Roster - Phoenix Suns
Disclaimer: Don't view this picture if you get queasy or squeamish, like a little girl, when seeing gruesome injuries.
Suns fans seemed unsure how to react to the team’s latest move, the addition of Gordon Hayward along with the subtraction of Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Wilson Chandler. Hayward is already out for the season with a broken leg and dislocated ankle, so why would Phoenix move 2 solid contributors, potentially 2 starters, for a player that won’t even play this year. “Simple,” said Pennywise, “Gordon is a better overall player. He’s a player that management has viewed as a top 20 player, so when the opportunity arises to procure a player of that caliber, why not jump on it?” This has shades of Al Horford just 1 full season ago, except (Al) Horf(ord) wasn’t out for the season. “We were likely a low seeded playoff team, sure, but why settle for mediocrity when you can try to assemble an elite team, one that could go after NLL finals glory?” asked Pennywise.
Some fans were frustrated, and reasonably so, since the Suns haven’t made the playoffs in the last two seasons. Chandler was a top 100 player and Hardaway seems destined to become a volume scorer, so why make the move? Well, anytime a legit top notch 2 way player can become available, the Suns believe that it is more important to procure that type of talent. This move was made with next year and the year after in mind, compared to just thinking about this season. The West continues to improve and the top tier teams all have a “big 3” or “big 4”, along with a good amount of depth and injury luck.
Gordon Hayward will immediately slot into the starting small forward slot, or shooting guard depending on who would be the other starter on the wing, once he returns from injury. Next year, Phoenix will be able to have a starting five of Kemba Walker, Jordan Clarkson, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Marcin Gortat. This could be one of the best starting five in the entire NLL, with maybe only a few teams being better. Expect the Suns to make some big moves in FA day 2, as they have a lot of holes to fill, including a starting SF to cover in Hayward’s absence this year.
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