NBA Season Preview: Phoenix Suns


Camp Location: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Coach: Earl Watson, first full year, 9-24 overall.

Last Season: 23-59, did not make playoffs.

Key Returnees: Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight, PJ Tucker, Alex Len, TJ Warren, Archie Goodwin, John Jenkins, Alan Williams.

Key Additions: Leandro Barbosa (Golden State), Dragan Bender (Israel), Jared Dudley (Washington), Marquese Chriss (rookie, University of Washington), Tyler Ulis (rookie, Kentucky).

Key Losses: Jon Leuer (Detroit), Ronnie Price (Oklahoma City), Mirza Teletovic (Milwaukee)., Chase Budinger (free agent).

Outlook: The Suns are hoping Earl Watson can do for his team what Tyronn Lue did for the Cavs. OK, the Suns don’t really expect Watson to lead them to a championship in his first full season. But like Lue, Watson is a recently retired point guard who has earned respect from his players. And if the Suns can stay healthy, they have some nice ones — from veterans Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler to up-and-comers such as Devin Booker. The key will be getting improved seasons from the likes of Brandon Knight, T.J. Warren and even Alex Len. If all those things happen, hey, maybe Watson can coax this bunch to a playoff stop.