The Phoenix Suns were one of the best stories of the 2013-2014 season. Projected by many to be one of the bottom-feeders after drafting Alex Len and trading away center Marcin Gortat, the Suns acquired guard Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers and although he missed 39 games, the Suns finished 48-34.
Unfortunately for the Suns, playing in the Western Conference killed their postseason drams.
Now, the Suns will be looking to add players in the offseason, but would also like to keep Bledsoe, who is a restricted free agent and big man Channing Frye, who opted out of his deal to become an unrestricted free agent.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders believes the Suns are a “sleeper team” in free agency.
I love what Phoenix has done. Ryan McDonough is proving that he’s one of the best executives in the NBA, Jeff Hornacek did an incredible job last year and their young core is terrific. With that said, I think it’s hard to make that jump from promising, up-and-coming team to legitimate contender in the eyes of superstar free agents. I do think Phoenix is an intriguing option for James since they also have money to sign a second max-level player. But even the Suns realize that it’s a long shot. If you’re LeBron, it’s tough to leave Miami – where you won two championships, trust the front office and have experienced success on and off the court – for a team like Phoenix that hasn’t been to the playoffs and that is still trying to come up in the league. I do think the Suns are a sleeper team to watch in free agency (as I mentioned in yesterday’s NBA PM video), so they could make a big move or two even if they can’t land LeBron.
Although Kennedy’s point stands, the Suns may not be all that much of a sleeper. Not only did they have a very impressive season as mentioned above, but they have been connected to several of the league’s top free agents. The Suns are reportedly one of the teams that believe they can convince Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to team up with the Suns. The Suns have also contacted Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kent Bazemore and Sacramento Kings’ point guard Isaiah Thomas. They are also expected to pursue Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol and Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng.