From the inside, the Phoenix Suns have a lot going for them this season that should make them much more fun to watch than last year’s 23-59 team.
A healthy backcourt that will feature the return of Eric Bledsoe, rookies Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis, fan favorites Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa, and the comeback of the unique offense of T.J. Warren.
Simply put, the Suns will be an entertaining team to watch play basketball this season. Compared to the rest of the NBA, however, it’s a different story.
ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe has the team ranked No. 28 in his annual “League Pass Rankings,” which take into consideration everything from the team’s playoff chances to their announce team.
The Suns’ slim chances of making the playoffs has Lowe down on their overall spot in the rankings.
The Suns and Nuggets make you appreciate what Toronto has done in fielding two teams at once — a veteran team that is really good and an intriguing bench squad of prospects who rarely play. Phoenix and Denver have the bifurcated rosters, but they don’t win games. The intrigue of youth gets you only so far in these rankings.
Despite their intriguing skill sets, Lowe doesn’t see the two lottery picks playing that much, and like some of us at Empire of the Suns, he isn’t a fan of Bender on the wing.
Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss probably won’t play much as rookies, though with P.J. Tucker recovering from surgery, Earl Watson might be tempted to (gulp) shoehorn Bender into wing minutes.
Lowe is excited to see the new young blood in the starting lineup, as well as the return of Dudley.
On the bright side, the Devin Booker/T.J. Warren starting duo brings a nice new-school/old-school vibe, and dunkin’ Jared Dudley always makes the smart play.
The Suns dropped nine spots from their No. 19 rank in 2015.