Over the last two seasons for the Phoenix Suns, regression has happened instead of progression towards becoming a competitive team. Devin Booker has yet to see the Suns eclipse 25 wins in his first four years with the organization.
However, under the direction of new GM James Jones and head coach Monty Williams, the change in the air finally seems palpable. Not only has more respect been brought aboard in the Valley, but Jones’ first summer on the job saw him rework the roster on the fly.
Outside of Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Elie Okobo, nobody remains from last year’s opening night victory against the Dallas Mavericks. That’s a complete overhaul to Jones’ liking, so now it’s time to see if it will all pay off.
Well, according to Caesars Palace, who released their NBA over/under odds, expectations are tempered outside of Phoenix. Anywhere from 30-35 wins should be the realistic barometer for the 2019-20 campaign, but Vegas has pegged a sub-double-digit improvement at 27.
As you can tell, many still believe the Suns will finish as a bottom five team in the league. Only the Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Memphis Grizzlies have a win projection fewer than Phoenix, which honestly is surprising. The next team up in the Western Conference is Oklahoma City, who has a four-game cushion between themselves and the Suns at 31 projected victories. Even the young Pelicans squad led by Zion Williamson is generating near .500 buzz in Sin City.
Though the Suns drastically upgraded their roster, so did many other squads in the West. Nowadays, Phoenix’s conference resembles an assembly line of legitimate title contenders featuring the Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets, Rockets, Trail Blazers, and Warriors.
The Suns are taking the methodical approach in their rebuild, which is the smart way to go about it when you realize Booker (22), Ayton (21), Bridges (22), and Kelly Oubre Jr. (23) are nowhere near their primes yet. Within the next few years that will change, but, for now, it’s going to be a challenge to climb the proverbial mountain from cellar dweller to pushing for playoff contention.
Is Vegas too low on the new-look Suns? Maybe I’m too bullish on the upgraded roster, but I would smash the over on 27 wins for Phoenix. Not only should Booker take another leap forward entering into his $158 million max extension, but Ricky Rubio’s steadying presence at point guard will help elevate Ayton to the level he eventually needs to reach for this process to pay off.
Over or under 27 wins for the Suns in 2019-20?
This poll is closed