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Phoenix Suns a ‘winner, with caveats’ in 2013 offseason

The Phoenix Suns are different.

Following a 25-win campaign, the organization set out to make some changes and reverse its fortunes.

Beginning with relieving general manager Lance Blanks of his duties and replacing him with Boston executive Ryan McDonough, the team then hired Jeff Hornacek to be its head coach and then set out to overhaul the roster.

Out are Jermaine O’Neal, Wesley Johnson, Hamed Haddadi and Jared Dudley, and in are Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, Malcolm Lee, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe.

While no one knows how the new-look roster will fare on the court, early returns — at least from a media perspective — are pretty positive.

The latest glowing review comes from Zach Lowe of Grantland, who is very high on the team’s three-team trade.

The Suns manufactured a way to get Bledsoe, the most desirable asset on the trade market, and they’re lean enough going forward — with expiring deals, tradable assets, and unguaranteed contracts — that they can afford to overpay Bledsoe a tad in an extension. Also, they should still be bad enough this season to make a “run” at a top-five pick.

That actually seems to be the most common thought with regards to this Suns team. While maybe improved from last year’s team, they don’t appear to be nearly good enough to compete for a Western Conference playoff spot. And, given how top-heavy next year’s draft class is expected to be, selecting near the top would not necessarily be a bad thing.