PHOENIX SUNS

ESPN: Suns can nail offseason by drafting a center, signing a vet PG

Jun 20, 2024, 12:00 PM

Kyle Lowry 76ers...

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up before the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If we were to create a big-picture outline to explain how to make the most out of the offseason — with realistic terms — the Phoenix Suns don’t have much to work with.

Their team “is what it is” barring a surprise trade of one of the Big Three members. A coaching change is the hopeful remedy to give a championship run another go in 2024-25. What the Suns can do around the margins is made even more important.

ESPN’s Chris Herring and Kevin Pelton set out to provide one plan for every NBA squad to “nail” the offseason, and for Phoenix, it starts with their No. 22 draft pick. Pelton suggests the Suns use the pick and their 2031 first-round choice to double down once again, in addition to finding a sure-fire rotation player.

Given 26 of the other 29 GMs would trade their situation with the Suns, clearly Phoenix should stay the course.

In all seriousness, though, the Suns are so all-in already that they should consider dealing this year’s No. 22 pick and their 2031 first-rounder for an upgrade.

But Phoenix would also benefit from adding a rookie capable of injecting youth and athleticism, like centers Yves Missi or Kel’el Ware in a role similar to Dereck Lively II’s with the Mavericks. Ideally, they’d look to address a point guard via free agency, hoping to land Kyle Lowry or Delon Wright for the minimum.

Either way, the Suns’ biggest offseason addition will surely be new head coach Mike Budenholzer.

To further paint the picture of Pelton’s outlook, there are risks with Missi and Ware. Missi mostly started but only averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23 minutes per game as a freshman at Baylor. His athleticism and rim-rolling, however, would be up-sides for the Suns.

Ware produced more but has effort concerns. A transfer second-year college player, he surged to average 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists along with 1.9 blocks per game. He’s an explosive jumper who also flashes touch beyond the three-point stripe, but his defensive focus lacks any sort of consistency.

NBA PG vets who could be options for the Suns

Signing Lowry and Wright would be one way to answer a big question at point guard.

Lowry has the clout but at 38 years will be reduced to a limited role. He was still plenty productive, shooting at an efficient clip (43.2%) and averaging 4.4 assists in 28 minutes per game last season for both Miami and Philadelphia. But Lowry would be further limited in a playoff setting and attacked by opposing offenses.

Wright, 32, has bounced around in obscurity for a while aside from a 14-game run of rotation minutes for the Heat last season in which he averaged 5.4 points and 2.6 assists per game.

The risks of those prospects and the questions around the free-agent signings show how difficult it will really be for the Suns to nail this offseason.

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ESPN: Suns can nail offseason by drafting a center, signing a vet PG