ESPN’s Broussard: Phoenix Suns should contend for a playoff spot

Jul 14, 2015, 4:23 PM | Updated: 4:24 pm
...
LISTEN: Chris Broussard, ESPN NBA Insider

The Phoenix Suns have not made the NBA playoffs in each of the past five seasons, but ESPN’s Chris Broussard said that run could come to an end in 2015-16.

Broussard told Bickley & Marotta of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that the Suns should battle for the eighth seed next season.

“I think they’ll be in the hunt (for a playoff spot) with Dallas, maybe Utah,” Broussard said.

The Suns won 39 games in 2014-15 after winning 48 games the previous season.

Phoenix selected Kentucky’s Devin Booker 13th overall in this year’s NBA Draft.

In free agency, Phoenix re-signed point guard Brandon Knight to a five-year, $70 million contract, added former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler on a four-year $52 million deal and made a run at one of the top free agents on the market in All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

Expectations, however, shouldn’t be too high beyond just making the playoffs, as Broussard said Phoenix is “certainly” not a title contender.

The big thing, Broussard said, is moving forward from being a middle-of-the-pack team.

“How do they get to that status?” he said. “I think they need a great front court player…you need somebody in that front court who is of All-Star caliber. Obviously LaMarcus Aldridge would have fit the bill.”

Without a player like Aldridge, Phoenix’s roster can be good, but not great, Broussard said.

“They don’t have the core where you can say in a few years, ‘Okay, in a few years this is going to be a contender,'” he said. “The Suns don’t have that kind of core.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Aaron Holiday (4) drives between Sacramento Kings guard Josh Jackson (55) and gu...
Kevin Zimmerman

Report: Suns opt against making Aaron Holiday restricted free agent

The Phoenix Suns will not extend a qualifying offer to backup guard Aaron Holiday, giving the team financial relief.
15 hours ago
Dennis Schroder #17 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: Will there be a significant upgrade at guard?

The Phoenix Suns could shake up the backcourt to help Chris Paul and Devin Booker manage the load, but how likely is it via free agency?
15 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass over Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) du...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton free agency market could be cooling with reported Pistons trade

The Detroit Pistons appear to have removed themselves from the Deandre Ayton chase days before free agency officially begins in the NBA.
15 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton takes the court prior to Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round ...
Wills Rice

Suns’ Ayton becomes 2nd No. 1 pick to hit restricted free agency since 1985

The Suns' Deandre Ayton became the second No. 1 overall pick to hit restricted free agency since the birth of the NBA draft lottery in 1985.
2 days ago
Denver Nuggets assistant coach Patrick Mutombo talks to the team during practice July 8, 2014 at Pe...
Arizona Sports

Raptors G League coach Patrick Mutombo to join Phoenix Suns

Patrick Mutombo is joining the Suns' coaching staff as an assistant. Additionally, Randy Ayers is transitioning to coaching advisor.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne, left, is hit in the face by Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Suns free-agency focus: Wings, modern power forwards of note

The Phoenix Suns have been linked to Nicolas Batum before free agency and Thaddeus Young at past trade deadlines.
2 days ago
ESPN’s Broussard: Phoenix Suns should contend for a playoff spot