4 hottest questions facing Suns entering 2022-23 NBA training camp

By | September 29, 2022

I suppose we are able to say the Phoenix Suns had a reasonably good 2021-22 NBA season. For one factor, they completed with the most effective common season file within the NBA. Alternatively, that accomplishment was overshadowed by how unceremoniously they had been tossed within the second spherical of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks. Waiting for the 2022-23 NBA season, the Suns have some questions they have to face as they enter coaching camp.

In the course of the offseason, regardless of alleged friction between DeAndre Ayton and workforce administration, the Suns wasted no time in matching the Pacers’ most supply sheet to maintain the previous No. 23 years. Now that he cannot be traded till January, Ayton is out of the operating as a play in any profitable commerce within the coming weeks.

Plus, with Devin Booker’s new contract, the Suns will get the group again collectively for a minimum of subsequent season, which is sensible given they’d the most effective file within the NBA after a Finals look. Now, there may be a number of confusion surrounding Jae Crowder along with Robert Sarver’s scenario. It has been a reasonably hectic offseason for the Suns as they enter coaching camp, however that should not diminish their efficiency for the upcoming season.

With that in thoughts, listed below are 4 of essentially the most burning questions going through the Phoenix Suns coming into their 2022-23 NBA coaching camp.

4. Will DeAndre Ayton make the leap now that he has a bag?

Regardless of the turmoil that has surrounded DeAndre Ayton for the previous 4 years, it appears to be like like he is able to take the following step. On July 19, Ayton stunned the NBA by agreeing to a four-year, $133 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. The Suns, however, had been desperate to match the supply sheet, which saved Ayton within the Valley whereas eliminating any rumors of a breakup.

With contract negotiations behind him, Ayton will enter subsequent season with minimal distractions and will make vital progress in his sport. This debut, his teammates have taken discover.

“His skilled degree has gone up 12 months by 12 months,” teammate Cam Johnson mentioned at Suns media day. “I do know he’s targeted. He has been within the health club with us on daily basis. Its potential is limitless.

Even head coach Monty Williams stepped in, however with far more objectivity.

“I believe there are a number of wrinkles that we are going to positively discover to try to capitalize on DA’s capability to attain within the mid-range,” Williams mentioned. “Taking three from the highest of the important thing, three from the nook. These are issues I noticed him work on this summer season.

3. How will Robert Sarver’s whirlwind have an effect on this workforce?

Throughout their workforce’s media day, most Suns employees and gamers appeared to choose to not reply questions on Robert Sarver, and their expressions mirrored that all through the day.

The silver lining, nevertheless, is now the arduous half is over. The enjoyable half is right here – enjoying aggressive basketball.

Remember the fact that Sarver did one thing he should not have executed, and it is solely truthful that he promote the franchise. It additionally goes with out saying that the Suns would profit tremendously from a brand new proprietor.

For now, they solely care about getting on the market and getting the job executed. After a dismal second-round outing final season, Williams’ workforce shall be able to shine and have one other chip race in 2023.

2. What’s up with Jae Crowder?

Phoenix Suns beginning ahead Jae Crowder will miss coaching camp. On Sunday, the Suns launched an announcement saying the franchise and Crowder “have mutually determined that he is not going to be with the workforce for coaching camp.”

Crowder’s place with the workforce was unknown this season. The Suns had been anticipated to provide different gamers extra duty, particularly rising star Cam Johnson.

Recall that Crowder has been a key member of the Suns within the earlier two seasons. Phoenix reached the 2021 NBA Finals earlier than falling in six video games to the Milwaukee Bucks, and the workforce set a membership file for normal season wins final 12 months.

Crowder averaged 9.7 factors and 5.0 rebounds throughout his profession with the Suns. The ten-year veteran has performed on a number of playoff groups, together with Boston, Utah and Miami. Presumably he could also be in search of a workforce that may maximize his affect as an alternative of relegating him to the background.

1. Can the 38-year-old CP3 nonetheless carry this workforce?

Chris Paul shall be 38 in 2023 when the Suns are anticipated to go far within the playoffs. Sure, he too is very prolific for his age, however can the Suns actually pin their title probabilities on this getting old ground basic?

Observe that he led the NBA in assists final season with 10.8. Steve Nash is the one participant in league historical past to common extra in a season at age 36 (or older).

Nonetheless, CP3 have had season-ending damage points up to now. If these ills resurface in 2022-23, the Phoenix Suns might wrestle to maintain up with the Warriors, Clippers, Nuggets and different Western Convention powerhouses.

This is an attention-grabbing knowledge level – when Paul is not on the pitch, their level differential stays constructive over the earlier two seasons. Nonetheless, his expertise, play, taking pictures and composure, particularly within the clutch, are key parts for Phoenix to be a contender. Will he nonetheless be the face of this workforce, or are the Suns prepared at hand over the reins to another person?

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