The Phoenix Suns had a pretty quiet off season after just being two wins away from winning the championship. It seems like the reigning Western Conference champions want to run it back, led by Chris Paul (who signed a fresh four year deal with them) and rising star Devin Booker. A mistake the Suns could be making here is not adding more firepower and running it back with the same squad.
Welcome back to The Valley, EP! pic.twitter.com/qa0KBA2i3O
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 11, 2021
Suns Free Agency Concerns
Since free agency, the Suns acquired Landry Shamet, re-signed Frank Kaminsky and signed Elfrid Payton. They also reportedly acquired JaVale McGee, but this corresponding signing hasn’t been official. Even so, it seems like the Suns really did not add another all-star or even superstar, which could really affect them in the long run.
Remember, the Suns are also going to have a short off season. Is running it back a good idea? Observing how that went for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat last season, this could be detrimental for them. Not saying that they will experience injuries but both teams mentioned above as well as the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets (teams that made it to the conference finals) were heavily affected by it.
It’s also important to point out what went wrong with the Suns in the NBA Finals. Paul was barely efficient towards the latter part of the series. Jae Crowder seemed to disappear late in the series while other role players like Deandre Ayton, Mikhail Bridges, Cam Payne and Cameron Johnson just couldn’t figure out the Milwaukee Bucks’ impressive defense.
So running it back with the same roster with a shortened off season might not be the best idea. Could this be the year when Ayton learns from his mistakes in the finals and be a more consistent big man? Will Bridges, Payne and Johnson be able to contribute more? Sure they can but it’s going to be extra tough now that more teams have loaded up.
It doesn’t help the Suns that they will face a healthier Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks team in the same conference. The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook and while that will take some time to determine if that trade was worth it, LA still loaded up. The Warriors will finally get their big three back sometime in the season while the Jazz, whether people admit it or not, also improved after acquiring a few veterans.
Let’s not forget the teams below who could also make a leap this season. There’s the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers, who could get their superstars back sometime at the end of the season so it’s hard to really cross them out. Then, there’s also the Memphis Grizzlies, a hungry Damian Lillard and CJ McColum and maybe even Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
If the Suns by any chance make it out of the western conference again, they’ll be facing the Brooklyn Nets, who have the best team in the league right now. There’s also the Bucks and the Heat. All of these teams could make a compelling case that they’re arguably better than this current Phoenix Suns roster.
Ultimately, the Suns did what they had to do which was sign Paul back in hopes to run it back once again. It’s just that their lack of new fresh talent could eventually bite them on the road and make them regret this off season.