The Phoenix Suns have been the laughing stock of the NBA for the last few years as the team constantly found new ways to embarrass itself. This year, it feels like the organization is starting to fix that notion as general manager James Jones has made a couple of great moves to help the team out. However, there are still some who have a different opinion.
ESPN held a survey asking 20 anonymous coaches, executives and scouts across the NBA about the offseason. The survey held questions like Who’s the best player, what move from the summer did you the most, who’ll win the title and etc.
One of the questions was What was the worst move over the summer? For this question, the Suns signing point guard Ricky Rubio was tied with New York Knicks overall offseason as the worst moves with six votes each.
According to the article, Phoenix “was both docked for the three-year, $51 million contract it handed to Rubio, but also for the price it paid -- De’Anthony Melton and two second-round picks -- to dump Josh Jackson’s contract to clear the space to sign him in the first place.” One of the scouts said anonymously that the Suns “paid him a lot of money, and he isn’t very good… maybe it was the best they could do to finally get a point guard, but you’re designed for less than mediocrity.”
Now, to act like the Suns were perfect this offseason isn’t accurate at the moment. We don’t know how well these moves will mesh with each other and we have no idea if the picks made can live up to their potential. However, saying the Suns signing Rubio was the worst move in the offseason feels like a reach to me. The Suns had no real point guard on its roster — they used combo guard Tyler Johnson as their best playmaker next to Booker — and Rubio is much better than Tyler Johnson.
Sure, Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell were available in free agency but the Suns didn’t have the cap space needed to sign either of them. Also, trading Jackson was a long time coming, he wasn’t worth the off-the-court issues he brought with his less-than-mediocre play.
Rubio fills a gaping hole the team had and is a great playmaker. He can facilitate to shooting guard Devin Booker and run pick and rolls with center Deandre Ayton. To say all of this was tied with the Knicks failing to sign any big name free agent is crazy.
The Suns haven’t had a lot of success in recent years and have made a lot of mistakes. Jones is doing all he can to fix those mistakes and change the culture of the team. While some think his moves aren’t going to go well, we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.