The Phoenix Suns Biggest Mistakes In the Past Ten Years

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 Mistakes happen. We sleep in a little too late or we forget to do a project. But for us, mistakes are simply, just that – mistakes. For the thirty NBA teams, mistakes cost them, potentially, tens of millions of dollars, a playoff appearance, or even a championship. They have been riddled throughout history. It can be draft picks (Blazers fans know what this is like), it can be free agency (can I get an amen from Knicks fans?), or it can be virtually anything else (in the case of the Kings, EVERYTHING ELSE). Thus, we present the worst mistakes from each NBA team over the past ten years.

The Phoenix Suns Biggest Mistake In the Past Ten Years

The Phoenix Suns have been one of the most outstanding franchise in the NBA. This is especially true when Steve Nash was the one running the show on the court. In fact, from 2006-2010 the Suns only missed out on the playoffs one time back in 2009 when the Suns won 46 games only two games behind the eight-seeded Utah Jazz. That was also the year when they fired coach Mike D’Antoni. Even with their excellence in the mid to late 2000’s, the organization has been under scrutiny lately with bad decisions one after the other. The franchise is on a stand still as they are in the middle of rebuilding the roster.

The Summer of 2010

After a successful playoff run in 2010 the team was faced with a major dilemma. The team’s second best player, Amar’e Stoudemire, decided he wanted a change of scenery as he signed with the New York Knicks, leaving a major hole in their forward spot.

The management quickly tried to patch up the hole left by Stoudemire as they signed Hakim Warrick to a 4-year, $18 million deal. He was supposed to be the replacement for Stoudemire, but he only averaged eight points and three rebounds per game.

A couple days later the Suns acquired the rights to Josh Childress, who they later signed to a 5-year, $33 million deal. The swingman was stuck on the wrong side of the bench and no team in the NBA wanted to take his expensive contract off the hands of the Suns.

The chaos was not yet done as they traded former sixth man of the year Leandro Barbosa to the Toronto Raptors for Hedo Turkoglu. Turkoglu averaged 9.5 points and 4 rebounds, by far his worst season since his third year with the Sacramento Kings.

The 2011 NBA Draft 

In the 2010-11 season the Suns finished with a 40-42 record, earning them the 13th pick in the upcoming draft.

And after the season it was apparent what the Suns needed, a young talented player. At that point the Suns didn’t have any promising young guys. No disrespect to Goran Dragic and Robin Lopez but they weren’t really viewed as players that can change a franchise. In fact halfway through the season the Suns traded Dragic to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks.

When the Suns were on the clock it wasn’t clear who they should take. Kawhi Leonard, a top seven prospect was still on the board. Marcus Morris from Kansas was also the player everyone predicted to round out the lottery. In a surprising move, the Suns took the other half of the Morrii when they drafted 6’11 Markieff Morris.

Why it was bad

The Suns didn’t gain anything huge with this pick. They almost went to the playoffs in 2014 with Markieff Morris as their second or third best player. But besides that nothing really came out of the selection. As a matter of fact, some could say that it was a negative effect with Morris’ attitude.

What should’ve happened

The Suns should’ve just picked the best prospect available and that was Kawhi Leonard. Many say Leonard is a product of the Spurs system, but that’s just not true. At 25 years old Leonard is already a two time Defensive Player of the Year (2015-2016), an All-Star (2016), and a Finals MVP (2014).

With the Morris pick they also missed out on two other all-stars in Jimmy Butler (30th pick) and Isaiah Thomas (60th pick).

The 2012 NBA Draft

The summer of 2012 fans were expecting Steve Nash to leave the desert and join a contender.

So it was only natural that the management wanted to find a replacement for Nash and the perfect opportunity presented itself in the form of the 2012 draft.

Kendall Marshall was the prize that the Suns were looking at. A point guard that can really pass the ball with ease, so it was no surprise the he was the pick for the Suns.

Why the picked flopped

In his first season Marshall had all the opportunity to prove how valuable he is to the franchise going forward.

Marshall only averaged three points per game and three assists per game with 37 FG%, 31 3FG%, and 57 FT%. Yikes.

What should’ve happened

The Suns shouldn’t have rushed Steve Nash’s replacement. Instead they should’ve taken the best player available and that was John Henson, Marshall’s college teammate.

Other notable players on the board: Terrence Jones, Evan Fournier, Jared Sullinger, Festus Ezeli, Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, Kris Middleton, and Will Barton.

New management

In May 2013 the Suns made a move that would change the franchise in a huge way. They hired then 33 year old Ryan McDonough, the former Boston Celtics assistant GM. Some said that he was the perfect guy while others would’ve preferred former Suns MVP, Charles Barkley. While McDonough has done a great job at turning the franchise around, he is far from a perfect GM.

McDonough’s first task was the 2013 NBA draft. While that draft was weak, it’s starting to show it’s true nature and this year will show whether that was a mistake or not. So it’s still a year early to judge McDonough’s decision to go with 7’1 Alex Len.

The dreaded summer of 2014

In 2014 the Suns narrowly missed the playoffs. They finished the season with a 48-34 record, good for ninth place in the west.

Everything was looking up for the Suns; they had good young players in Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, and T.J. Warren, and they had veterans in Dragic, P.J. Tucker, and Eric Bledsoe.

Eric Bledsoe was a free agent at the time and he wasn’t budging one bit with his contract extension. The process took months, until September where they finally agreed to a 5-year, $70 million deal.

But with the stand still, the management was getting anxious on the fact that they were about to lose their star. So they went and signed Isaiah Thomas to a 4-year deal that will pay him $27 million.

Now the chaos ensues, three border line All-Star point guards. They sent Dragic to the Miami Heat in the middle of the season; Dragic then went and played in the playoffs.

But it wasn’t done, as they then traded Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics in a three way trade that got them Brandon Knight. Thomas then went to the playoffs and this year he made his debut in the All-Star Game.

The beef with the Morris twins

Back in September 2014, the Suns made a unique deal with twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. They signed them to a combined $52 million for 4-year deal that saw them playing together for four more years.

Then in the summer of 2015 the Suns went ahead and traded Marcus Morris to the Detroit Pistons. The move was made in order to make cap room for all-star LaMarcus Aldridge. Although the effort was there, it wasn’t quite enough to persuade Aldridge. Not only that but they also signed aging center Tyson Chandler to a 4-year, $52 million deal.

This was the event that triggered Markieff Morris and his assault on the franchise especially the front office. The beef was so apparent that he one time threw a towel on, back then, head coach Jeff Hornacek. A few months later a very weird altercation occurred when he and fellow Suns teammate Archie Goodwin started going at it on the bench.

The management had enough as they traded Markieff to the Washington Wizards for DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries, and a top eight protected pick in 2016 which was then flipped to the Sacramento Kings for the rights to Marquese Chriss.

The Suns have stabilized for now as they are in the middle of rebuilding the franchise. They now have three promising rookies going into the season, and Devin Booker looks like a superstar in the making. Brandon Knight also stated that he’s willing to come off the bench just to give Booker the minutes he deserves. They added more veteran presence in fan favorites Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa.

 

 

 

Main Photo

PHOENIX, AZ – DECEMBER 19:  Goran Dragic #1 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game against the Charlotte Bobcats at US Airways Center on December 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Bobcats 121-104.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)