The 2021–22 Suns season came to an abrupt end, although it wasn’t a good one.
Phoenix, who was a co-favorite early in the series, lost a 2-0 lead to Dallas in Game 7 and finished -33 underdogs.
The Arizona desert franchise was unable to get over the bad taste that the Game 7 disaster left in its wake this offseason.
It all started with the controversy over Deandre Ayton’s contract extension, moved on to the speculation surrounding Kevin Durant, and culminated with the suspension of team owner Robert Sarver due to a sexism and racism incident.
Phoenix also needs to decide how it will recover from its playoff debacle.
The Suns kept their all-star combination of young point guard Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Ayton together by matching the Pacers’ record offer (4 years, $133 million).
Dario Saric, who tore his cruciate ligament, is back on the court.
The Suns’ roster is still being finalized, though.
Given that Jae Crowder will not be attending the Suns’ training camp, the trade will almost probably occur.
The Suns want to make place for Cameron Johnson, while Crowder wants to depart.
The Weaknesses of the Phoenix Suns
This might make up for a preseason flaw that stood out in the playoff series versus the Mavs.
The Suns also attempted the fifth-fewest 3-pointers in the NBA during the regular season.
Phoenix may experience issues if Paul’s advancing years prevent him from performing at the same level as in prior seasons or if he becomes exhausted during the postseason.
On that score, Booker, who was picked fourth for the most recent MVP award, can be relied upon, but the Suns also require another surge from Deandre Ayton.
The Suns’ center thinks he is capable of more than he has previously demonstrated.
Was he inspired to let everyone see it by the contract saga from that past summer or the bench in Game 7 versus the Mavericks?
Or have the apparent conflicts between Ayton and Monty Williams deepened the divide? The initial reactions from the media day paint a fairly unsettling picture of the current state of affairs.
Even further, Marc J. Spears (ESPN) declared the day to be “the saddest media day I’ve ever gone to,” and not just because of the Sarver incident.
Ayton wasn’t overly excited when the Suns’ offer sheet was matched, but it later emerged that he hadn’t spoken to Coach Williams since Game 7.
Phoenix Suns: Summary
Phoenix would undoubtedly have to be removed from the list of title contenders if preseason hunches were the only thing that mattered.
Many questions remained after how the team left the playoffs and the summer that followed.
Phoenix, a 64-win club from the previous season with no alteration to its lineup, does not enter the new season as the top seeds.