Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.
We told you that June and July would be interesting. It is rapidly going from “interesting” to “the most important months in the history of the franchise”, right?
Yeah, that’s dramatic. It’s difficult living in spaces in which extremes occur. The greatest player of all time. The best team ever. The prettiest Suns’ jerseys. These are subjective statements that could never truly be proven right or wrong. To suggest that this is the most crucial span in Phoenix Suns history in terms of roster formation and franchise fundamental building is an exaggeration, but it is undeniably significant.
Conflicting information about Chris Paul being waived occurred earlier this week. While we don’t know exactly what will occur with the Point God, there’s one thing for sure: he is not coming back to make $30.8M next season. As Chris Paul limped off the court in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, he might’ve been limping into the annals of Suns’ history.
If that is the case, if we’re saying goodbye to Chris Paul, what does that mean? Where does he belong within the history of the Suns?
Again, you can’t necessarily operate with the extremes. Who’s to say exactly? Who is the greatest? How do you define greatness and what are your benchmarks? Is it MVPs? Is it championships (lo-effing-l)? Is the effect on the franchise and overall production while in a Suns uniform?
The subjectivity of the debate is impossible to define. There’s an emotional connection to certain players due to the sheer fact of how and when we consumed the time in which they played. I grew up a Kevin Johnson fan, so he will always be on my personal Mount Rushmore of Phoenix Suns point guards.
Whatever position Chris Paul occupies on your ranking of the greatest point guards in Phoenix Suns history, there’s little doubt that he belongs there.
Between Steve Nash and Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns were without a point guard. It’s a strange period in the history of the franchise seeing as this is an organization built on having great point guards. Who played point guard between Steve Nash and Chris Paul? If you use 15 games as a starter is a qualifying mark, here’s who you get:
- Goran Dragic
- Eric Bledsoe
- Ronnie Price
- Tyler Ulis
- Elfrid Payton
- Elie Okobo
- Isaiah Canaan
- Ricky Rubio
Not what you’d call a, “murderer’s row” of players at the point.
It remains to be seen how the story of Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns ultimately plays out. Will he be waived and stretched? Will he be traded? Will he be waived and return on a veteran minimum deal, thus keeping him as a part of a championship contender while allowing his team the opportunity to invest funds originally allocated to him elsewhere?
If his time is done, if Chris Paul is no longer a member of this organization, be thankful. Be thankful for the leadership and direction that he brought. Be thankful for how he personally affected Devin Booker. Be thankful that he was a vital cog in making Phoenix an organization that is a destination once again. We’ll always have our frustrations. We’ll always have an injured CP3 in the postseason. But that should not negate our thankfulness for what he has done for this organization.
Chris Paul Highlights
Most Points by Chris Paul as a Sun: 34, February 1, 2021 @ Dallas Mavericks
Most Assists by Chris Paul as a Sun: 19 (four times), February 19, 2021 @ New Orleans Pelicans:
January 30, 2022 vs. San Antonio Spurs:
February 10, 2022 vs. Milwaukee Bucks:
February 14, 2023 vs. Sacramento Kings:
News & Notes
ESPN: Sources: Phoenix Suns hiring David Fizdale as assistant coach
AZ Central: Phoenix Suns’ coaching staff turning heads with Frank Vogel, Kevin Young and David Fizdale
The Athletic: How the Suns decided on Frank Vogel, and what he’ll bring to Phoenix
ESPN: Suns coach Frank Vogel to stick to his blueprint for success
Arizona Sports: Frank Vogel brings similarities, differences to elevate Suns further
The Athletic: Suns, Chris Paul exploring options, including trade or waive: Sources
ESPN: Sources: Suns, Chris Paul discuss his future with franchise
Arizona Sports: Chris Paul situation spotlights Suns’ level of difficulty this offseason
AZ Central: Chris Paul next team odds: Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers favorites for Phoenix Suns star
Hoops Rumors: Woj: Suns Taking “Flurry” Of Trade Calls For CP3
Quotes of the Week
“Right away, he puts you at ease,” — Mat Ishbia on Frank Vogel
“Sometimes you need an injection of something, a different message, a different focus, a different perspective.’’ — James Jones
“This is the beginning of a new era in Phoenix Suns basketball.” — Frank Vogel
This Week in Suns History
June 15, 2010
6/15/10 – Two weeks after the franchise was eliminated from the WCF by the Lakers, and an extension expected, but citing "personal reasons," Phoenix #Suns GM Steve Kerr announced that he is leaving the position and becoming a TNT broadcaster once again on 6/30/10. #RisePHX pic.twitter.com/TVZd0j6RUF— Arizona Sports History (@AZSportsHistory) June 15, 2020
Important Future Dates
June 22: NBA Draft.
June 29: Final day for teams to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents.
June 30: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents at 6:00 pm ET.
