Suns analyst: Team can use final games to get good look at roster

Apr 1, 2013, 11:58 PM | Updated: Apr 2, 2013, 12:37 am
LISTEN: Tim Kempton, Suns broadcaster

The Phoenix Suns are not going to make the playoffs. In fact, they’re not even close.

However, that does not mean the last eight games of the season are little more than a waste of time or a chance to strengthen draft position.

“You definitely can kind of look at guys and see where they’re at, see are they still engaged,” Suns analyst Tim Kempton told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “Are the guys coming to work every day and putting in the time and the effort even though it’s a bad situation.”

As their roster stands now, the Suns have six players age 25 or younger, so there is still plenty that needs to be learned about some of them.

“You get a first-hand look at 12, 13 guys,” Kempton said. “You could even look at guys at different positions, if you want to, and different lineups and see who plays well with other guys.

“It’s a time to audition and try things.”

So that could mean more time for players like Kendall Marshall, Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, even at the expense of being competitive.

Like, for instance, when the team sat point guard Goran Dragic for two games last week, both of which were losses. Some viewed the decision as the Suns’ way of trying to “tank” and improve draft position. That may have been the goal, but no matter what the reasoning, Kempton does not believe decisions like that — and others that have them seeing less playing time — are not moves veteran players should be upset with.

“Hopefully it was conveyed to them, hopefully it was more than just one conversation,” he said of not playing. “If you’re a veteran, you can handle a lot of stuff.

“You’ve been around, you’ve seen a lot of guys get minutes when they shouldn’t have; you’ve seen young players come along, you’ve seen veterans get thrown out of the mix.”

Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns dribbling the ball get fouled by De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacrament...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns lose cool again, drop 3rd straight vs. Kings

No matter how well they play at the moment, the Phoenix Suns seemingly can't avoid losing control of a game at some point in the second half.
2 days ago
Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts on the bench during the first half of the NBA game at F...
Austin Scott

By the numbers: How injuries have hurt the Suns’ consistency

The Suns have been dealing with injuries all season long. Here are a few numbers that show the impact injuries have had on the season.
2 days ago
Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns signs autographs before the game against the Chicago Bulls at ...
Arizona Sports

Report: Suns’ Kevin Durant progressing toward return vs. Timberwolves

Suns star Kevin Durant is progressing toward a Wednesday return against the Timberwolves after missing time due to a sprained ankle.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams yells at officials during the second half of the team's NBA baske...
Arizona Sports

Suns coach Monty Williams fined for criticism of NBA officials

The NBA fined Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams $20,000 for criticizing the referees in a Tuesday loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
2 days ago
General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns looks on after the game against the Miami Heat at F...
Tyler Drake

Jones: Suns need to ‘control what they can control’ with fouling

Worrying over what transpired in previous games does the Phoenix Suns no favors as it jostles for playoff position.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Arena on March 22, 2023 in Los...
Dan Bickley

Suns crying foul hints at problems between their ears

The Suns have been tagged as a flopping, foul-hunting, fall-down-after-every-shot kind of team. You don’t think that comes with consequences?
3 days ago
Suns analyst: Team can use final games to get good look at roster