After a whirlwind 2022-23 season, the Phoenix Suns hope to go where they’ve never gone before next season.
They radically overhauled their roster at midseason when they shocked the NBA by trading for Kevin Durant, and the trade made them the favorites to reach the NBA Finals in the minds of many.
Instead, they fell in six games to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs.
Head coach Monty Williams was fired shortly thereafter and replaced by Frank Vogel, who has a goal of getting center Deandre Ayton to the All-Star Game.
Frank Vogel on Deandre Ayton:
“I think he can be one of the best centers in the league. He’s shown that at times throughout his career. … I intend to really connect with him and get him back to being an All-Star.” pic.twitter.com/jsC2wWc34o
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 6, 2023
In five seasons with Phoenix, Ayton has been a good player, and he is a very strong finisher in the paint, but he has never been voted into the league’s Midseason Classic.
With the team severely lacking in depth and balance after the Durant trade, there have been whispers that they might consider trading Ayton this summer.
Regardless of how their roster looks this fall, the Suns are likely looking at a very short window of championship contention.
Durant turns 35 at the end of September, and while he’s still one of the game’s best players, he’s been injury-prone ever since he tore his Achilles in the NBA Finals four years ago.
Meanwhile, point guard Chris Paul is 38 years old, and he’s simply nowhere near the scoring threat he used to be.
Vogel won a world title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 and is known as a defensive guru, so fans are hoping he will turn the defensively challenged Suns into a squad that consistently gets stops.
NBA Insider reveals Frank Vogel’s contract with the Suns