July 1: Official start of the 2023-24 NBA league year. Moratorium period begins. Restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet. Teams can begin signing players to rookie scale contracts, minimum salary contracts, and two-way contracts. Teams can begin exercising the third- or fourth-year team options for 2024-25 on rookie scale contracts.
July 6: Free agency moratorium period ends (10.01 am ET). Teams can begin officially signing players, extending players, and completing trades. The two-day period for matching an RFA offer sheet signed during the moratorium begins.
July 7-17: NBA Summer League (Las Vegas).
July 13: Last day for teams to unilaterally withdraw qualifying offers to restricted free agents.
August TBD: NBA schedule released.
August 31: Last day for teams to waive players and apply the stretch provision to their 2023-24 salaries.
September 5: Last day for teams to issue required tenders to unsigned second-round picks; those players become free agents on September 6 if not tendered.
Late September: (specific dates TBA) Training camps open.
October 24: 2023-24 NBA season begins.
Bringing it Home
Throughout the season, it’s one thing I personally don’t have much of. Much akin to the majority of you, I work. I put at least 50 hours a week grinding it out at my civilian gig, and when the work day is done, the fun is just beginning. I write for Bright Side, I host the Suns JAM Session Podcast, and I like to think that I produce quality content on both fronts. I dabble in freelance graphic design. Doing so takes time.
I’ve been told that I have a “high bandwidth”. I like to think that I have some ADD coupled with a dash of OCD and I know how to effectively manage it. If you look at the Suns JAM Session YouTube page, I’m proud of, from a design standpoint, how tight it is. I obsess over little things. The fonts, the HEX color codes, the alignment of the graphics.
When the season ends for the Suns, I am given the gift of time. I put on pause the nightly ritual of sitting and watching the Suns every night, taking notes and formulating opinions on the performances of the team, and then reporting those observations to those who consume Bright Side and Suns JAM.
So what do I do with the time given to me? I solve issues that don’t exist.
Some of you may know that every year, when the Phoenix Suns’ schedule is released, I publish a graphic of that schedule. Not because it needs to be done, but because I feel that if someone is to do it, it needs to look consumable. Its need to please the eye. My eye.
The same “problem” recently presented itself. Or should I say, I had the time to fix and “problem” that I personally have had for years but now had the time to fix. Graphics of Suns' jerseys.
Do you know what bugs me? When you try to look up all the jerseys in @Suns history, you get pictures like these.— John Voita (@DarthVoita) June 7, 2023
Perhaps it’s my graphic design mind, or maybe it’s OCD, but I don’t like lack of uniformity ♂️ pic.twitter.com/oyME1hk0VJ
Now, it this really an issue? No. Not in the slightest. How many people are really seeking a graphic representation of the comprehensive history of each jersey the Suns have donned in their franchise? The answer I’m sure mirrors the number of chicken nuggets you can order at a McDonald’s drive thru.
But I’m one of them.
Seeing as time is one my side, I had to correct this. I paid for an Adobe Photoshop jersey template, began the tedious task of recreating each jersey in Suns’ history, and obsessively did not stop for hours.
When my wife asked, “what are you doing?” and I explained, she responded with, “who are you doing that for”. That was a tough one to answer. The greater good? Suns Nation? But we all know the real answer. Myself, mostly.
I need this to exist. I need to build upon it as time goes. I need to have an accurate depiction of the Suns’ jersey history that appears streamlined and is easy on the eyes. Why? Because I’m a nut.
So I did it.
Mission accomplished. I have solved something that no one would view as a problem but my OCD self. I have designed every @Suns jersey in franchise history (minus the sleeved ones) into one standard template.— John Voita (@DarthVoita) June 7, 2023
10 hours of work. ♂️
Enjoy the thread. pic.twitter.com/Fu1ATlPVCz
Now, I know exactly what you’re going to say upon seeing it. You’ll say what others have said once they saw it. “Where are the sleeved orange and sleeved gray jerseys?”. It’ typical. Put forth hours of work and people instantly see what you didn’t do rather than what you did.
First and foremost, the Suns’ alternate orange jerseys (2014-15) and gray jerseys (2014-17) that has sleeves were gross. They evoke the same feeling you get when you hear someone else vomit. There is a natural reflex that repulses you.
The Adidas Era made little sense and was not appealing to the eye. The NBA tried so hard to make it happen; they wore the sleeved jersey concept in the 2014 NBA All-Sta Game.
By not including them, I’ve done my part in deleting them from the annals of NBA history.
And secondly, the template I purchased didn’t provide a sleeved option. Because it’s gross. Regardless, I have indeed designed and included them in the final graphic. I have caved to the sleeved jerseys, for your benefit, and so you can find something else wrong with the work.
Below is a gallery of the Suns’ jersey history. Created by the people, for the people.
But mostly created so I can sleep better at night.