There should be only one word that describes the 2017-18 NBA season for the Phoenix Suns: Growth. Last year, the Suns finished dead last in the Western Conference with a record of 24-48. Veterans were limited during the second half of the season, while the youngsters began taking up minutes. I do not think anyone should think anything more of the upcoming season.
The teams in the West have only continued to grow stronger. Jimmy Butler has joined the Timberwolves. Paul George has gone to Oklahoma City, and several other mid-tier teams made significant splashes during free agency. Sadly to say though, the only improvement that the Suns saw was through the draft. With the fourth overall pick, they selected Josh Jackson from Kansas University. Currently, it is hard to decide how much Jackson improves the team until we actually see him play minutes against a NBA team. He looked good during summer league, but that means very little. The Suns must continue with the plan to draft and grow.
I would not mind, or expect anything besides another year at the bottom of the West. I would be upset if they try to be something they are not. In my opinion winning games is not what’s important at this point in the rebuild. The West is too strong and there is absolutely nothing the Suns can do about that right now. They can only try to wait out the prime years of the other contenders in the West. The Suns should sit back and let their draft picks become stars. It will not happen overnight, but with time it can come sooner rather than later. They have the pieces to one day become elite. Devin Booker, the man who scored 70 points on the Celtics last year, has the skills to grow into an all-star. Josh Jackson has major upside, falling to four after being arguably the top prospect in the draft. Including Bender, Ulis, and Chriss, this team can one day be dominate. That day is just not tomorrow though.
The Suns should remain at the bottom of the NBA, while they allow their younger players to continue to take minutes away from their veterans and build through the draft. Within a few short years, the Suns will be back on top.
Photo Credits: Bright Side of the Sun