22-11 • 4th in WESTERN CONFERENCE
|F||27||$1,618,520||6' 5"||225 lbs||IOWA STATE|
|F||24||$4,033,440||6' 8"||210 lbs||NORTH CAROLINA|
|G||26||$196,288||6' 1"||183 lbs||MURRAY STATE|
|G||35||$38,506,482||6' 0"||175 lbs||WAKE FOREST|
|F-C||26||$3,481,986||6' 10"||225 lbs||N/A|
|C||22||$9,562,920||6' 11"||250 lbs||ARIZONA|
|G||24||$27,250,000||6' 5"||206 lbs||KENTUCKY|
|G||32||$8,664,928||6' 3"||191 lbs||PURDUE|
|F-C||27||$4,767,000||7' 0"||240 lbs||WISCONSIN|
|F||30||$7,815,533||6' 6"||235 lbs||MARQUETTE|
|F-C||20||N/A||6' 10"||215 lbs||MARYLAND|
|G||25||$1,416,852||6' 1"||200 lbs||WEST VIRGINIA|
|G||29||$7,333,333||6' 1"||200 lbs||SAINT JOSEPH'S|
|F||24||$4,161,000||6' 6"||209 lbs||VILLANOVA|
After a memorable run in the Disney World bubble wherein they went a pristine 8-0 during the seeding games, the Phoenix Suns wanted to make sure that they were able to carry that momentum into the 2020-21 season. This weighed heavily on the mind of the team's front office, which resulted in some major moves during the offseason.
The Suns' most significant acquisition came in the form of veteran point guard Chris Paul, who emerged as one of the hottest names on the trade market following a remarkable campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder the previous season. Phoenix clearly indicated their intention to contend for a playoff spot in 2021 by bringing in the 10-time All-Star into the fray, looking to add some veteran leadership to their young core.
In exchange for Paul, the Suns had to give up a myriad of assets in Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round pick. The Thunder also sent Abel Nader to Phoenix as part of the deal.
The Suns also added more vets via free agency, including E'Twaun Moore, Jae Crowder, Langston Galloway, and Damian Jones. Crowder has to be the pick of the bunch, with the 6-foot-6 forward a wanted name in free agency after a noteworthy run with the Miami Heat last term. Phoenix signed Crowder to a three-year deal worth $29.2 million.
It is also worth noting that the Suns lost Aron Baynes in free agency, with the 6-foot-10 big man opting to sign with the Toronto Raptors on a two-year deal worth $14.3 million. On the other hand, Dario Saric put pen to paper on a three-year, $27 million extension with the Suns.
Phoenix added a bright prospect in the draft in Jalen Smith, using their 10th pick on the former Maryland standout. Smith joins Cameron Johnson, Saric, Cameron Payne, and Jevon Carter as key players coming off the bench.
The Suns field a potent starting five in 2020-21, with Chris Paul serving as the squad's primary playmaker. Cornerstone superstar Devin Booker mans the two spot, while Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges are the squad's two starting forwards. Deandre Ayton continues to start at center.
Bridges could be the squad's X factor this season, with the third-year wing expected to have a breakout campaign. The 24-year-old played a key role for the Suns in 2019-20 mostly coming off the bench, but with Bridges officially being handed over a starting spot, this could be the year that the former 10th overall pick takes his game to the next level.
The Suns wowed the basketball world with their tremendous showing inside the Disney World bubble in 2020, as they won all eight of their seeding games. While they were one of the best teams after the restart, they left quite a lot to be desired prior to the mandatory mid-season break.
Offensively, the Suns managed an overall offensive rating of 111.3 in 2019-20, which isn't bad, but it ranked just 12th in the NBA.
Shooting-wise, Phoenix attempted just 88.1 field goals per game, which was 22nd in the NBA. They made up for it with their efficiency, however, making 46.8 percent of their total attempts (eighth). The Suns were a mediocre squad in terms of three-pointers, attempting 31.8 per game (20th) while making 35.8 percent of them (16th).
This team's biggest strength on the offensive end was their free-throw shooting. They took 23.8 attempts from the line per game (10th), but what makes them so impressive is the fact that they ranked at the very top of the league by making 83.4 percent of their free-throw attempts. Booker attempting 7.3 attempts per game on a 91.9 percent clip had a lot to do with that.
Phoenix was also extremely impressive in moving the ball around, averaging 27.2 assists per game, which was first in the NBA. Ricky Rubio was this team's primary playmaker, averaging 8.8 dimes per game, while Booker also contributed with 6.5 helpers per contest.
One thing the Suns can improve on in 2020-21 is taking care of the rock. They averaged 14.8 turnovers per game, which was just 17th in the league. Having an extremely high usage rate meant that Booker committed 3.8 turnovers per contest on his own.
While the Suns were a relatively impressive squad on the offensive end last season, their defense was not exactly outstanding. All in all, they amassed a defensive rating of 110.8, which was just 17th in the NBA.
Phoenix allowed their opponents an average of 113.4 points per game, which ranked 20th in the league. The Suns were able to hold the opposition to just 87.4 field goal attempts per contest (11th), but the fact that opponents made 47.2 percent of them (22nd) obviously did not work in Phoenix's favor.
Suns opponents attempted just 32.0 triples per game, which, at sixth in the league, speaks volumes of how this team is able to close down long-distance shooters. Then again, opposing teams shot 36.3 percent from distance (21st), which was sort of a counterproductive point for the Suns.
