Pros and Cons of Each Phoenix Suns Offseason Addition
The Phoenix Suns were an extremely active team this offseason and made a couple scrutinized moves.
The biggest move the team made was trading away long-time point guard Steve Nash to division rival the Los Angeles Lakers in a move that sent shock waves throughout the league.
While this move understandably got the most press, it was one of the lesser moves the team made to better itself for this upcoming season.
The additions of Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Wesley Johnson will all offer more to this year's team and for several years to come.
Read on for the pros and cons for each offseason addition of the Phoenix Suns.
The Dragon is back!
Goran Dragic makes his return to the desert to be the starting point guard, and will be extremely important for the team's success over the next couple years.
Dragic is a unique lefty scoring talent for a point guard and has really developed his confidence over the past year. In his first stint with the Suns, that confidence was a huge issue.
Now he knows when to go full speed and when to take his time. That alone should make him more valuable to the team.
As for his passing, he is a willing passer and can even make the highlight reel passes.
He's an underrated passer and should see a nice uptick in his assist numbers this year.
Is the Dragon for real?
He put up solid stats after Kyle Lowry got injured toward the end of last year, but can he consistently perform across a full season?
That consistency will define the Suns because this is now his team.
Also, the team probably overpaid just a tad for his services. It wouldn't have hurt to get him for a couple million less.
Michael Beasley could finally be the wing scorer Phoenix has lacked for the past couple seasons.
He has shown the ability to score at a high rate (19.2 ppg two seasons ago) and should get a ton of shots as a Sun.
Beasley has bounced around the past couple years, and he came to Phoenix at a lower cost because of his struggles last year.
This is a great chance for the Suns to get a bargain deal if Beasley can reclaim his former glory.
Beasley's struggles were serious enough that Minnesota completely passed on him and let him enter free agency.
He has had drug problems and is coming off his worst season as a pro.
This combination is certainly not ideal and the return of that person could destroy the little promise the team has this year.
If anything, Beasley is a huge risk/reward type of player for the Suns.
The Suns finally have a capable replacement for Amar'e Stoudemire and someone who is quite tricky in the post, which is something management had previously failed to do.
Luis Scola was acquired off the amnesty auction and should be the starting power forward this season.
He has plenty of post moves, will be a focal point of the offense and even comes fairly cheap for the next couple years.
All in all, a solid and low risk pickup for the Suns.
Scola is coming off a down year and is only getting older, as he will start this year at 32 years old.
That age, combined with a steep decline in rebounding over the regular season and Olympics, is not an ideal combination.
In addition, this acquisition could be looked at as holding back Markieff Morris for a couple extra years.
Wesley Johnson was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason and has a great chance to succeed in Phoenix.
Johnson is a top-level athlete and combines that athleticism with quick hands to make an impact on defense.
He is a decent shooter, but is much more effective at getting out in transition and finishing strong.
So far in the preseason, Johnson has looked fantastic and could end up being a nice steal for the Suns.
Johnson really struggled in Minnesota (much like Beasley) and is not the type of shooter the Suns are used to having come off the bench.
He'll have to improve his shooting consistency and shot selection before he can be a featured scorer off the bench for the Suns.
Kendall Marshall was the team's 2012 first round draft pick and is the kind of instinctive passer that is rare to come by.
His feel for the game is very solid, and he should push Sebastian Telfair for the backup point guard position.
At the very least, Marshall is the point guard of the future and will have time to learn behind veterans Goran Dragic and Telfair.
Marshall struggles to make his jump shot consistently and needs to put in work to improve. If not, defenses will sag off and dare him to shoot, much like teams do to Rajon Rondo.
In addition to a lack of shooting prowess, Marshall also is a subpar athlete and has to rely on his smarts to get open. That can be effective (see Steve Nash, John Stockton) but the success stories are few and far between.
Jermaine O'Neal is the kind of defensive-minded backup the Suns desperately needed after trading away Robin Lopez.
O'Neal will provide a tough presence down low and isn't afraid to be the enforcer for this team. He will also be a key veteran leader on a team full of younger guys.
Expect O'Neal to greatly benefit from having Phoenix's phenomenal training staff at his disposal, and hopefully, he'll have a full season of good health.
His acquisition is even more important now that Channing Frye should be out for the season.
O'Neal has a troublesome history of injuries and seems susceptible to more injuries in the future.
He hasn't played back to back seasons of 70-plus games since the early 2000s and has gone over 70 games only once in the past nine seasons.
Staying healthy is a major concern for Jermaine O'Neal.
P.J. Tucker is a relentless rebounder and the type of player who could flourish for Phoenix in a Lou Amundsen type of way.
Tucker's motor and size (6'6" and 224 lbs) allows him to get physical with opponents and gives him the potential to be a huge defensive asset off the bench for the Suns.
He has an NBA body, but his shooting skills are basically non-existant from outside the paint.
That lack of NBA experience combined with the depth of the team at the wing positions could lead to sparse playing time.