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Center of the Sun: Training Camp opens in four weeks, will the Suns stand pat with their current roster?

Your weekly roundup of Suns news, rumors, notes and videos from the prior week plus a preview of the week to come.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

I am not a summer person... never have been. Aside from the long, hot days, it’s the one season of the year that doesn’t (normally) have NBA basketball. In just 28 days the offseason will come to an end with Media Day, the start of training camps and preseason games. That - and the cooler temperatures - makes Autumn my favorite time of year.

While the Suns look like they will be going into camp relatively unchanged from last season, there is still plenty of time for change through a trade or trades to happen, plus there will inevitably be some new faces added to the camp roster via non-guaranteed contracts (teams can go into camp with up to 20 players on their rosters). The Suns presently have four open training camp roster spots so expect a few new faces to show up for camp on Sept. 27 but don’t expect many of them to stick around long. The talent they already have makes it extremely unlikely that anyone on a “show me” contract will stick around for long.

As the Kevin Durant trade speculation has ground to a halt, perhaps now the Suns might actually make an offseason trade that will at least slightly change the roster makeup before the regular season actually starts. If a significant trade actually happens, I expect Jae Crowder to be one of the Suns on the move.

Crowder is on an expiring contract, can still play a valuable role on a contending team and have been the subject of several trade rumors. At 32, Jae’s days as a starter may be coming to a close and his inconsistent shooting from three hasn’t endeared him to Suns fans but he’s still a strong defender. While Jae alone likely would not bring back much of a player upgrade for the Suns, as part of a package he could.

At this point, I don’t expect Cam Johnson to be traded but if a really good trade offer comes in, it’s a possibility. I expect good things from him this season and would hate to see them come with him wearing a different uniform.

While Dario Saric’s expiring contract could also be of value, I would expect other NBA exec’s to be as leery of his ability to come back from the knee injury that forced him to sit out all of last season as many fans are. Plus Dario was never known for his athleticism and his fit at either power forward or center is questionable. He can play at both spots but for various reasons isn’t great at either. These things make Dario a player that other GM’s will likely only covet if they’re looking for expiring contracts. After watching some Eurobasket highlights of Saric, I think he could play a fairly significant role for the Suns this season though and I’m not particularly eager to see him moved.

Unless the Suns make a deal for a better backup point guard, don’t expect Cam Payne to be on the move either. Whether you like the idea or not, Jones isn’t likely to trust anyone else already on the team as CP3’s backup just yet. The same goes for Landry Shamet. He didn’t prove to be a great backup for Book last season but who else on the roster do you trust with that rotation spot? After his lack of production last season, Torrey Craig’s trade value is mostly for salary matching purposes as an expiring contract. That may sound harsh but the truth often is. I would love for him to prove me wrong.

Many others can’t be traded until mid-season (Biyombo, Lee, Okogie). Technically, you could also count DA as part of this group but I think of him more as part of the group of players (along with Book, CP3 and Bridges) that just won’t be traded unless some amazing and unexpected trade opportunity suddenly presents itself.

Of course, any of these players could eventually be traded, depending mainly on who the Suns were getting back in return but, whatever you think of the current roster, the Suns will have a very strong team even if they mostly run it back this season. That’s something you don’t just walk away from easily so don’t expect James Jones to make any trades that might be considered a “reach”.

Quotes of the Week

“It’s a lot of fun playing knowing that your body will let you do what you want it to do.” - Chris Paul

“I don’t listen to the talking heads.” - Chris Paul

2021-22 Season Highlights




News & Notes

Why the Phoenix Suns Have a Huge Chris Paul Dilemma. The Heliocentrist

Will Ayton’s max deal give the Phoenix Suns buyer’s remorse? Hoops Habit

Suns’ Josh Okogie, Ish Wainright stepping up in FIBA African qualifiers. Arizona Sports

The major move Suns needed to make in 2022 NBA offseason. Clutch Points

“Knock knock mf” - NBA stars Donovan Mitchell and Mikal Bridges exchange banter during Mets-Phillies series finale. Sportskeeda

Devin Booker, Chris Paul dominating in Guard Camp will have Suns fans hyped. Clutch Points

The Most Important Player Improvement for Every NBA Team In 2022-23. Bleacher Report

Opinion: The Phoenix Suns Should Bring Back This Former Player Who Only Has 9 Fingers. Fastbreak

This Week in Suns History & Suns Trivia

On August 31, 2018. the Suns traded Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. Of the four, only Melton (76ers) and Chriss (Houston) are still under contract by an NBA team and only Melton plays significant minutes.

On September 3, 1968, the Phoenix Suns opened their first ever training camp, running mainly conditioning drills at Brophy Prep with camp at the high school lasting for one week. Phoenix also lost another coin flip with the Milwaukee Bucks on this day for the right for first pick off waivers. Milwaukee picked “tails.”

On September 3, 1994, the Suns signed Danny Manning as an unrestricted free agent. A 2-time All-Star, Manning signed a 1-yr, $1 million contract with Phoenix (all their cap situation would allow afford at the time) after making $3.5-million the previous year and turning down a 5 year, $35 million dollar contract from Atlanta.

The year before, Manning had made the rare choice of accepting his qualifying offer rather than signing an extension with his previous team (the LA Clippers) and become an unrestricted free agent for the 1994/95 season. When questioned about Manning’s decision to sign with the Suns for much less money, his agent replied, “It is not about money. It never has been and never will be with Danny. It is about winning.”

Unfortunately, Manning would tear his ACL during a practice on Feb. 6 and miss the remainder of the season after averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 32.8 minutes per night. Up to that point the Suns were 36-10 and on top of the Western Conference. They were 29-13 for the rest of the season (59-23 overall) and lost 4-3 in the WC semi-finals to the Houston Rockets.

Danny Manning Shares Anecdotes about Playing with Charles Barkley & Jason Kidd in Phoenix

On September 3, 2013, after arraigning a buyout, the Suns waived Michael Beasley only one year after signing him to a 3-year, $18 mil contract. This is probably the most underrated (or perhaps just forgotten) move that former GM Ryan McDonough made during his time with the Suns. Beasley was originally signed to his contract by McDonough’s predecessor, Lance Blanks.

Classic Suns Highlights

Brandon Knight Triple-Double Highlights vs Lakers (2015.11.16) - 30 Pts, 15 Ast, 10 Reb

Danny Manning Suns 32 pts, 7 rebs vs Spurs (1994)

Important Future Dates

September 26/27 - Media Day/Training camps open.

October 2 - Suns vs Adelaide 36ers (Preseason game) 7:00 pm AZT

October 5 - Suns vs Lakers (Preseason game in Las Vegas) 7:00 pm AZT

October 10 - Suns @ Nuggets (Preseason game) 6:00 pm AZT

October 12 - Suns vs Kings (Preseason game) 7:00 pm AZT

October 18 - Regular season begins.

October 19 - Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks (Season Opener) 7:00 pm AZT

December 15 - Most players signed during offseason can be traded.

December 25 - Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets 10:30 pm ET

January 5 - 10-day contracts may now be signed.

January 15 - All players signed during offseason can be traded.

February 17-19 - 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend/All-Star Game (Salt Lake City, UT)

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