One of the biggest issues this team needs to work on is their foul trouble. They averaged 22.6 fouls per game (28th), which resulted in 24.5 opponent free-throw attempts per contest (20th).
In terms of rebounding, the Suns weren't very good as well. They grabbed an average of 43.5 boards per game (21st), with 33.8 of them coming from the defensive end (21st). One bright spot was that they allowed opponents to grab just 9.1 offensive boards per game, good for third in the league.
The Suns also averaged 7.7 steals per game (14th). It is worth noting, however, that Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr. -- two players Phoenix recently traded away -- combined for 2.7 swipes per contest. Then again, they did bring Chris Paul into the mix, so the nine-time All-Defensive point guard should have some say in this matter next season.
Blocks were one of the Suns' biggest weaknesses defensively, averaging just 4.0 swats per contest. At 29th in the league, only the Cleveland Cavaliers ranked lower than the Suns in blocks.
The Suns are currently coached by Monty Williams. The 49-year-old took over prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, and made quite an impact in his debut. While Phoenix ultimately missed out on a playoff berth, they went 8-0 in the bubble, which earned Williams the honor of the Top Coach of the Seeding Games. The Suns appear to have a bright future ahead with Williams at the helm.
Prior to settling in with the Suns, Williams was once the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. He coached New Orleans for five seasons, amassing a 173-221 win-loss record. Williams was also a former assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Philadelphia 76ers.
Williams has six assistant coaches listed under him: Randy Ayers, Mark Bryant, Willie Green, Larry Greer, Darko Rajakovic, and Steve Blake, who himself started his coaching career last summer after retiring in 2017.
The Suns made quite a splash to open the free agency transaction window this offseason, signing four players early on.
The biggest name they brought on came in the form of Jae Crowder, who put pen to paper on a three-year deal worth $29.2 million. E'Twaun Moore, Damian Jones, and Langston Galloway also were brought in by the Suns.
Phoenix clearly had a plan in place for free agency, and they executed it immediately. Jae Crowder, formerly with the Miami Heat, was their biggest free agent signing in the summer, putting pen to paper on a three-year, $29.2 million deal. E'Twaun Moore signed on a one-year deal for $2.3 million, Damian Jones was brought on for $3.7 million for tw0 years, and Langston Galloway penned a deal with the Suns as well.
The Suns also moved quickly with their own free agents, signing Dario Saric (three years, $27 million) and Jevon Carter (three years, $11.5 million) to long-term extensions.
Phoenix was also linked to other big-name free agents including Danilo Gallinari, Jerami Grant, Serge Ibaka, and Christian Wood, who all decided to sign with opposing teams.
Phoenix did not waste any time once the trade window opened. This team made waves by pulling the trigger on a blockbuster deal centered around Chris Paul.
For their part, the Suns sent Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Paul and Abel Nader. It was quite a haul to give up, but by bringing a bona fide superstar in CP3 into the mix, Phoenix propelled themselves to a strong playoff contender in the West.
Since being established in 1968, the Suns have only been to the Finals twice. The first time was in 1976, and the second (and most recent) was during the 1992-93 season. That particular squad also represents the best Phoenix roster of all time.
The Suns roster was led by the one and only Charles Barkley, who won the MVP award that year in his debut season with the Suns. He teamed up with other franchise legends in the likes of Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle. Richard Dumas, Danny Ainge, Tom Chambers, Cedric Ceballos, Oliver Miller, Mark West, Negele Knight, and Frank Johnson were also part of that memorable squad.
Coached by the great Paul Westphal, the Suns amassed a franchise-best 62 wins that season. They put up a formidable fight in the Finals but eventually fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, four games to two.
Spotrac estimates the Suns' total cap for the 2020-21 season to be at the range of $126 million.
The biggest hit in their cap came in the form of Chris Paul, who they recently traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 10-time All-Star is set to earn $41.4 million in 2020-21, and while the Suns sent Kelly Oubre Jr. ($14.4 million) and Ricky Rubio ($17 million) to the Thunder, acquiring Paul will still have a significant impact on Phoenix's total cap space.
In terms of free agents, the Suns brought on Jae Crowder on a three-year, $29.2 million deal, and they extended Dario Saric for another $27 million for three years. Phoenix was unable to retain the services of Aron Baynes, who signed with the Toronto Raptors for $14.3 million for two years.
Once you factor in the Suns' guaranteed salaries, it appears that they no longer have much cap room to operate with, and they will also be in danger of operating as an over-the-cap team in 2020-21.
Mikal Bridges served as the role of Phoenix's Sixth Man in 2019-20. He was quite effective in the role, averaging 9.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 steals in 28.0 minutes off the bench.
With Kelly Oubre Jr. out of the picture, however, Bridges seems to be in line for a starting gig this coming season. The arrival of Jae Crowder will also likely send Dario Saric to the bench, and the Croatian national could emerge as the Suns' Sixth Man for the 2020-21 campaign.
Last season, the Suns went with a starting five of Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Dario Saric, and Deandre Ayton.
Phoenix went through a bit of a roster overhaul in the offseason, though, so the starting lineup is going to look different for the 2020-21 campaign. We expect Chris Paul to start at the PG spot, Devin Booker at the two, Mikal Bridges at the three, Jae Crowder as the starting PF, and Deandre Ayton as the man in the middle.