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Suns ranked 25th in ESPN’s NBA offseason power rankings

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) drives past New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

After only winning 19 games last season and showing little improvement, GM James Jones overhauled the Phoenix Suns roster this offseason.

Those moves have the team moving up in ESPN’s power rankings.

Following the first two weeks of NBA free agency, the team now ranks No. 25, three spots up from No. 28 in the last edition.

Phoenix ranks second-to-last among Western Conference teams, only in front of the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 26. Other teams such as the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers were ranked below the Suns.

Just above the Suns are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who fell to the No. 24 spot after they traded away Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

One of was biggest moves Phoenix made was firing head coach Igor Kokoskov and hiring former Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams.

“Phoenix got the hot coach in Monty Williams, but the rest of its summer has been a head scratcher,” ESPN.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk wrote.

Other offseason moves included moving down in the NBA Draft to select North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson at No. 11 overall.

Phoenix made another first-round selection acquiring the No. 24 pick from the Boston Celtics to draft Virginia point guard Ty Jerome.

The Suns also traded part of their young core in Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren and De’Anthony Melton by attaching draft picks to create more cap space.

These moves ultimately cleared space to get point guard Ricky Rubio and re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr.

Phoenix signed Rubio to a three-year deal worth $51 million. He averaged 12.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game last season with the Utah Jazz.

The Suns were able to keep restricted free agent Oubre by signing him to a two-year, $30 million contract.

The team also inked power forward Frank Kaminsky to a two-year, $10 million deal. Kaminsky averaged 8.6 points per game and shot 36% from three-point range.

Only six players still remain on the Suns’ roster from the 2018-19 season: Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Tyler Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo and Oubre.

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