The Phoenix Suns made noticeable improvements this past season. They began by picking up guard Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers, giving them a potent weapon that helped the team improve their record in the 2013-14 season, finishing 48-34 and one game out of the postseason. Not content with resting on their laurels, the Suns are looking to take another step forward next season, and are using this summer’s offseason to target players they think can help carry Phoenix to the next level.
This past season saw the Phoenix Suns come together under first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek, who finished second in Coach of the Year voting behind Gregg Popovich after bringing out the best in his players and nearly putting the Suns in the postseason for the first time since 2010.
“We took a huge step forward,” Suns owner Robert Sarver told Arizona Sports 98.7 according to Arizona Sports. “We know we’ve got an excellent head coach and a good coaching staff along with him. We know we’ve been able to execute on some good trades and we have some really good young players that took a big step forward. Pretty much everybody on the team had one of their best years in their career. I think we are probably two years ahead of what we thought we’d be. So for a guy that is pretty impatient like me that is always good.”
Sarver is right, pretty much everybody on the team had the best year in their career. The Suns got career performances out of Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, and newly acquired Eric Bledsoe. Goran Dragic also stepped up for Phoenix, and in the process was awarded the NBA‘s Most Improved Player Award according to ESPN. Dragic was one of only four players that remained on the Suns’ roster from the season before.
With a fairly successful season now under their belts, the Phoenix Suns should have more experience and be even better next year, but Sarver is leaving nothing to chance. Reports from FanSided indicate that the Suns are currently interested in acquiring Minnesota power forward Kevin Love, who at 25 years old still has one year left on his contract with the Timberwolves. Love had another solid season, averaging 21.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
Even if Phoenix is able to deal for Love’s services, a clause in his contract gives the ability to become and unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, possibly leaving the Suns with nothing besides one year on contribution.
Regardless of whether or not a deal for Love gets done, it’s obvious that the Phoenix Suns are serious about winning, and serious about trying to put together the personnel to do so. By this time next year we’ll know whether or not their plans to put Phoenix back in the playoffs was successful or not.
[Images courtesy of Bright Side of the Sun, Bleacher Report, Sporting News]