Phoenix Suns: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Phoenix Suns 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 19, 2016
NBA Championship: 1250/1 Over/under win total: 28.5 See the Latest Odds
The Phoenix Suns head into the 2016-17 season with another year of potential rebuild on the horizon fresh off of a 23-59 2015-16 campaign that left the Suns with the 4th worst record in the entire NBA.
Here is your 2015-16 Phoenix Suns preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Additions: Phoenix were one of the more quiet teams during free agency this past offseason, however the Suns did make the decision to bring back Jared Dudley, signing on for 3 years at $30 million. Dudley played for the Suns from 2008-2013 before spending 3 years playing for the Clippers, Bucks and most recently the Wizards before heading back to Phoenix. Dudley averaged 9.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game over his previous 5-year stint with the Suns, with the 2011-12 season being his most productive not only in Phoenix but in his entire career averaging a career high 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from the field in 31.1 minutes over 65 games (60 starts). The Suns also welcomed back guard Leandro Barbosa who was lured from the Golden State Warriors on a 2-year, $8 million deal.
Breaking Down the Draft: The Suns were busy during the early part of draft night, as their 23-59 record was good enough to land the 4th overall pick which was used to select 7’1” power forward/center Dragan Bender out of Croatia. Bender led Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv to back-to-back Israeli state cup championships and was a league all-star in 2016. The Suns also traded up to number 8 overall to select freshman power forward Marquese Chriss out of the University of Washington. Chriss started all 34 games for the Huskies, averaging 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field. In return, the Suns had to give up a pair of 1st-round picks in the 2016 draft and player rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Suns also made good use of their lone 2nd-round pick, selecting Kentucky sophomore point guard and 2016 SEC player of the year, Tyler Ulis.
Outlook: It looks like another long season is in the cards for the Suns, as this year screams rebuild just to see what they have in terms of building blocks for the future. The bright side is that the Suns could end up having the best shot in the Western conference to land the 1st overall pick.
Projected Record: 19-63