5 best players who played for the Suns that you forgot about
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5 best players who played for the Suns that you forgot about

Despite their inability to win an NBA title, the Phoenix Suns remain one of the most popular and recognizable basketball teams in the world.

The team has employed an exciting style for years and have employed a lot of memorable players form multiple generations. Former MVPs Steve Nash and Charles Barkley are usually the first names that come to mind, while guys like Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion will always have a special place in the hearts of Arizonians.

But like every other NBA franchise, the Suns have also been home to several former stars who lost their luster in the tail end of their careers.

Be it due to injuries or old age, these players had rather forgettable stints in the Valley of the Sun.

Here are five players you probably don’t remember suiting up for the Suns.

Hedo Turkoglu

Turkoglu was indeed a late-bloomer, starting out his career as a role player for the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs, before becoming into a vital piece for the Orlando Magic from 2004-09.

That magical first run in Orlando would be his most productive years in the league, as he reverted back to his old form upon leaving the team. The Turkish star initially went to the Toronto Raptors (another forgettable stint) in 2009-10 season, but soon found himself on the move again to the Suns on July 2010.

Phoenix thought the sweet-shooting forward would be perfect for their pace-and-space system and acquired him in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and Dwyane Jones.

Turkoglu, however, was a shadow of his former self once he donned the Suns’ colors. He played 25 games for Phoenix (including 16 starts) and contributed 9.5 points per game. He was still an efficient shooter at 44 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from distance but just didn’t have the same impact he had in Orlando.

The Suns traded him back to the Magic on December 18, 2010 in a multi-player deal.

Michael Redd

Injuries robbed Michael Redd a chance to become one of the all-time greats at the shooting guard position. The lethal lefty was indeed one of the most feared bucket getters in his prime, averaging 20+ points for six straight seasons from 2003-09.

Following a series of debilitating knee injuries, Redd appeared all but done in the 2010-11 season. The 6-foot-6 marksman, however, knew he had more fight left in him. The Suns took a gamble on him the following season and gave him a one-year deal.

The injury bug continued to take him in and out of the line-up, but Redd embraced a lesser role and was still reliable when healthy. He averaged 8.2 points on 40 percent shooting from the field and 31.8 percent from three in 51 games.

That proved to be his swan song, as Redd announced his retirement the following season.

Jermaine O’Neal

O’Neal donned a lot of different jerseys during his 18-year career, but not a lot can remember his brief stint with the Suns in the 2012-13 season.

The 6-foot-11 slotman was a monster on the low block and a terrifying rim-protector during his best years with the Indiana Pacers. Father Time, however, already sapped some of his virility by the time the Suns gave him a one-year deal.

O’Neal played back-up to Phoenix’s starting center at the time, Marcin Gortat, and pitched in 8.3 points in 55 games. While he wasn’t the same player physically, the 6-time All-Star still brought in some valuable veteran leadership and was a great locker room presence for the team.

He tried to chase a ring by joining the Golden State Warriors the following year but was forced to retire due to injuries.

Steve Kerr

Kerr is arguably one of the most accomplished personalities in the league, winning titles both as a player and a coach in the highest level. He will forever be remembered as the Chicago Bulls’ trusted shooter in the ‘90s and the brilliant tactician behind the Warriors’ most recent dynasty.

While people also remember his time as the Suns’ GM from 2007-10, fans have a vague memory of him suiting up for the team as a player. Kerr actually played his rookie year in Arizona after being drafted by the Suns 50th overall in 1988.

He rode the bench for much of his rookie year since the Suns already had established guards like Jeff Hornacek and Kevin Johnson at the time. Kerr appeared in just 26 matches with meager numbers of 2.1 points in six minutes per game.

Kerr didn’t get a chance to make an impression in the Valley, as Phoenix traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers after just one season.

Jalen Rose

Phoenix does have an affinity for bringing in players well past their prime, as they did the same thing for Jalen Rose in the 2006-07 season.

While Rose is best known as one of the most spirited analysts in the league today, the 6-foot-8 did have some game back in the day. He played his best years in Indiana and Chicago in the early 2000s and was still quite serviceable in his latter years with the Toronto and New York.

Despite being in his late 30’s at the time, Rose was still picked up by the perennial contenders Suns on November 7, 2006. Rose’s seasoned knees, however, could not keep up with the team’s up-tempo style. The once dependable two-way player became a liability on defense and only played minimum minutes under head coach Mike D’Antoni.

He averaged 3.7 points in 29 games for the Suns, before calling it a career the following year.