Hope springs eternal. If you’re a Phoenix Suns fan, it has to. The proud Suns franchise is the fourth-winningest team in the NBA history, however in the 2015-16 campaign, they were the fourth-worst. The long, sometimes painful, six-year absence from the NBA playoffs SHOULD net some return in the way of Draft picks and youthful hope moving forward. After all, Phoenix does have four prime draft picks upcoming.
To be sure, there were some highlights this past season for the Suns. Rookie shooting guard Devin Booker had a breakout campaign as he announced himself to the league. In his sensational rookie season, Booker averaged 13.8 points per game, 2.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds per contest, scoring over 1,000 points on the year. Point guard Eric Bledsoe, 26, had by far his best year in the NBA, tallying 20.4 points, 6.1 assists and 4 rebounds per game. The future of the Suns starting backcourt shines extraordinarily brightly.
The Suns also seem set on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. The team reached an agreement with interim head coach Earl Watson at the end of the 2015-16 season. The terms made Watson the 17th head coach in franchise history. Watson compiled a 9-24 record after being named the interim head coach on Feb. 1, including wins in three of the team’s final four contests. The Suns averaged 115 points a game over those four games. The Suns also ranked second in the NBA in rebounds per game after Watson took the reins, and were one of the league’s most improved defensive teams over the season’s final month, allowing 5.1 fewer points per 100 possessions in the team’s final 16 games than they did in their first 66.
All things considered, the future is bright for one of the NBA’s preeminent franchises.