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Center of the Sun: Maintaining focus could be an issue for the Suns this season

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

NBA: Playoffs-Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

There’s a dark cloud hovering above the Suns as media day, training camp and the preseason swiftly approach. With the beginning of all that just one week away, managing partner Robert Sarver has been banned from the NBA for a year and fined $10 million... and many - if not most - are not satisfied with his punishment.

I won’t weigh in on whether it was severe enough or not here though. The more immediate issue is if this could possibly become a distraction for the players and coaches during the upcoming season. The best thing possible for them is to just put it out of their minds and play ball but how easy will that be?

With Media Day just a week away, questions about Sarver are bound to crop up. Even without that, it’s going to continue to be in the news, in papers, on social media... it’s going to be hard to block it all out.

The best possible scenario would be for Robert Sarver to just step aside and relinquish his position as managing partner. He’s generated so much ill will over the past 18 years that there is virtually nothing that he can do to fully repair his image with the majority of Suns fans. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I would bet heavily against that happening during Sarver’s year long forced vacation.

The West is as tough as ever this year and the entire Suns organization needs to be focused on returning to the Finals. Maybe this won’t be a distraction that breaks that focus. It will eventually stop being headline news but the potential is always there for it to flair up again and the inevitable t-shirts and signs with “Sarver Out!” on them instead of “Go Suns!” at home games will not let it disappear completely.


Quotes of the Week

“Cam (Johnson) is a big part of what we do. Really excited for the progress he’s shown over the last few years, especially last year. I think he’s primed to take some steps forward.” - James Jones

“There’s a chance I may add a couple more guys for training camp, but I think we’re close to the end of where we’ll be as far as our training camp roster goes.” - James Jones


2021-22 Season Highlights

BULLS at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | March 18, 2022

SUNS at KINGS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | March 20, 2022

SUNS at TIMBERWOLVES | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | March 23, 2022


News & Notes

Robert Sarver is a problem bigger than the NBA wants to handle. Andscape

The NBA Is Running From Responsibility With Its Robert Sarver Decision. The Ringer

NBPA executive director wants the NBA to ban Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for life. ESPN

The Most Realistic Starting Lineup And Roster For The Phoenix Suns Next Season. Fadeaway World

Suns, Cam Johnson Discussing Contract Extension, Says James Jones. Bleacher Report

Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker Named in Future Hall of Fame List. Yardbarker

Chris Paul Says He Wants To Own An NBA Team After His Retirement. Fadeaway World

“Chris Paul knew what coach was going to call before coach even called it” — ex-Hornets big man talks about CP3 and Monty Williams’ incredible chemistry. Basketball Network

Devin Booker Steals A Top Honor From 76ers Superstar. Yardbarker

Suns star Devin Booker shakes up Jack Harlow concert with surprise appearance amid Robert Sarver fiasco. Clutch Points

Trending Topics: Who Are The 3 Best Teams On Paper In The West? NBA.com


This Week in Suns History & Suns Trivia

On September 20, 2000, the Suns were involved in the 2nd largest trade in NBA history, a twelve-player, 4-team deal between the New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics, L.A. Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

In the trade, New York got Glen Rice, Travis Knight and a first-round pick from LA; Vladimir Stepania, Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell, a first-round pick and two second-round picks from Seattle; Luc Longley from Phoenix. Seattle got Patrick Ewing from New York. LA got Horace Grant, Chuck Person, Greg Foster and Emanual Davis from Seattle. Phoenix got Chris Dudley and a first round pick from New York.

There were a lot of moving parts in that trade but essentially the Suns got Chris Dudley and a 1st round draft pick for... Luc Longley. Longley’s career stats for his 2 years as a Sun were 7.1 pts, 4.9 rebs, 1.1 asts and 0.6 blocks per game.

On September 22, 2017, the Suns took a chance and signed Anthony Bennet, former #1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, to a training camp deal. Bennett, who had been a huge disappointment since joining the league, was waived before the season began.

On this date the Suns also traded a 2018 2nd round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Troy Daniels and a 2018 2nd round draft pick in what was essentially a salary dump by Memphis. Troy played 2 season for the Suns. Although he averaged 39.4% from three it was basically his only NBA level talent which kept him from a more prominent role on the team.

The 2nd round pick that the Suns traded to Memphis did not convey. The 2nd rounder that they acquired from the Grizzlies was later traded to to the Orlando Magic for Elfrid Payton. The Magic then made a draft day trade sending the pick to the Denver Nuggets who selected Jarred Vanderbilt (41st) in the 2018 NBA Draft.

On September 23, 1994, due to signing Danny Manning and Wayman Tisdale, the Phoenix Suns traded SF Cedric Ceballos to the LA Lakers for a 1995 1st round draft pick (Michael Finley). Ceballos led the NBA in FG% at 57.6% in 1992-93 and had career high’s in scoring and rebounding with 19.1 ppg and 6.5 rpg in 1993-94.


Classic Suns Highlights

Vintage Michael Finley Highlights - 1996 - Suns vs Bulls

Troy Daniels Career High 32 Points/7 Threes Full Highlights (12/13/2017)

Cedric Ceballos - 1992 NBA Slam Dunk Contest (Champion)


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 17 - Final day for players in the fourth and final year of their rookie scale contracts to sign contract extensions.

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 (Christmas Day) - Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets 10:30 pm ET.

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

January 10 - All standard NBA contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

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

January 20 - All two-way contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

February 9 - NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET).

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

April 9 - NBA regular season ends.