The Phoenix Suns are rebuilding but not in a way the Philadelphia 76ers were for the past three years. Their rebuild is from within. Not in terms of tanking but giving opportunities to the younger and cheaper guys to earn their spot on the roster. It began last year when the team was hit with injuries in the backcourt. The starting unit was always Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. However, Knight and Bledsoe were in/out of the lineup that the Suns had no choice play to play rookie Devin Booker.
Fast forward a year and Booker is being called the next Kobe Bryant after scoring 70 points in a single game while Knight was basically shut down as soon as the season started. Bledsoe, on the other hand, started all 66 games that he played in and finished the season with averages of 21 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, second only to Booker.
But this is what perplexes me about the direction the Suns are headed in.
Knight’s job was given to Booker. Tyson Chandler, it seems his job now belongs to Marquese Chriss and Bledsoe may become the new Knight with the emergence od Tyler Ulis. Whether Ulis has done enough over his course of time remains to be seen but the Suns must make a decision this offseason. If the Suns knew plans going into this year then why not trade Chandler, Knight or Bledsoe and get some value for them during the trade deadline?
Chandler was a hot name as teams like the Boston Celtis, Portland Trail Blazers of the Golden State Warriors would’ve used a veteran presence in the middle. Knight and the 76ers were a match made in heaven and Bledsoe could have been a perfect fit for a team like the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns will enter the offseason still loaded at all positions but they have not given a clear indication of what their future plans are.
Booker is the new face of the franchise and while playing Ulis has been great, Bledsoe is still the better option here. What it boils down to is Knight and Chandler and what they can get in return. If the goal is to win in the short-term then they must act like it and part ways with huge contracts and talented players,
Winning is not just done on the court. It takes smarts and strategic movements to make it to the top. Right now, the Suns are shooting themselves in the foot.