The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Suns Need To Do Something


No one can agree on exactly what the Suns should do this offseason but everyone agrees that the Suns need to do something.

Do they pay Deandre Ayton the max to keep their young core in tact long term?

Do they trade Ayton to fill needs at guard and wing?

Do they trade Cam Johnson or sign him to a Mikal Bridges-esque contract extension?

Do they add size? Or defense? Or scoring?

There are a lot of options on the table for the Suns but one philosophy should be driving their decision making.

The Suns should be trying to win later, not right now.

Everyone take a deep breath for a moment.

The Suns shouldn't tear anything down. They aren't rebuilding and tanking should not be in their vernacular.

But the Suns shouldn't lie to themselves either.

This team is not going to win an NBA championship next year. That is, this current team as constructed is not winning an NBA championship through the magic of time.

We were reminded once again last week what it takes to win an NBA Championship: all time greatness.

Since Michael Jordan won his first NBA title in 1991 an all time great player has anchored every NBA champ but two.

The exceptions: the 2004 Detroit Pistons and the 2008 Boston Celtics.

While the Suns are much closer to the 08 Celtics than the 04 Pistons, they aren't a team that possesses an all time great player. Their chances of winning a title next year are really, really small.

This Suns team needs to prioritize winning in the next five years but not next year. That means valuing future draft picks and assets in trade conversations. That means stockpiling valuable players who could be bundled for a star sometime in the next few years. That means being mindful of cap flexibility beyond this season. And that means not convincing yourself that this team is a move away from championship glory.

The Suns got closer than anyone thought to winning a title over the last two years but that doesn't mean they'll be even closer next year. That's not how it works.

If the Suns want to win a ring, they've got to think about the future not the present.


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