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How do we avoid the Suns mistakes?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by larsv8, May 15, 2022.

  1. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    Lets look at the Suns rebuild:

    The Suns began their rebuild in 2015-2016
    39 wins 2014-2015 - Drafted Booker with #13
    23 wins (4th worst) in 15-16 - Drafted Bender with #4, Sabonis available at #9, Brown at #3
    24 wins (2nd worst) in 16-17 - Drafted Jackson with #4, Mitchell and Bam available at #13/14, Tatum at #3
    21 wins (1st worst) in 17-18 - Drafted Ayton with #1, Luka and Trae at #3 / #5, SGA at #11 - Signed Ariza
    19 wins (2nd worst) in 18-19 - Drafted Culver with #6, No one to speak of after - Signed Kelly Oubre
    34 wins in 19-20 - Traded for Chris Paul
    51 wins in 20-21 - Lost NBA finals
    64 wins in 21-22 - Lost Semifinals

    Paul has dramatic decline, and the team has huge luxury tax issues possibly having to let Ayton go.

    While they had a relatively successful two years, I have a hard time seeing how to get better from here. Much more likely they get significantly worse. Seems like they just rode Chris Paul's last couple of great years, but not sure what they really have without Paul.

    Their drafts were not good....Can't help but wonder if they could have gotten Tatum / Brown if they had tanked harder in 2015-2017.

    My takeaways
    - Really need to put yourself in position to get the best picks possible. 1 pick late on Tatum / Brown kills you.
    - We should really aim for worst in the league again next year.
    - Have to nail your draft picks. Ayton over Luka / Trae? Really hurts.
    - Hard to know how they managed cap space, but not seeing any real impactful free agents. Should we pass on KPJ? Is he really an impact player?
    - Maybe it makes sense to trade highish picks for known commodities. How would have things gone for the Suns if they traded all those high picks for whomever was available at the time? Should we trade our pick for SGA?
     
  2. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    The moral of the story is when your star player has a hammy, you are gonna lose. I think I’ve seen this movie before.
     
  3. RKREBORN

    RKREBORN Member

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    They need to trade Chris Paul for Westbrook. Guaranteed to win after that
     
  4. jimmyv281

    jimmyv281 Member

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    The Mavs took Ayton out of the last two games - The suns became to perimeter oriented - throw the ball in the post every once in a while-
     
  5. Asian Sensation

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    You know what they need to do.
     
  6. Fullcourt

    Fullcourt Contributing Member

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    Trade for Eric Gordon, duh.
     
  7. raining threes

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    If Stone has the #5 lotto pick, would you be on board for trading that pick for Ayton?
     
  8. pmac

    pmac Contributing Member

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    I won't call drafting Ayton a mistake. Everyone had him going #1. Big guys that show athleticism and touch get picked high. It is what is.

    Their mistake was "going for it" by trading for Chris Paul. You have to commit to "the process" and continue to get high draft picks until you hit on a superstar. Ayton, Book, and CP are good 2nd or 3rd stars.

    They need a superstar and they probably won't get one unless one of the older guys decides he wants to force his way there.

    If you're not a destination city, you really gotta draft a superstar. Doesn't matter how long it takes. You want your young guys to lead you to the playoffs like Ja or Luka. You don't want a vet like CP to have to lead them there. You get the vets later to fill holes in the lineup after you're already a playoff team like Jrue holiday going to the Bucks.
     
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  9. HorryForThree

    HorryForThree Member

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    Well, based on the picks, it doesn't look like tanking was the problem. They missed on players who were drafted after them and turned out to be studs. So the bigger issue to me has less to do with tanking and more to do with hitting on the picks you have. These next two drafts are franchise altering for us, and we can't afford to miss on a top-10 pick.

    The CP3 trade was a high risk-high reward trade. It was their version of going "all in" for a championship, the same way we did in 2017. CP3 delivered the goods and got them to the championship, and this season took them further in the playoffs than they would have without him, but he's slower, less offensively adept at getting to his spots, and struggles more on defense with quicker players. That's no fault of his, he's old.

    The Suns made bad player personnel moves. Lengthy extension to Shamet when he hadn't earned it and hadn't shown enough. Torrey Craig and Aaron Holiday as rotation guys expected to make an impact in crucial playoff series was silly. They hoped for a re-run of last years team without enough tinkering and tooling to strengthen that team, especially with more three point shooting and athleticism. That killed them this series and it killed them last series even though they won it.

    The Mavs took risks. They traded Porzingis and hit a home run. They cut their losses on Josh Richardson, smartly extended Finney Smith, and have Bullock under contract for two more seasons. They gave court time to Jalen Brunson even though he was selected in the second round and didn't shelve him in the G League, and when he delivered results, they increased his time and role with the team, eventually promoting him to a starting role when injuries came about to starters.

    If the Rockets want to avoid being like the Suns, they will have to be bold. They can't hold onto veterans because they're nice guys. Can't shelve away rookies who show promise and give them no meaningful court time in a development year when you're the worst team in the league anyway. Can't be scared to execute trades with players who hold value in order to improve your team makeup.
     
