Jason Torquato expects very much a transitional year for the Phoenix Suns.
Placing last season: 33-33 (10th in Western Conference)
Key moves: The Suns finally traded away franchise player Steve Nash, receiving two first and second round picks in future drafts which will help them build in the coming years.
Former North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall, Phoenix’s lone draftee, will attempt to emulate Nash’s assisting abilities down the line, having proved himself to be a solid point guard as a member of the Tar Heels.
Phoenix were especially active in the free agent market, picking up Luis Scola who will provide them with a solid post player. Goran Dragic also returns to his old stomping ground following two years at Houston with Scola, where he proved himself to be quite an explosive guard.
The Suns will also hope new signing Marcus Beasley can focus on the court and put his off the court issues behind him.
Challenges ahead: Without Nash this team isn’t even going to be dreaming of playing .500 basketball. The priority could even be to secure a high draft pick and build for the future, having got a plethora of first round selections from various deals.
Reasons to be positive: Having high draft picks are always beneficial for a team in transition and the Suns have a core of players that could develop nicely down the road, even if none look like being all-stars yet.
Marcus Beasley has shown glimpses of why the Miami Heat drafted him second overall when he is concentrated and the Suns will need to make sure they get the most out of him in his time in Phoenix.
Prediction: 28-54 (14th in Western Conference)
image: © Keith Allison