Suns Off-season Thread

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ESPN gave the Suns a C+ for their off-season grade, which I feel is fair.

Here is the write up...

Even after the negotiations ended with the Suns matching an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers, it's tough to tell the team's goal in talks with restricted free agent Deandre Ayton. If Phoenix hoped to force Ayton to choose between playing for the one-year qualifying offer or a non-max multiyear deal, that outcome did look realistic for a moment before the Pacers stepped in. The Suns were fortunate Ayton's deal wasn't more player-friendly, containing no player option or trade bonus. Still, the way Phoenix handled Ayton's free agency could have long-term ramifications.

With Ayton's new deal taking them into the luxury tax, the Suns' other moves were all to add players at the minimum. I liked the value for Damion Lee, who has quietly been productive for the Warriors during the regular season
.


Worth noting only 2 teams got lower grades in the West. Dallas got a D and Minnesota got a C-. Memphis also got a C+.

Source...
www.Espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/34336524/nba-offseason-grades-where-los-angeles-lakers-golden-state-warriors-every-west-team-check-in
 

angelofthesouth

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So who thinks DeAndre Ayton will start to earn his new contract next season? That would be one of the few surprises the Suns can pull on other teams if they "run it back" as Cameron Johnson likes. Ayton adds new moves; increases scoring average and takes pressure off Devin Booker; becomes even better at defense than defending the paint well; or increases rebounding to Dennis Rodman-like numbers.
 
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Proximo

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So who thinks DeAndre Ayton will start to earn his new contract next season? That would be one of the few surprises the Suns can pull on other teams if they "run it back" as Cameron Johnson likes. Ayton adds new moves; increases scoring average and takes pressure off Devin Booker; becomes even better at defense than defending the paint well; or increases rebounding to Dennis Rodman-like numbers.
I think he has already earned that contract - if he had not Indiana would not have made the offer.

I think Aytons game did develop a bit last season, his mid range shot became much more reliable.

I am looking for much more dribble penetration from him this season. He showed a few flashes of it late last season. If he can add that consistently to his game he will be a far bigger offensive threat.

I don't expect any defensive or rebounding improvement, I think he is already good at both, and it is not where focus for improvement will be put.
 

angelofthesouth

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I suppose at least three other surprises are possible:

-Coach loosens up on using his bench players.

-Coach gets a new assistant coach who is more skilled than he in X-and-O.

-The marginal players, both new and old, prove to be "diamonds in the rough" because coach allows them to see the court in the first place. For instance, Josh Okogie learns to shoot; or Ish Wainwright provides valuable contributions at forward backing up Jae Crowder. Or Damion Lee cheerfully sits on the end of the bench like a guard-sized Tim Kempton, but provides valuable help as a glorified assistant coach.
 
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Mainstreet

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I think he has already earned that contract - if he had not Indiana would not have made the offer.

I think Aytons game did develop a bit last season, his mid range shot became much more reliable.

I am looking for much more dribble penetration from him this season. He showed a few flashes of it late last season. If he can add that consistently to his game he will be a far bigger offensive threat.

I don't expect any defensive or rebounding improvement, I think he is already good at both, and it is not where focus for improvement will be put.

When the Suns matched the Pacers offer sheet, I think they got Ayton for what they expected to pay, not that they wouldn't have welcomed paying him less.

I expect Ayton to take more 3-pointers this coming season and hopefully he becomes more of a threat on the dribble drive.

It would be nice if his rebounding and defense improved. Some of this may be attributed to what the Suns are asking him to do. I think the Suns may need to rethink defensive schemes where they have him guarding outside.
 

Finito

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I think he has already earned that contract - if he had not Indiana would not have made the offer.

I think Aytons game did develop a bit last season, his mid range shot became much more reliable.

I am looking for much more dribble penetration from him this season. He showed a few flashes of it late last season. If he can add that consistently to his game he will be a far bigger offensive threat.

I don't expect any defensive or rebounding improvement, I think he is already good at both, and it is not where focus for improvement will be put.

His game has improved dramatically since his rookie year.

His defensive rating his rookie year was 112 last year it was 105 the same as Embiid(105.2) and Bam(105.7)

He’s made crazy strides on defense

On offense his hook shots his rookie year he hit 50% last year 66%. That’s a 16% improvement. That’s crazy.

You can clearly see he puts in the work to get better but it’s never good enough for some. People really forget how young he is still.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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His game has improved dramatically since his rookie year.

