Tag Archives: Goran Dragic

Note-A-Bulls: After “Unacceptable Week,” Bulls fall to lowly Heat 100-88.

During one of the most dysfunctional times in recent Bulls history, the new laughing stock of the NBA had to go back to the drawing board and hit the floor against a depleted Miami Heat team. The Bulls played like a team tonight with no purpose, and with 3 outspoken players telling the truth about an organization that just can’t seem to get anything to go their way, their concerns were on full display tonight. From large turnover numbers, an inability to make shots, and a continued stagnation on offense and lack of effort defensively, the now 23-25 Bulls will look to regroup, as they handed Miami their 6th win in a row.

  • As punishment for their comments earlier in the week, Jimmy Butler and Dywane Wade were both benched by Fred Hoiberg for the first portion of the first quarter. Paul Zipser and Doug McDermott took their place in the starting lineup.
  • While in-experienced, the starting lineup including the “young” Bulls was enjoyable to watch and dissect. Without the “me” first players in Rondo, Wade and Butler, the Bulls looked like they were trying to run an offensive system. Players were moving without the ball, cutting to the basket and utilizing the pick and roll. However, when the veterans did end up coming into the game, the offense slowed again, off-the-ball movement stopped and Miami was off to the races. Doug McDermott became a forgotten man, an all too common mistake by the Bulls’ offensive game plan.
  • The Goran Dragic from the Derrick Rose poster-dunk has in fact turned into a nice NBA point guard, and it showed tonight. Dragic finished the night with 26 points and 11 assists and was in full command of a fast-paced Miami offense.
  • The quickness of Miami was thanks to the turnover numbers the Bulls gave up. The Heat scored 26 points on 20 turnovers by the Bulls. On the other hand, the Bulls only scored 8 points off of 12 Heat turnovers. Even when the Bulls grabbed a steal or had a nice block, there was no urgency on the fast break down the floor. Miami took full advantage of a slow Bulls’ defense, and the points off of turnovers were one of the key components in the loss. The Bulls scored their first points off of a turnover at the 10:28 mark in the 4th quarter.
  • The Bulls never pushed the ball up the floor when they had the chance to do so. Miami did push the ball, both on turnovers and regular offensive possessions, which proved to be one of the key differences in the game.
  • After a controversial week for Jimmy Butler, the Bulls’ star did not back up his talking points, finishing the game 1-13 from the field for just 3 points and checked himself out of the game early on after picking up his second foul against the Heat. Not a great showing for the team “leader.”
  • The Heat had a quick first step on offense while the Bulls continued to stand around the perimeter when the likes of Wade and Butler checked into the game.
  • The Bulls kept it close enough in the 1st quarter behind Paul Zipser’s 12 first half points, and found themselves even at the half 53-53.
  • But throughout the first half, the lack of scoring options on both teams was evident, especially for the Bulls. The Bulls were in fact able to get open shots, but continued to miss-fire.
  • The 2nd half was not a great story for the Bulls, as the criticisms surrounding their effort showed themselves again. Dwyane Wade failed to prove his critics wrong, as he was lackadaisical once again on defense by getting back on defense slowly and not being able to stick with his man.
  • This proved to be a constant theme for the Bulls tonight, as Miami, through the great play of Goran Dragic, sliced and diced the defense for wide open layups, or kick-outs for un-contested three point shots.
  • Also missing in this game was proper scouting and in –game adjustments. The Bulls played a Miami team missing Hassan Whiteside, had the height advantage in the paint and did not take enough advantage. The Bulls should’ve given the ball to Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez every chance they had and did not. The two combined only for 21 points.
  • Miami also took advantage of the Bulls inability to stay with their man defensively, mainly the glaring gaps in the Bulls’ defense when the Heat ran the high pick and roll. This should’ve been something corrected at halftime and never was.
  • Towards the end of the 3rd quarter the Bulls were 2/14 from the field, showing again their lack of scoring options.
  • Miami’s Wayne Ellington is an average NBA player at best, but when facing the Bulls, he found himself wide open, and hit his shots, totaling 14 points. While he didn’t have the best shooting percentage from the field, he contributed in a way one would expect Nikola Mirotic to contribute for the Bulls, yet he finished with 1 point in 15 minutes of play.
  • The always entertaining Rajon Rondo finished with 13 points, trying to gain the Bulls trust back, or chose to play well against the Heat to showcase himself for the next team he will be playing for come February.