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  10. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    It’s interesting cause some folks will point to the lack of consequential trade deadline moves as a mistake.
     
  11. Stephen_A

    Stephen_A Member

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    Huh? You left out several key players. They drafted Cam Johnson 11 in 2019. They traded their pick for Mikal Bridges in 2018. Signed Cam Payne in 2019 and Crowder in 2020. Got Torrey Craig also in 2020. All these guys have been key pieces in their run. The rebuild really started with James Jones taking over in 2018 as he made all these acquisitions with exception of Bridges whom the prior GM traded for. They quickly assembled a contender in 4 years or so. The formula worked but they just came up short. The weakness of this team is no true second scoring option after Booker. CP3 gets his shots but he is Chief playmaker. The team is lacking in another dynamic or efficient scorer. It was a great run and they probably have another year to do this again.
     
  12. jacoby

    jacoby Member

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    Dude they went to Game 6 of the Finals. Much further than we've made it in over 25 years. How was trading for CP3 a mistake?
     
  13. Stephen_A

    Stephen_A Member

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    Gotta love all these knee jerk reactions. Someone on the other thread just said Boston is the model to follow. Lol they have had the same core for the most part for years. They got couple pieces back (Horford, Theis) from their old teams and guys like Grant Williams have emerged. These guys sucked at the beginning of the year and no one was talking about them now all of a sudden they’re the model? Lol Same team for 4-5 years. Things just came together and matured at the right time now they’re on a roll. Suns have played great ball last 2 seasons unfortunately got bounced this year to a hot Dallas team. By no means is it a failure. Monty and james jones built a winning culture which started 4 years ago.
     
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  14. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    we don’t avoid it. we embrace it head on
     
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  15. rpr52121

    rpr52121 Sober Fan

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    The issue is though is that before they got CP3 they went 8-0 in the bubble and nearly made the playoffs. Even without CP3, they would have competed for a playoff seed in the 2020-21 season and got a pick too high to net that superstar they still need. So if they already thought they only had only Silver-tier stars, then they were already sunk. At that point it is either see what this type of team can do with their peak (what the Suns has done since then), or decide to trade Booker and Ayton and try to tank again.

    Basically though, I think they thought Booker could be that Gold-tier superstar who could lead them to a title. I've already posted in a different thread that I completely disagree. He just doesn't have the amount of growth in his first 5 seasons that suggest he will be that level of player.

    I'm not sure the Suns had the roster or cap flexibility to make the risk moves that you are suggesting. Unless they were willing to move on from Ayton (which they should) or Booker, they weren't going to net any real difference maker. I can only think of Harden x 2, DeRozan, and Jrue before you start getting to role players like Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Sabonis, LaVert,
     
  16. Asian Sensation

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    Wow. In what crazy world was trading for CP3 a mistake?? Am I in the twilight zone? The man literally changed the course of that franchise in his 2 years even at his advanced age.

    Going to the Finals last year and having a franchise record best season this year would’ve been a pipe dream to any Suns fan and anyone associated with that organization just 3 years ago. I know the guy lost but damn the knee jerks are crazy.

    Oh and this is the massive haul Phoenix gave up to get CP3.

    In return for Paul and forward Abdel Nader, the Thunder received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick from the Suns (Pick #30)

    They sure made a mistake and screwed themself with this trade. “That process” ain’t ever gonna be the same :rolleyes:
     
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  17. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    The fact is the Phoenix story is actually one of relative success in this situation. Booker was a hit and Ayton was kind of a hit along with Bridges. They made the finals and will be in the thick of it for at least a couple more years.

    For every Phoenix though there’s two Kings, Magic, or remember the Bobcats? If the Rockets make the finals in the next 6 years I think everyone will say that Stone did relatively well.

    But think of how much better Phoenix would be if they did better in the draft? Instead of Jackson and Ayton if that had taken Bam and Luka… yeah… so I think the moral of the story is do your freaking draft homework. The pick this year will be definitive in Stones legacy in the NBA.
     
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  18. Corrosion

    Corrosion Member

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    Not me.

    Ayton's a good player but I don't think paying a center the max is money well spent in todays NBA, most of them get played off the court in the playoffs.


    Even the DPOY Gobert gets run off the court because of outside shooters & dribble drive threats.
     
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  19. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    I agree.

    People still do not get that the West is significantly tougher than the East.

    You have 2 or 3 teams barring surprises every year to make the list. Only 1 wins.

    Luka is a one in a generation type of triple threat talent that comes on every 20 years, nope, I do not think Cade will be that good, might be wrong.....

    Booker was injured and didn't get into a rhythm, probably needed another closer for sure.

    Teams like the Mavs and Celtics were pretty bad at the beginning of the season and played much better once the season rounded out. Having saved enough Stamina for the late games.
     
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  20. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Don't build your stadium over a sacred Apache burial ground just because you got a good deal.
     

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