With NBA Free Agency around the corner, the Phoenix Suns have a chance to be big buyers. Let’s look at five possible options they can go after.
The Phoenix Suns aka the Kentucky Wildcats of the Southwest are looking to bounce back after a down year. They have a weird mix of really young players and veteran players who are over the hill. Their future superstar, Devin Booker, can’t even have a legal drink. First-round selections Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss are only 19-years old. On the other end of the spectrum, the Suns also had Tyson Chandler and Leandro Barbosa at 34 years old.
The Suns were terrible, finishing the season at 24-58 and with the second-most ping pong balls in the NBA Draft Lottery. Unfortunately, they fell out of the top-3 and had the fourth selection in the NBA Draft. Phoenix has only $87 million committed in salaries, so they’re $14 million under the salary cap line and $48 million under the luxury tax limit.
Phoenix will be big buyers in the free-agent market, looking to significantly improve some key parts of the team. The Suns’ defense was horrendous. They gave up 113.3 points per game, which was 30th in the NBA and their defensive rating was 112.2 which was 28th.
Their perimeter defense was non-existent and that’ll be an area of emphasis for the Suns heading into Free Agency. Phoenix and GM Ryan McDonough have their work cut out for them in other areas as well. The Suns were terrible in the 3-point department. They didn’t take many, they didn’t make them and their percentage was awful. All three of those categories ranked near the bottom of the NBA.
The Suns also ranked 29th in total assists per game, meaning they get most of their baskets in isolation, not via ball movement. They should also be looking for some play-making point guards in free agency, to help out Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe, who often look to score first. With second-year big men, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss, the Suns have youth at the power forward position. They can still use an experienced big man who can defend and score on the low block.
With all of these various needs in different areas, let’s take a look at some different players that the Suns could acquire to improve their win total in 2017-18.
5. Andre Iguodala, SF, Golden State Warriors
The likelihood of Iguodala leaving the Warriors for the Valley of the Sun is pretty slim. But the former Finals’ MVP is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Phoenix Suns. They need a wing defender, a scoring threat off the bench and a playmaker. Check. Check. Check. Iguodala can be all of those things and more for a young ball club.
He can be a veteran leader with championship DNA and savvy, while showing the young guys on the Suns’ roster how to win. Iguodala has played under the brightest of lights on the biggest of stages and has done it all.
Iguodala will not only be invaluable from a locker room standpoint, but be a viable threat on the floor. This past season with the Warriors, Iggy scored 7.6 points and dished out 3.4 assists per game, while often playing the role of point forward. He was a menace on the defensive end of the floor, checking the opponents’ best player.
During the playoffs, Iguodala checked Kawhi Leonard (briefly), Gordon Hayward and LeBron James. Phoenix desperately needs defensive help at the wing positions and Iguodala can be exactly that, even at age 33.
Iguodala shot 36 percent from 3-point range, but it seemed like he was always hitting the shot when it was needed. There were reports that the former Finals’ MVP was going to stay with the Warriors for next season and the near future, but if he chooses to leave, Phoenix should pounce.
This free-agent signing could bring veteran leadership, defensive balance and 3-point shooting to the Suns. Ryan McDonough shouldn’t hesitate one bit in his pursuit of Iguodala.