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Biggest Needs for the Phoenix Suns to Address Before the Start of the 2021 NBA Season

| October 31, 2020 4:46 am PDT
Phoenix Suns 2021 Preview

If only the Suns didn’t run out of games. Phoenix flipped the script on a disappointing “regular” season by going undefeated in the bubble – only to come up a hair short of qualifying for the playoffs.

Monty Williams has a lot to look forward to as we approach the upcoming campaign, although there’s plenty of room for improvement within the roster. Taking a look at the Phoenix Suns’ biggest needs in the offseason, here are three areas James Jones needs to address.

Shot Blocking

Only the Cleveland Cavaliers blocked fewer shots per game last season than the Suns. Deandre Ayton does a decent job clogging up the post (1.5 bpg), but Phoenix doesn’t have anybody else who’s even remotely close to being considered a “rim protector.”

Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson split time at power forward, and both prefer to hang around the perimeter as opposed to banging inside. Even Frank Kaminsky, Ayton’s backup at center, is more of a “stretch-5” than a sincere post player.

Whether it’s via trade, an incoming free agent, or perhaps even with the 10th pick in the draft, one thing is certain. Adding a legitimate shot-blocking presence to compliment Deandre Ayton is one of the chief items on James Jones’ agenda.

Outside Shooting

Devin Booker is a big-time scorer, but he only averaged 2.0 made threes per game. The worst part is Booker clocked in at 59th in the NBA in three-pointers made/game and he was the Suns leader in that category.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is set to return after missing all of the action in the bubble, but the lengthy southpaw connected on just 35.2% of his three-point attempts a season ago. It’s worth noting that reserve players Cameron Payne and Jevon Carter were reliable contributors from outside, but the Suns need more.

Deandre Ayton is on a clear path toward requiring double-teams in the post. Phoenix needs a marksman from outside who can deliver when Ayton kicks it out.

Should Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith be available when the Suns are picking at #10, James Jones would be wise to pull the trigger. The dude’s got a silky stroke and can excel without having the ball in his hands, hence he’d be a good fit playing alongside Devin Booker.

Scoring Guard For the Second Unit

One of the Phoenix Suns’ biggest needs is to add a secondary scoring guard who can alleviate pressure from Devin Booker carrying the load. Somebody who Monty Williams can stick on his bench and depend on to provide instant offense.

Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr, and Cameron Johnson are all nice players. The problem is they are similar and none of them shine when they are forced to create their own shot. Each guy is a swingman/ hybrid forward who shoots threes and plays defense.

How can Phoenix solve this shortcoming?

They could go after Jordan Clarkson or Malik Beasley in free agency. We’ve seen Clarkson explode during his time in LA and Utah, and don’t sleep on Beasley as an up-and-coming star.

The 23-year-old combo guard was buried on the Nuggets depth chart before finally getting a chance with the T-Wolves in early February. During 14 games with Minnesota, Malik averaged 20.7 ppg on 42.6% shooting from beyond the arc.

Final Thoughts

Winning eight in a row in Disney was just the tip of the iceberg for what this team can accomplish.

Integrating Kelly Oubre Jr. back into the fold will be crucial to their success, but James Jones doesn’t need to try and reinvent the wheel this offseason.

He’s already got Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton leading a confident bunch.

The key is to surround that duo with as much talent as possible.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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