His defensive rating his rookie year was 112 last year it was 105 the same as Embiid(105.2) and Bam(105.7)

He’s made crazy strides on defense

On offense his hook shots his rookie year he hit 50% last year 66%. That’s a 16% improvement. That’s crazy.

You can clearly see he puts in the work to get better but it’s never good enough for some. People really forget how young he is still.
I just want to see more aggression offensively this season. I want to see him start to realize what his body is capable of, and use it.
 

Finito

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I just want to see more aggression offensively this season. I want to see him start to realize what his body is capable of, and use it.

It’s kind of a double edge sword. If he played as aggressive as fans wanted he’d be in foul trouble in the first half of every game.

We literally seen him go up and dunk on Luka then get called for a T. The suns get zero respect from the refs.

This year I also wanted to see Monty get tossed from some games. He’s gotta stick up for his players.
 

Hoop Head

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If Ayton played with some heart and passion then I think most people would be satisfied with his production, whether it increases his stats or not. He's just so aloof the majority of the time he's on the floor that it's hard to tell if he cares.

I'd like to see him increase his FT attempts as well. I know asking for 4 a game shouldn't be too much but that's essentially doubling his average last year, which was 2.4 a game. I'd settle for over a 3 a game next season. At least he'd be showing improvement then rather than regression.. His career average is 2.5 a game and his best season was his rookie year at 2.7 a game.

Another thing with increasing his FT's per game is drawing smart fouls and getting And-1's. He only had 17 And-1's last season. He only drew 71 shooting fouls, for a Center who takes 75% of his shots with 10 feet, that's pathetic.
 
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Superbone

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Have you ever had a new born? wait your talking about gaming....................................
Yep. His girlfriend must be a saint taking care of their son while he's adding to his legendary status in NBA 2K.

It's clear watching Ayton play NBA 2K on the big screen that he's a dedicated gamer. He says that family comes first for him -- as the father of a 1-year-old, Ayton always makes time for his son, Deandre Jr., and girlfriend, Anissa Evans. But then, every day, he'll settle down for several hours -- at least four or five -- to play NBA 2K. This is how Ayton reached Legend status, an achievement that occurs by reaching Level 40 for four seasons in the game. Ayton believes he's the only NBA player to become a Legend.

"I don't know how I did it this year because I got a child, but I did it," Ayton says.

Ayton typically wakes up around 6 a.m. after only getting about two hours of sleep.
There's time for a quick round of gaming after eating breakfast, then he's off to practice. Then it's back home to finish talking trash and practicing moves on the virtual court. On game days, Ayton is focused, but that schedule still includes time for video games.
 
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angelofthesouth

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One never wants players to get injured; but the ultimate proof of whether the Suns actually have depth would be if some of their starters got injured enough to miss substantial time. For instance, if Chris Paul broke his hand/finger like he has in the past; or especially Devin Booker, the Suns' only feared scoring threat. If Payne had to start for Paul for a month, or Shamet had to start for Booker, and the Suns immediately went downhill, everyone who claimed the Suns have great depth should be quiet.
His game has improved dramatically since his rookie year.

His defensive rating his rookie year was 112 last year it was 105 the same as Embiid(105.2) and Bam(105.7)

He’s made crazy strides on defense

On offense his hook shots his rookie year he hit 50% last year 66%. That’s a 16% improvement. That’s crazy.

You can clearly see he puts in the work to get better but it’s never good enough for some. People really forget how young he is still.
Yeah; but I just don't care about his rookie year, only last year. I simply want him to play better than that. If his hook shot percentage went up to 66 percent last year, I hope it climbs over 70 percent this year. I hope he improves offensively enough that opponents fear him almost as much as Devin Booker.

Everyone says the Suns' defense is very good. It's the offense that is only "good" and could stand to become even better. The offense could increase focus on ayton. I've believed the offense is too dependent on Devin Booker just because for years he has been the only potent weapon. If Ayton were even almost as threatening offensively, we wouldn't hear nearly as much about Booker being trapped and unable to get rid of the ball. Probably.
 

