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Phoenix Suns

Updated Mar 16, 2017 - 11:40 am

McDonough: Suns are built for contention in 2020

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, back left, ties to fight through a screen as he guards Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver said it. General manager Ryan McDonugh reiterated it.

They both think the Phoenix Suns will be contenders by 2020.

McDonough joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday and spoke about some of Sarver’s comments.

“Well, we’ve kind of set it up that way,” McDonough said. “As you guys know, players in the NBA traditionally play their best in their late 20s. I think we’ll have a number of good players who will just be starting to approach their primes in 2020.”

In 2020, Devin Booker will be 23, T.J. Warren will be 26, and Marquese Chriss will be 22, just to name a few players. Phoenix will also have future first-round draft picks to supplement the young players it already has.

Also, the Suns will still be a young team, but at least their young players will have years of NBA experience.

Still, there’s no guarantee of success. Injuries, poor draft selections, bad contracts and a litany of other problems can sidetrack up-and-coming teams.

“I think that is realistic, but as you guys know it’s not always a linear progression,” McDonough said. “It’s not that you win five or ten more games every year.”

The Suns currently sit at 22-46, which, if the season ended today, would give them the third-worst record in the NBA.

Phoenix finished 23-59 in 2016, so it’s already close to tying that win total with some of the season remaining if you’re looking for a nugget of hope.

But that doesn’t mean the Suns will stand pat. If slow progress continues, don’t be surprised if Phoenix makes some interesting moves.

“I think that’s probably the most realistic outcome but we certainly don’t plan on sitting back and biding our time for the next two or three years,” McDonough said. “We’re going to be aggressive and see if we can speed up that curve a little bit.”

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