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ESPN: No polled NBA scouts, executives pick Suns to win Western Conference

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A panel surveyed by ESPN didn’t have belief in Phoenix to make the NBA Finals for the second straight year

2021 NBA Finals - Phoenix Suns v. Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

After advancing to the 2021 NBA Finals and upgrading their roster this offseason, the Phoenix Suns appear to be in a position to compete for a title again in 2021-22. But does anybody outside of this website community think so?

Maybe not. On Thursday, ESPN NBA writer Tim Bontemps released an NBA offseason survey,which polled 10 executives and scouts within the league on questions like the NBA’s best player (a tie between Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant at five votes each), the best, worst and most surprising move(s) of the offseason, why teams are tanking and who will win the NBA title.

None of those people picked the Suns to repeat as Western Conference champions and advance to the NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers had the most votes to win the West (five), followed by the Golden State Warriors (two), Utah Jazz (two) and Denver Nuggets (one).

Yeah, that’s got to be frustrating.

The Suns will arguably be better next season than they were last. Starting point guard Chris Paul re-signed with the team on a four-year, $120 million contract, backup point guard Cameron Payne elected to re-up during an offseason in which he could have made more money (he signed a three-year, $19 million deal) and Phoenix added players at key positions: backup guard Landry Shamet via a trade with the Brooklyn Nets and backup center JaVale McGee in free agency.

Combined with further growth expected from All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker, starting forward Mikal Bridges, starting center Deandre Ayton and backup forward Cameron Johnson, among others, the Suns should be right in the mix for a Western Conference title. At least, we’d think.

What do you expect out of this season, Suns fans? Is this all bogus, or will this team be subject to the Lakers, Warriors, Nuggets or even the Utah Jazz being more healthy and in a better position to compete?

Comment below and let us know your thoughts!