suns’ performance to improve over next three seasons

It’s not great.

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Your Phoenix Suns have not participated in the postseason since reaching the 2010 Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks do not think that playoff drought will soon come to an end.

The pair have a formula, and using that formula they attempt to determine the likelihood of success across the next three seasons for all 30 NBA franchises. Before this most recent offering, they last calculated in March. Your Suns ranked #25.

In that time Phoenix has added 2018 first-round draft picks Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, free agent acquisition Trevor Ariza, and Ryan Anderson via trade. Their current ranking has skyrocketed to #22. Says Pelton:

Rank Score

Players 18 45.0

Management 28 20.0

Money 17 47.5

Market T-10 55.0

Draft 3 82.5

Overall: 45.0

Since our last FPR update, the Suns won the NBA draft lottery, earning the right to take Arizona center Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall. They also accelerated the timetable on returning to contention by signing Trevor Ariza to a one-year, $15 million deal and adding Ryan Anderson in a trade with the Rockets. Nonetheless, Phoenix might be hard-pressed to compete after finishing with both the NBA’s worst offensive and defensive ratings a year ago. With their own first-round picks plus an additional one from the Bucks, the Suns remain well-positioned to add through the draft. However, a max contract extension for promising shooting guard Devin Booker will make it difficult for Phoenix to create substantial cap space next summer. Whether it’s via free agency, trades, the draft or unexpected development of their young prospects, the Suns still must find a starting-caliber point guard to go along with Booker and their frontcourt talent.

Golden State stays at #1. Charlotte still ranks dead last. What sort of performance do you expect to see from the Suns across the next three seasons?

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