James Jones gets a D for the summer

We’re less than a month away from training camp, and Phoenix SunsThe list looks more or less. For the most part, it looks almost identical to what they had last year when they had the best league and franchise record of 64 and 18. The only player left in the off season was JaVale McGee, who accepted 3 years $17.3 million Show nodes from Dallas. In return, they brought back 28-year-old Croatian BF/C Dario Saric. On paper, it looks like Suns did the smart thing by restarting it.

Let me assure: on paper.

In fact, the offseason game was a failure of epic proportions, with general manager James Jones mostly to blame.

After the Suns struggled to beat eighth-seeded New Orleans in the first round, the Suns were eliminated in one of the most humiliating defeats in NBA history. Dallas Mavericks In matches 6 and 7 of the second round. That series highlighted the Suns’ biggest weaknesses, including:

  • no bounce
  • Lack of strength forward to guard Luka Doncic
  • Jay Crowder, Michal Bridges, and Cam Johnson’s inability to commit their own crime
  • Deandre Ayton’s Inability to Be a Third Recording Option
  • Crime explodes when teams track down Devin Booker and grind out aged Chris Paul
  • Cam Pine fails as a backup PG
  • General lack of offense from the bench players (Paine, Landry Chamett, Johnson, Tori Craig)

After devastating heavy losses as the teams’ weaknesses were revealed to the world, you would have thought the Suns would have addressed at least one of these issues. They are literally a roadmap for how to crush the team in the playoffs. It’s also a 100-foot-high neon sign that says to Jones, “You won’t win a championship without some changes.” It’s even worse when you ask, “Why go so deep into the luxury tax with a team that obviously has no chance of getting past the second round of playoffs?”

The West has become more sinister at the top in the offseason. The Clippers All-Star K.hug leonard And the John Wall. Dallas added Christian Wood When moving forward, their weakest positions upgrade significantly. The Golden State Warriors They are the title holders and are still able to sign a slight upgrade Donte Divincenzo.

Perhaps Jones can be pardoned for being crippled by the fruitless pursuit of Kevin Durant. But weeks have passed since Durant reconciled with the Nets, and there have been no steps to address the list’s apparent fatal weaknesses. Instead, Jones’ off-season moves were either no-brainers, or signings that wouldn’t have any impact on the field.

Let’s review the offseason movement, shall we?

None of these agreements addressed the core issues preventing the Suns from advancing in the playoffs. They still don’t have basic-caliber power forward (Crowder is a defensive ace against smaller attackers, but his shot is inconsistent, he’s too small, he doesn’t bounce, and there’s no threat inside the three-point arc). They still don’t have good support for Chris Paul, which leaves him vulnerable to injury and exhaustion in the playoffs. They still don’t have a third scoring option after Eaton who didn’t show up against Dallas, and he seems to lack the aggressiveness, dedication, and drive to be “that guy.”

Far from iTunes, Biyombo is a competent backup, nothing more. Landale is strictly the third series. Damion Li is largely inconsistent on both ends of the court and not a measurable improvement Landry Chamett (Which has been bad most of the season). Okogie is more likely to kill the third-row popcorn man with his shots than see them go through the hoop. Wainwright and Washington are the G-League boundary line. Perhaps the best that can be said about the off-season is that Elfred Payton won’t be back.

It’s not as if Suns has no tradable assets. Tank teams love expiring contracts, and Phoenix is ​​worth more than $40 million. Sarek, Crowder and Craig expire in full, while Payne and Schmitt are only partially secured after the 22-23 season. The Suns also have up to four first-round picks and three swaps. And it’s not as if the team is actually using first-round picks for anything besides commercial bait: Jones seems to think that if a guy can’t contribute right away, he has no value. Very few late first-round picks meet these criteria.

It doesn’t look like many of these players are having a lot of value after this season either: Every dollar the Suns spend on their bird rights is subject to a hefty welfare tax penalty. You can’t exchange them for mid-level exceptions either: there are too many players and a lot of money is needed. The fact of the matter is that the value of Phoenix contracts that expire only declines over time.

There are potential business partners as well. Utah and Houston are in the midst of a fire sale deal. Players love Jordan ClarksonAnd the Jared VanderbiltAnd the Eric Gordon can be obtained. Each of them will be an upgrade in situations where the sun gets hurt.

Likewise, there are still free agents that have, shall we say, a prickly reputation. Dennis Schroeder His best season of playing behind CP3 was a few seasons ago. montrezel harrel He had a scrape with the law regarding marijuana, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor. Both were winners of this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award. The Suns have both an overrun exception and a semi-annual exception remaining that can be used to sign these players, who will directly address the teams’ most pressing needs at point guard and attack force/support position.

If you had to grade Jones out of season the way you would take a student on the test, he would get a Dr. He manages to put his name and date at the top of the paper, answer two easy questions, and then turn it over. With all moderate and hard questions left blank. In order for a student to get a grade of C, they will need to at least try to get a few questions of moderate difficulty right.

Jones didn’t even try to get a correct answer.

I take it back. not worth dr.

It’s more like a D-, and a note from the teacher says, “You didn’t even try.”


vote

What degree would you give Jones abroad?