USA Today: Phoenix Suns’ ‘young core is in place’

Jul 31, 2018, 9:30 AM | Updated: 4:39 pm

Phoenix Suns' Mikal Bridges, left, and Deandre Ayton, right, laugh as they answer a question as the...

Phoenix Suns' Mikal Bridges, left, and Deandre Ayton, right, laugh as they answer a question as the team introduces their NBA basketball draft picks Friday, June 22, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

To say the Phoenix Suns had an eventful summer would be an understatement.

But what grade would you give them?

According to USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, the Suns’ offseason moves netted them a B- grade.

By taking DeAndre Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick and signing guard Devin Booker to a long-term extension, the Suns’ young core is in place. They also added a pricey but pivotal veteran in Trevor Ariza.

After the Suns won the NBA Lottery, there was little doubt after a team workout they would select big man Deandre Ayton out of Arizona with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

But their draft-day fireworks were far from over.

They made a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, acquiring No. 10 pick Mikal Bridges in exchange for the No. 16 pick and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick.

Then they looked to free agency.

Phoenix swapped out veterans, adding swingman Trevor Ariza on a one-year, $15 million deal through free agency, while trading Jared Dudley to the Brooklyn Nets. Ariza enters his 15th year in the NBA. Dudley spent seven seasons with the Suns.

Putting an exclamation mark on an already fruitful summer, the Suns signed franchise cornerstone Devin Booker to a five-year, $158 million max extension.

And while the Suns improved their roster, so did a big part of the Western Conference.

The Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder each earned A grades, while the Los Angeles Lakers got an A-, mostly for coaxing LeBron James to Hollywood. The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the other end of the spectrum, getting a D+, the worst grade in the ranking.

The other two teams in the Pacific Division, the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers, received C+ and B grades, respectively.

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USA Today: Phoenix Suns’ ‘young core is in place’