'Fact or Fiction' with Each Phoenix Suns Player as a Building Block
Since the Phoenix Suns are currently in rebuilding mode, it's safe to assume that not every move they make will be all that smart.
That could go for player signings, trades or drafting. When a team is rebuilding, "winning" isn't really the biggest issue. While no team wants to be terrible, the future is what they are looking to.
The Suns made a lot of moves this offseason and have a very interesting roster right now. That roster has managed to be 12-22 as of the writing of this article. So yeah, rough times.
It is pretty obvious that not every player on this losing team is going to be there for too much longer.
Goran Dragic is going through an up-and-down year, but the Suns need to keep him. Any team going through a rebuilding process must get a point guard and stick with him.
This lets the team get some consistency pretty quickly, which is important. Dragic's numbers sit at 15 points and six assists per contest.
Those numbers aren't great, but considering the supporting cast and Dragic's lack of starter experience, they are manageable.
As he gets used to the system and gets some scoring help around him, he will start to become noticeably better.
His biggest issue has been getting the ball to his teammates in the right position, whether it's giving the ball to someone with the shot clock almost at the end or giving it to a teammate out of position.
Clearly, those are chemistry and experience issues. The only way to fix those is too keep Dragic right here in Phoenix.
Shannon Brown does one thing: score. Unfortunately, he really doesn't do it well. Twelve points a game on 42-percent shooting is not that impressive for a player who is paid to put the ball in the basket.
That, combined with his complete lack of effort on defense, leads me to believe that Brown is not going to be part of the whole rebuilding process.
He is not that good a player and has failed to grow in any way from last year. More minutes, more points, but the shooting percentage is the same.
Defense should be more important to the Suns than it currently is, although that's not going to happen with Brown on the roster.
Maybe I'm being a little bit too harsh, but I hope the Suns don't keep him around too much longer.
Michael Beasley should not be on the roster of the Suns after the trade deadline. There is zero justification for keeping him on the roster.
He has been terrible on both ends of the court and has let every fan down this season. His points per game and PER are both below 10, and his shooting percentage sits at 37.
Combine that with his locker room issues, and Beasley needs to be gone.
Luis Scola has been a very solid player for the Suns, but his age is the problem. I have no issue with him being around for this season, or maybe even the next.
The problem is that at 32, Scola is just not that valuable a player to keep. He is not known for his leadership abilities, which would pretty much be the only reason to keep him around for a while.
Don't take me wrong: If not for the Scola, the Suns would be the absolute worst team in the league. With that said, the Suns do have Markieff Morris, and that really makes Scola disposable.
I wouldn't expect to see Scola on the roster next year, and I don't have any problem with that.
I would love for Marcin Gortat to stick around seeing as he has been a very valuable player on the floor. His attitude is the biggest reason I want Gortat gone.
Questioning the coach is not something I want to see any player do, unless it's absolutely necessary. In this case, however, it was a selfish act, done by a struggling player.
Thus far, Gortat is sitting on some pretty decent stats. If it weren't for some off-the-court issues and his on-court inconsistency, my vote would be for him to stay.
Leadership is important for any team, and Jared Dudley is the leader of the Suns.
He is also their best defender and a very solid all-around player. He does a little bit of everything on the court, and his age isn't an issue at 27.
Not to mention, his style of play is one that could be kept at the same level for a good period of time. The easiest choice here, Dudley stays.
Markieff Morris didn't come into the league with high expectations and is still an unknown to most basketball fans.
To Suns fans, though, he is a very promising young forward, who could develop into an above-average player. As he gets older and gains consistency, his numbers will go up.
From eight points a game, I expect him to rise to around 15 and grab eight boards instead of four. With all that, I think the Suns should keep him around to develop and grow with the team.
While he might never be a star, he will be a very good starter for them for years to come.
Let me first give a nod to the very solid play from Jermaine O'Neal. Seven points, four rebounds, and a block in limited action off of the bench.
Now, back to the topic. O'Neal is 34 and has serious injury concerns. He is gone after this year.
Based on Wesley Johnson only playing an average of six minutes and only playing in 13 games, I think the Suns have made their decision.
Johnson was looked at as a player who needed a change of scenery. In fact, I think that's the same thing the next team that signs him will say.
Too bad Johnson is just not that great a basketball player. His defense is fine, but it has failed to make up for his terrible offensive play.
Johnson has averaged 23 minutes a game for his career, but that has only led to seven points a contest. Easy call: Johnson is out.
Kendall Marshall is a project player and, by definition, is going to be with the team for some time. As he develops his game, his role will increase.
Hopefully, he will be good enough to step in for Dragic down the road. Marshall was the 13th overall pick in this year's draft but has received almost no playing time during the season.
Next year, I expect to see a lot more from him, and maybe we will get to see a little bit of what this kid's ceiling is.
P.J. Tucker and Sebastian Telfair
I have the exact same thing to say for both of these guys, so I will condense it to just one slide.
P.J. Tucker and Sebastian Telfair are decent rotation players, and there is no reason the Suns should ditch them. They don't require large salaries and can step in and play good ball when needed.
Both have stepped up when called upon, and in Tucker's case, he has been Mr. Clutch this season. Look for these two guys to stay right where they are.
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