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Suns ranked 26th in ESPN’s NBA future power rankings

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks ranked the Phoenix Suns 26th on their most recent NBA future power rankings.

Pelton and Marks describe these rankings as projections for each team’s success through the 2021-22 season.

For these rankings, each team is rated in five categories: players, management, money, market and draft. Each category was also given a ranking relative to the rest of the league.

The Suns ranked as follows:

Players: T-23

Management: 30

Money: 13

Market: T-12

Draft: 4

The rankings were followed by a description by Pelton:

As Kevin Arnovitz’s recent feature laid bare, the Suns have squandered the seven seasons since Steve Nash’s departure with mismanagement, leaving their future no clearer now than at any point in that span. (Just once in the history of the future rankings has Phoenix ranked outside the bottom 10.)

There’s talent here, including two of our top 20 players under 25 in guard Devin Booker and No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. As usual, however, that hasn’t translated into wins. That cost GM Ryan McDonough his job during the preseason and could lead to another coaching change depending upon who replaces McDonough on a full-time basis this summer. No wonder the Suns rated last in the management category. And, remarkably, the summer after dealing for guard Tyler Johnson at the deadline, Phoenix won’t have cap space unless the team parts with restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr.

To give some perspective on what the more immediate future holds, the Suns are poised to finish as one of bottom five teams in the league and are likely to have decent positioning in this year’s NBA Draft. If the season ended today and the team finished as one of three worst teams in the NBA, it would have a 14 percent chance at receiving the No. 1 overall pick.

In September, the Suns were ranked 22nd in these rankings before front office turmoil and poor performance on the court caused ESPN to drop the team four spots.

As for now, the Suns currently hold the second-worst record in the NBA at 16-52.

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