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Suns rise in latest ESPN Future Rankings

Things are finally looking up for the Phoenix Suns.

In the midst of a big rebuilding project led by new general manager Ryan McDonough, the Suns face a tough season ahead. There’s some good news, though, as ESPN Insider’s Future Power Rankings has them at 27, two spots ahead of their 29th ranking in May. This marks the first time the Suns have gone up in these rankings since December 2010, having been stuck in the 29th spot the last three editions that come out twice a year.

ESPN’s senior basketball analyst Chad Ford, who did the writeup, praised the job done by McDonough since he came aboard, and highlighted the Suns’ draft picks in the coming years. The team was given the league’s top score in the draft category as they own future first-round picks from the Indian Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers to go along with their own picks.

On the flip side, the Suns are low in the rankings mostly due to the player component, worth 50 percent of their score, as they are 29th in that category ahead of only the depleted Philadelphia 76ers. As for the other categories, the Suns ranked 25th in management, 11th in market and 18th in money.

In 2012-13, the Suns finished last in the Western Conference with a 25-57 record. The record earned them the fifth selection in the NBA Draft, which the used on Maryland center Alex Len. Expectations are roughly the same heading into the 2013 season as the team begins its first year under new coach Jeff Hornacek.

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