AzStevenCal

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One never wants players to get injured; but the ultimate proof of whether the Suns actually have depth would be if some of their starters got injured enough to miss substantial time. For instance, if Chris Paul broke his hand/finger like he has in the past; or especially Devin Booker, the Suns' only feared scoring threat. If Payne had to start for Paul for a month, or Shamet had to start for Booker, and the Suns immediately went downhill, everyone who claimed the Suns have great depth should be quiet.
Booker missed 14 games, CP3 missed 17 games, Ayton missed 24 games, Crowder missed 15 games, CamJ missed 16 games, CamP missed 24 games, Shamet missed 13 games and we still won 64 games. And many of those absences overlapped. Only 3 of our players averaged more than 30 minutes and none of our players averaged 35 minutes. We appeared to have incredible depth until all of a sudden, we didn't.

I don't know why things went south but for the majority of the season there was reason to celebrate the depth and quality of our bench.
 

Finito

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One never wants players to get injured; but the ultimate proof of whether the Suns actually have depth would be if some of their starters got injured enough to miss substantial time. For instance, if Chris Paul broke his hand/finger like he has in the past; or especially Devin Booker, the Suns' only feared scoring threat. If Payne had to start for Paul for a month, or Shamet had to start for Booker, and the Suns immediately went downhill, everyone who claimed the Suns have great depth should be quiet.

Yeah; but I just don't care about his rookie year, only last year. I simply want him to play better than that. If his hook shot percentage went up to 66 percent last year, I hope it climbs over 70 percent this year. I hope he improves offensively enough that opponents fear him almost as much as Devin Booker.

Everyone says the Suns' defense is very good. It's the offense that is only "good" and could stand to become even better. The offense could increase focus on ayton. I've believed the offense is too dependent on Devin Booker just because for years he has been the only potent weapon. If Ayton were even almost as threatening offensively, we wouldn't hear nearly as much about Booker being trapped and unable to get rid of the ball. Probably.

Shoot 70% yeah that’s realistic
 

big al

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Hopefully Saric will be able to return healthy but we don't know how long it will take for him to get up to speed. He is mostly used as a small ball center anyway.

The Suns need to get stronger at power forward even if the Suns keep Crowder.

As we saw in the playoffs, the Suns are vulnerable on the boards.
Yeah and imagine if we had lost Ayton's 10-11 rebounds. We all know that a rebounding power forward should be a priority but we are not the Suns Brass. Durant would give us some needed consistent creating scoring every night along with 7.4 or more rebounds but that trade may never materialize.
I do look for the Suns to recover from last year's playoff meltdown. They should be highly motivated because we were way better than what we played against both Pelicans & Mavericks. I think some players still play for pride too.
 
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big al

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His game has improved dramatically since his rookie year.

His defensive rating his rookie year was 112 last year it was 105 the same as Embiid(105.2) and Bam(105.7)

He’s made crazy strides on defense

On offense his hook shots his rookie year he hit 50% last year 66%. That’s a 16% improvement. That’s crazy.

You can clearly see he puts in the work to get better but it’s never good enough for some. People really forget how young he is still.
Ayton has improved each year no doubt. And he should realize with that pay increase comes more responsibility, more accountability, and more mature acts on his part. Big time pay for big time work effort. Continue to improve young man!!! Suns window is still open so let's run back for the Championship!
 
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Ouchie-Z-Clown

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It’s kind of a double edge sword. If he played as aggressive as fans wanted he’d be in foul trouble in the first half of every game.

We literally seen him go up and dunk on Luka then get called for a T. The suns get zero respect from the refs.

This year I also wanted to see Monty get tossed from some games. He’s gotta stick up for his players.
A) that dunk call was not the norm

B) as we’ve always seen throughout the history of the nba, the players who are consistently more aggressive get away with more contact. He gets called for it bc he plays soft and thus his aggression is easy to point out and call a foul. If he were always aggressive he’d get more calls.

C) the refs don’t generally have it out for the suns. You’re smarter than using that as an excuse for Ayton.

Frankly, I think your response just confirms that you will always make excuses for the big fella. My post wasn’t even that critical of him and you still felt compelled to come up with what I believe to be pretty poor reasons why his being more aggressive would be a bad thing.
 

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Using Ayton's technical in the playoffs from when he dunked over Doncic is a super weak excuse for his soft style. He set a precedent for himself during the entire regular season and first round that he doesn't attack the basket or go up with aggression or force. Of course it'll gain extra attention when he does, especially in a series that was already getting physical and personal.
 

Finito

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A) that dunk call was not the norm

B) as we’ve always seen throughout the history of the nba, the players who are consistently more aggressive get away with more contact. He gets called for it bc he plays soft and thus his aggression is easy to point out and call a foul. If he were always aggressive he’d get more calls.

C) the refs don’t generally have it out for the suns. You’re smarter than using that as an excuse for Ayton.

