2015-2016 was a season to forget for Phoenix Suns fans. It all started with their pursuit of LaMarcus Aldridge. They split up the Morris twins, signed veteran Tyson Chandler, and Aldridge signed with the San Antonio Spurs. Markieff Morris turned into a cancer in the locker room and ended up getting traded to the Washington Wizards. Stars Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight dealt with injuries and missed a majority of the season. The Suns started losing and Jeff Hornacek took the bullet. He was fired and Earl Watson took over as head coach. Watson gave life to Devin Booker and earned his job back next season. They ended the season with the fourth worse record in the NBA. They got no luck in the lottery and own the fourth pick in the draft. Nothing worked well for the Suns. All their fans want to see is progress. Lets take a look at the summer ahead for the Phoenix Suns.
PF Dragan Bender
Dragan Bender is the mystery pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. No one knows if he is Kristaps Porzingis or Andrea Bargnani. The Suns are willing to take the risk because they need skill in their front court. The only front court players under contract next season are Tyson Chandler and Alex Len. Neither of them have floor spacing abilities. Bender’s strength is floor spacing. Even if Bender doesn’t play next season, the Suns can wait for him to develop because they still sit at the bottom of the Western Conference.
SF Jaylen Brown
With Ben Simmons and Brandan Ingram off the board, Jaylen Brown is the best wing available. The only wing on the Suns roster is T.J. Warren. Warren is a serviceable small forward, but not the Suns future option. Brown is a defensive beast who already weighs 225 pounds at 19. He is a physical specimen who isn’t afraid of contact. His jump shot needs work, but he won’t be asked to shoot with Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker on the roster. The Suns finished 28th in opponents points per game and need a defensive upgrade.
PF Domantas Sabonis
The Suns have two other picks in the first round of the draft. One of them is pick no. 13 in the Markieff Morris deal. Sabonis is a ravenous rebounder with great basketball instincts. He is notorious for second chance buckets. Phoenix ranked 5th in the NBA in offensive rebounds, so Sabonis with Chandler just makes them scarier. Sabonis is a great mid-round option at power forward if they pass on Bender.
SG/SF Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon is a versatile scoring swingman. The Suns can score, but they lack versatility. He has the ability to play small forward even though undersized. His value is three-point shooting. Earl Watson proved in the second half of last season he can coach shooters. Gordon has averaged 13-22 points per game his entire career proving he can ball when healthy. Health is his biggest issue playing at most 64 games since 2009. In another rebuilding season, the Suns have nothing to lose giving Gordon a one-year deal.
PF Mirza Teletovic
Mirza Teletovic had an unbelievable second half of the 2015-2016 NBA season. The reason not many know is because he played for the Suns. Teletovic averaged 15.9 points per game after Jeff Hornacek was fired and all came off the bench. In the month of May, Teletovic dropped 20 or more points per game in every except one shooting 46.7 percent from three. His improved shot should put general managers on notice. He is one of the most under-appreciated free agents on the open market.
PF Terrence Jones
If Terrence Jones signs with the Suns, he will guarantee himself the starting job at power forward. He needs a second chance to prove he is a starting caliber NBA power forward and he will get plenty of opportunities in the desert. Jones only averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. It wasn’t long ago Jones averaged nearly 12 points and 7 rebounds per game. Signing Jones will give Bender, if they draft him, a year to add weight to his 220 pound frame.