29) Phoenix Suns - 25-57 in 2012-2013. 15th in the West. 5th in the Pacific
It's most likely going to be another very tough year in Phoenix. While the Suns traded for coveted PG Eric Bledsoe, the roster still lacks much of an identity. Clearly a team with a lot of work to do all around, the plan is to get a high pick in next year's NBA Draft and take the team forward from their. However for this year, it looks to be a lost cause.
Acquired: Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, Viacheslav Kravtsov
Drafted: Alex Len (#5), Archie Goodwin (#29)
Lost: Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Caron Butler, Wes Johnson, Jermaine O'Neal
Starters: Goran Dragic (PG), Eric Bledsoe (SG), PJ Tucker (SF), Markieff Morris (PF), Marcin Gortat (C)
Bench: Shannon Brown (SG), Gerald Green (SF), Marcus Morris (PF), Channing Frye (PF), Alex Len (C)
Up: P.J. Tucker - Going from an unknown to starter last year, Tucker proved to fill a big hole Michael Beasley failed to fill for the Suns last year. While it didn't result in big wins, he's a solid player who knows his role and could be a solid backup for the future.
Down: Marcin Gortat - A lot of fallout happened between Gortat and the Suns last year. Marcin was extremely unhappy with his role on the team and the minutes distributed by former coach Alvin Gentry. It'll be interesting to see if he has a better relationship with new coach Jeff Hornacek.
X-Factor: Eric Bledsoe - Bledsoe backup up Chris Paul last year and looked for his chance to break out as a star player. Now he plays alongside Goran Dragic and will be asked to play Shooting Guard. A big key for this team will be how he handles that role, or even if he can beat out Dragic eventually for the starting Point Guard spot.
Question to Ponder...What's the plan with Marcin Gortat?
The plan would seem like a trade. Gortat doesn't seem like he's going to stay on the Suns after this year. What the real question for the Suns is what they should go after for Gortat. He has an appealing expiring contract, and the Center position is one teams are always looking to fill with a guy who can control the paint. He'll be a hot commodity going into the Trade Deadline this year, and rookie draft pick Alex Len should get much more playing time after Gortat is sent packing.
(UPDATE: According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Gortat has been traded to Washington)
Bold Prediction for the Suns: Eric Bledsoe will solidify himself as the Starting Point Guard
I just don't believe you make that trade if you're Phoenix and not plan on Bledsoe being your Point Guard. Dragic could be traded this year if the Suns are full on tank mode, and that would give Bledsoe his shot. I like Bledsoe's game even as a Point Guard. He's a defensive guru, and can work his way into the paint with enough help around him. Look for him to prove to the fan base that trading for him was a smart move.
Projected Record: 21-61 15th in the West, 5th in the Pacific