Inside the Suns – Topics: Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams, and future first-round picks trading

Welcome to “Inside the Suns”, your weekly in-depth analysis of the current Phoenix Suns Team.

First up, The Fantable – a roundtable of Bright Siders giving their opinions on the latest Suns releases and news.

Great Questions of the Week

Q1 – There has been a lot of speculation about a possible Suns/Jazz trade, and since the Jazz is rebuilding they want the draft back, especially the first round picks. Do you think anyone on their roster deserves to send the Suns one of the first players in the future to get it?

GuarGuar: I think Bogdanovic may deserve the future first, but he has to be very tightly protected. He could have been a really nice table piece for us, especially if Crowder was about to leave. We need men who can make their own attack and Boyan can definitely do that.

OldAz: For me, the answer is not the first-round picks, because I would gladly give up first place to Bogdanovic or Markkanen, or if they could somehow get Conley’s paycheck. Any of these players would be a great addition to a team with championship aspirations. However, for me, the real cost question will be which players to give up to make a business deal. Many Bright Siders have a low value on Crowder, which is shortsighted in my opinion. If any of the Top 6 Suns were to be included in a Jazz Player deal, I’d pass. The Bojan is a more advanced version of the Cam J, but it’s not an upgrade in recoil (which is much needed) and is much worse in defense. The same can be said for Lowry but at least it brings better bounce. Excluding the top six, that only leaves Craig, Payne and Shamet & Saric to make a deal and include the picks. If jazz was a senior manager’s game as well as a salary out of those 4 Suns, I’d pick it up.

Cliff 30: Bojan deserves to be a first-round pick. I would prefer it to be the 2023 pick, I know Dave made it clear why they like the 2024 pick, but Jazz can combine or move shots for future picks as he sees fit. With all the choices they have it will be a necessity. I think they would be happy to take the extra 2023 option and either pack up to move up or trade the futures option on draft day. I’d like to get Clarkson. But it’s too incompetent for me to call for a first-rounder to be abandoned. I would also like Conley to be, but it would just be kind of a takeover of his salary because of the contract.

Stick: There are a few Jazz players that I wouldn’t mind being at The Sun but honestly I don’t think I’m going to spend the first round on any of them. Bojan is probably the player I’d most like to get from the Suns but he’s 33, not a great defender and on an expired contract…not things I think the Suns should have until late in the first round. I just don’t think any of them are a true needle drive that would make Team Suns that much better. Trade away from every second cycle we have but stick with the first for better options.

Q2 – What do you want to see from Deandre Ayton this season?

GuarGuar: I want to see him bounce the ball more. His exit from the dribbling game is the last piece for him to become a true star. This will help the attack and the team strongly if he can develop it. We need him to become more of a goalscorer. Yes, that means he needs the ball more but he should have more moves when he gets the ball. It can’t just pick up and fade the midrange every time.

OldAz: I’ve been a huge advocate of Ayton on this site, and part of me would like to see continued progress (this is on Ayton) and increased usage (this is on Monty and CP3). This could be taking the next step in his positioning moves, handling the ball more (think faking delivery and driving more often), playing through contact when attacking and/or shooting all three more regularly. He’s still relatively young and if he keeps making strides forward, he’s close to being a serious beast in the NBA.

In fact, I want to see DA stop procrastinating so much and show some fire in ordering the ball. He is no longer a kid who has to be intimidated by the NBA players surrounding him or the stars in the Suns back court. Channel the emotions and fire he showed as he screamed at Monty in Game 7 last year and demanded the ball! He’s now the second highest paid player on the team, so I want him to act like that.

Cliff 30: continued growth. I don’t really care what makes it better. It has improved significantly every year. If he keeps doing that, that’s great. You can be more assertive when you put the ball on the ground. It could be launching triples. It could be more facilitating. I’d be surprised if he takes another significant leap in defense. But I was surprised by his defensive development from day one. It is very good. still young. As long as he’s not stagnating, that would be a really good sign going forward.

Stick: With DA, the main area I would like to see some improvement in is putting the ball on the floor more often and actually driving to the basket. I don’t think it gets past him, but he seems very reluctant to dribble unless he’s moving around the perimeter getting ready to pass the ball or hand it to someone else. Maybe it’s down to confidence if that’s the case and I hope he gets a lot from him this season.

