The Suns current and ongoing problems are simple to identify but really tough to fix.
First, let’s start with what ARE NOT problems for the Suns.
Monty Williams is not the problem for the Suns. Is Monty Williams a masterful tactician a la Gregg Popovich or Erik Spolestra? No, but he’s also not clueless like Earl Watson was. We’ve seen bad coaches in Phoenix. We’ve seen more than we care to remember. Monty Williams is not a bad coach.
His strengths are as a communicator, as a motivator and a culture builder. His system works because Chris Paul and Devin Booker make it work. His bench rotations are clunky and his system can be predictable but Monty is not anywhere near being a problem for the Suns.
Neither is Devin Booker. For some reason, some Suns fans have taken their frustrations out on Devin Booker this season. Prior to his ankle injury, Booker was an MVP candidate and playing with the kind of confidence that can only come with back to back playoff runs. Devin Booker is not a problem for the Suns.
The biggest problem for the Suns is their lack of depth. This was true in July and its even more true now in December. With Jae Crowder’s team sponsored holdout/paid vacation, the Suns have zero real NBA depth against quality teams.
The Celtics quickly exposed this and the Pelicans did as well over the weekend.
Even if we assume a healthy Cam Johnson will be returning soon, the Suns depth problems don’t disappear when Cam is back. They need size. They need play making. And they need both to make another championship run.
Could they find the solution in the trade market?
Would Kyle Kuzma’s rebounding upgrade the starting lineup and give the Suns the luxury of moving Cam Johnson back to the bench? Probably.
Could Eric Gordon/Kenyon Martin Jr. reignite the Suns championship hopes? They’d certainly make this team better.
How about Alex Caruso?
The answer is yes to virtually every trade where the Suns are giving up Crowder, salary fillers and picks and getting back a top 6 rotational piece.
But here is the real problem: the Suns don’t have an owner.
Can they take on salary? Can they trade picks? How much salary can they take on? Who makes that call? How will it impact the sale?
All of these questions are unanswered for now.
So here we are, right back to where it all began for the Suns struggles: ownership is holding this team back.
Suns fans have waited 18 long years for a new owner and the wait is almost over but the next four months could be the toughest yet.