The Phoenix Suns have made some rather large moves in a short offseason. Trading fan favorites Kelly Oubre Jr and Ricky Rubio, Signing veteran Jae Crowder and bringing in perennial All-Star Chris Paul. The presence of these moves have already been felt around the league, teams are taking notice.
A team that already made waves in the COVID-19 “bubble era”, going undefeated. The moves that James Jones made spoke to an even higher plan. Defense. There is no doubt that bringing in CP3, Carrol, and draft pick Jalen Smith were defensive-minded moves. This will allow Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to do what they excel at: offense. Last year we saw a Suns team that had to outscore every opponent, now you have a team that can neutral the opponents offensive gameplan, while keeping your own intact.
We know the Suns have their sights set on the playoffs, but where will they end up in their own division? Thankfully, there is no cap in the NBA on how many teams in a division can make the playoffs, unlike the current NFL structure. You may very well see 4 teams make the playoffs from what is now a LOADED Pacific Division.
Last year the Suns showed marked improvement, winning 15 more games than in the 2018-19 season, netting 3rd place in their division, and just shy of a playoff birth. Their first time being out of the bottom in almost 5. Long. Years. But things have changed this year:
- The Warriors have regained Steph Curry and added former Sun Kelly Oubre Jr.
- The Lakers keep stacking their roster, literally too many names to type.
- The Clippers signed Serge Ibaka, Luke Kennard, and Nicolas Batum.
With all the moves that the Suns made, they could very well still wind up being 4th in their own division. Which, if the playoffs are in the discussion, puts them facing the 5 seed AT BEST. Granted, I think that the Warriors are going to have a difficult time regaining the magic they had in the previous year. Also, the Clippers are still trying to find their stride with the Khawi/George experiment.
With that being said, I will BOLDY (see what I did there?) predict that the Phoenix Suns finish…(drumroll please)… 3rd in the Pacific division. Anti-climactic right? Fear not, the Suns will finally shine and continue to improve this year. Making the playoffs for the first time, in a very long time.