Otherwise, I think he also needs to get the ball more often in certain situations but that’s not his. Monty and his teammates need to trust him and feed him the ball when he’s in the hot streak. I think he can be an NBA player and I want to see him at least race one of those NBA spots when the season comes to a close.

Q3 – Few fans don’t believe Monty Williams can lead the Suns to the championship. what do you think?

GuarGuar: His lack of defensive tweaks in the Dallas streak bothered me and made me anxious. It is said that we were a couple who made snapshots away from the NBA title two years ago. He can certainly lead us there. I hope he changes some of his philosophies this year.

OldAz: In my opinion, Monty is surely good enough to win the championship as the Suns coach. Since 1982 (40 years old) you have had three groups of NBA Champion coaches:

1. Coaches with many titles who play an important role in the success of their team:

  • Phil Jackson (10), Pat Riley (5), Greg Popovich (5), Steve Kerr (4)

2. Twice winners as people may differ in their opinion of how much recognition a coach deserves (these four have some incredibly talented teams):

  • KC. Jones (2), Chuck Daly (2), Rudy Tomjanovic (2), Eric Spoelstra (2)

3. Coaches who have won one tournament but players take most (or all) of the credit:

  • Billy Cunningham (83 SixersWith Dr. J and Moses Malone
  • Larry Brown (04 Pistons) – Ben & Rashid Wallace, Taichun Prince, Chauncey Billups & Rip Hamilton (a really balanced team and defensive strength)
  • Doc Rivers (’08 Celtics) – Another well-balanced team featuring Garnett, Allen & Pearce
  • Rick Carlisle (11 Mavs) – Dirk
  • Tyrone Lue (’16 Cavs) – LeBron
  • Nick Nurse (19 Raptors) – Leonard
  • Frank Vogel (20 .) Lakers– LeBron again
  • Mike Budenholzer ($21) – Giannis

Among that latter group are a lot of names that were abused as coaches even in the year they won the title. Can anyone seriously read that last group of 8 names and say it’s unbelievable that Monty is good enough to win the championship? Even the most die-hard Monty haters would likely just split the hair and claim Monty wouldn’t “lead” the team to the title. In this case, the same could be said of all the coaches in that last group and the question is whether Monty was one of the best 7-8 coaches of the last 40 years. Very few people would be willing to go out on that tip. The real question is whether CP3, Book or Ayton have the ability to rise to the level of players associated with that last group of coaches. . . Or if the Suns as a group can replicate the magic of the Pistons and Celtics and win as a truly balanced team. As a fan, I chose to believe these are realistic possibilities.

Cliff 30: I think a better tactician is needed to win. The culture needed a reset, and Monty delivered that in spades. But now they need a coach who can challenge them. A coach who can make in-game and in-series modifications. I just haven’t seen it from Monty. Maybe he can improve in those areas. But it’s not his first training gig. Entering his eighteenth year as a coach, and ninth as a head coach. So I don’t expect him to change his approach much. And what we’ve seen is that he’s getting a lot out of training in qualifying. Even in the series we won.

Stick: With enough talent, he can… But with enough talent I might be able to lead a team to the championship.

Monty is a great motivator and a very good coach, but I don’t think he’s a coach who can take a team to the promised land without more talent than the Suns currently have or unless some breaks are interrupted in the playoffs (eg injuries to key players on opposing teams). He seems reluctant to change his in-game tactics and make adjustments or just try something different when things aren’t working out which especially hurts while playing after the season is over.

I really like Monty, but he has some flaws that make me doubt if he can lead the team as well as in the championship. It is possible for him to grow and learn to be more adaptable but also he may never do that.

As always, a big thank you to our awesome members for all their extra efforts this week!

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Last week’s poll results

Last week’s poll wasWhich Utah Jazz Player Do you hope more to trade the Suns?

58.5% – Bojan Bogdanovic

23.4% – Jordan Clarkson

11.3% – Jared Vanderbilt

01.2% – Malik Beasley

05.6% – someone else.

A total of 354 votes were cast.

This week’s poll is…


Do you think Monty Williams can coach the Suns to the NBA title?

  • 47%

    Yes, I believe in Monty!

    (45 votes)

  • 38%

    Maybe, but things should go well.

    (36 votes)

94 votes total

vote now