Offseason rankings: David Aldridge ranks Suns’ moves as No. 24 in NBA
Another national writer is not a fan of the Phoenix Suns’ moves this offseason.
The Athletic’s David Aldridge published his offseason rankings in order of how he thinks the 30 teams have done this offseason to answer a question: “Is the team better now than at the end of last season?”
The Suns finished at No. 24.
He wrote that there was “head scratching” throughout the league about Phoenix’s decisions, which included drafting Cam Johnson with the No. 11 pick. Johnson was red-flagged by multiple teams due to surgeries in college, according to Aldridge.
The key move was signing point guard Ricky Rubio, who is solid but not a star by any means.
“The bottom line was this: no one’s coming to the Valley of the Sun in free agency right now, so it made no sense to keep rolling over cap room and calling that progress,” Aldridge wrote.
Rubio’s ability to improve the Suns’ 3-point shooting was questioned by Aldridge in the piece. The Suns were awful shooting beyond the arc last year, and Rubio is no Steve Nash when it comes to shooting. Rubio is an excellent passer, but with defenses willing to back off and let him take the shot, teammates might not get enough space to see dramatically improved looks.
“It’s unfair to ask the 28-year-old to come in and completely fix the Suns’ prolific shooting woes … He’ll have to be incredible for Phoenix to significantly improve on those dismal numbers going forward,” Aldridge wrote.
Suns fans may not be thrilled about the ranking. Last year’s starting point guards were primarily Isaiah Canaan, two rookie second-round draft picks, and Tyler Johnson. It’s fair to note that weak play at the position unquestionably affected the looks for 3-point shooters.
That’s not even mentioning the new head coach, Monty Williams, Dario Saric stepping into the power forward slot and the Suns clearing some space in the wing rotation.
Based on depth chart alone, it looks like the Suns can’t be as bad as last year.
Aldridge said as much; the moves make sense. But nothing Phoenix did screams massive improvement to him in what was likely the craziest free agency in league history.
“You can both understand yet not be excited about what the Suns are doing, though, and as they’re in the West, and still can’t get free agents interested, it’s hard to see this improving any time soon, even under Williams,” Aldridge wrote.