Frankly, I think your response just confirms that you will always make excuses for the big fella. My post wasn’t even that critical of him and you still felt compelled to come up with what I believe to be pretty poor reasons why his being more aggressive would be a bad thing.

I’m not making excuses for anyone. I don’t think it’s an excuse to acknowledge that the game isn’t played like that anymore. Unless your a star your not really gonna be able to get away with that.

I don’t think the suns get the benefit of doubt at all from the refs.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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I’m not making excuses for anyone. I don’t think it’s an excuse to acknowledge that the game isn’t played like that anymore. Unless your a star your not really gonna be able to get away with that.

I don’t think the suns get the benefit of doubt at all from the refs.
Aggressive players get the benefit of the doubt. You don’t just get star treatment automatically unless you’re a Lebron. You have to earn it. By being aggressive. Did giannis get that treatment right away? No. He earned it. By being aggressive. Did embiid? He earned by being consistently aggressive. At this point aytin has earned the label as a finesse player. If he wants to get the calls most centers like him get, and that he should get, he has to generate them by . . . you guessed it . . . being aggressive. It’s on him. It’s not the refs fault.

And your claim that game “isn’t played like that anymore” really misses the point. Are you telling me that KAT’s 6 FTs/game, embiid’s 12FTs/game, jokic’s 6FTs/game, giannis’ 11FTs/game, randle’s 6FTs/game, gobert’s 7FTs/game, bam’s 6FTs/game are due to anything other than playing a lot more aggressively and drawing contact than Ayton at 2.4 FTs/game? Those guys average 8/game. That’s more than 3 times as many as Ayton. In Ayton’s 4th season. Javale mcgee, in 500 fewer minutes this season, shot more FTs overall than Ayton.

When someone says “I’d like to see Ayton get more aggressive this season” if expect all suns fans to say “yes,” not try to twist and turn and come up with reasons why he couldn’t or shouldn’t. But that’s just me . . . and EJ.
 

Finito

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Aggressive players get the benefit of the doubt. You don’t just get star treatment automatically unless you’re a Lebron. You have to earn it. By being aggressive. Did giannis get that treatment right away? No. He earned it. By being aggressive. Did embiid? He earned by being consistently aggressive. At this point aytin has earned the label as a finesse player. If he wants to get the calls most centers like him get, and that he should get, he has to generate them by . . . you guessed it . . . being aggressive. It’s on him. It’s not the refs fault.

And your claim that game “isn’t played like that anymore” really misses the point. Are you telling me that KAT’s 6 FTs/game, embiid’s 12FTs/game, jokic’s 6FTs/game, giannis’ 11FTs/game, randle’s 6FTs/game, gobert’s 7FTs/game, bam’s 6FTs/game are due to anything other than playing a lot more aggressively and drawing contact than Ayton at 2.4 FTs/game? Those guys average 8/game. That’s more than 3 times as many as Ayton. In Ayton’s 4th season. Javale mcgee, in 500 fewer minutes this season, shot more FTs overall than Ayton.

When someone says “I’d like to see Ayton get more aggressive this season” if expect all suns fans to say “yes,” not try to twist and turn and come up with reasons why he couldn’t or shouldn’t. But that’s just me . . . and EJ.

Knowing how to draw fouls is a skill itself. It’s something he doesn’t know how to do. Blind aggression doesn’t get you foul calls imo. You have to play smart

It’s part of his offensive game he hasn’t developed yet. I don’t really put it all on him. I think we’re at the bottom of the league when it comes to free throws. Monty doesn’t stress it.
 

Mainstreet

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The referees should call the game the same no matter who are the players. I've always felt that way.

Devin Booker doesn't get the star treatment when it comes to fouls, although he gets to the line. He should get more calls.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Knowing how to draw fouls is a skill itself. It’s something he doesn’t know how to do. Blind aggression doesn’t get you foul calls imo. You have to play smart

It’s part of his offensive game he hasn’t developed yet. I don’t really put it all on him. I think we’re at the bottom of the league when it comes to free throws. Monty doesn’t stress it.
But you have to have a base of aggressiveness to even consider developing the skill. He clearly doesn’t. Btw, in case you haven’t noticed, now your blaming Monty for Ayton’s lack of aggressiveness. First it’s the refs fault, then it’s the fault of the game in general today, and now it’s Monty’s fault. When are you actually willing to look at a 6’11 next level athlete and hold him accountable?
 
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