The final thought in this game is once again the lack of a consistent rotation. Hoiberg has chosen to incorporate Paul Zipser into his lineup, which has been surprisingly beneficial. However, his inconstant use of Bobby Portis and rookie 1st round pick Denzel Valentine does nothing for their development and rapport with the team. While “resting” Wade a few days a week is unacceptable in my book, the idea of trotting out different rotations, with Wade, without Wade, with Portis, without Portis etc, doesn’t allow the team to grow. And for Denzel Valentine to not play on this team speaks volumes to his development as well as the misguided idea by management that this team is a contender this season. Letting the kids play and develop is the only way for the Bulls’ to get better and build a bright future.

  • Up next, the Bulls host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night at the U.C.

Making Sense of Trade Deadline MADNESS

This past Thursday was the most amazing trade deadline in years for us basketball junkies. So much occurred in the 11th hour before the clock hit 3:00 PM EST. Twitter was a tweeting as deals were being reported left and right and everything was coming at us at once. All of this was really hard to digest right away, and still a few days later it’s not entirely clear what every team was thinking. So here’s your guide through what actually went down, and why.

Before we get to the “nitty-gritty” and the game of “point guard roulette” that was played, lets quickly recap all the minor trades that transpired. I’m going to skip over the really inconsequential moves because nobody wants to hear my rambling thoughts on Pablo Prigioni going from New York to Houston, or why Ramon Sessions was traded for the 147th time. Here we go…

Celtics acquire Isaiah Thomas from Suns for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick from the Cavaliers

Why did it happen?

The Celtics have been pretty fond of Isaiah Thomas dating back to last off-season. Danny Ainge saw an opening to get him and in exchange gave away one of their many future 1st round picks. The Celtics are the most “un-tanky” of all the “tankiest” teams in the league (those are words now). Boston is really not helping themselves only being bad enough to secure the somewhere around 11th pick in lottery. Suns pick up a future asset and cut their losses with the ill-fated Thomas signing.

76ers trade K.J. McDaniels to Rockets for Isaiah Canaan and 2015 second-round pick

Why did it happen?

K.J. McDaniels is on a goofy one year deal and because of his play this year some team is likely to give him an offer sheet that the Sixers aren’t interested in paying. Further, many in Philadelphia are saying that Sam Hinkie doesn’t really want to deal with K.J.’s agent after botching the initial contract negotiations. Plus the Sixers really like Isaiah Canaan and have tracked him since last year’s draft, and now have an obvious void at PG. Houston grabs another wing player who can defend really well and could see minutes in the playoffs.

KG minny

Brooklyn sends Kevin Garnett to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young

Why did it happen?

Flip Saunders is a genius, and when I say genius, I mean he makes other GM’s look like geniuses. T’Wolves traded a first round pick for 50 games of Thad Young, and then traded Thad so they could have a family reunion with the corpse of KG. Now they may want to extend the contract of said corpse. Flip you continue to amaze us all.

Trail Blazers acquire Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee from Nuggets in exchange for Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick

Why did it happen?

Blazers get a key pickup in Afflalo who can provide scoring off the bench, something Portland needs desperately. Only costs them a future first rounder, and likely a pick that will land between 22-30. Nuggets who are now in a rebuild, acquire an asset.

All of this brings us to one of the biggest trade deadline clusterf&*%s we’ve ever seen…let’s dive into it.

In three-team trade, the Thunder acquire Enes Kanter and Steve Novak from the Jazz for Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett and two draft picks (one from the Pistons); Oklahoma City also receives D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from Detroit for Reggie Jackson.

Why did it happen?

Let’s start with the Jazz. Kanter publicly announced he wanted out, Utah obliged and picked up some future draft picks. The Jazz are eager to start the Rudy Gobert era, and losing Kanter probably won’t haunt them. Detroit upgraded the PG position in hopes to squeeze into one of the final playoff spots in the East this season and prepare for the future. Reggie is for sure an upgrade from Augustin, and they could choose to resign him this off-season as an insurance policy if Brandon Jennings recovery is stunted. But that is something Stan Van Gundy will have to attend to later. They desperately want to make the playoffs, that’s why the deal went down.

Which brings us to OKC, who is a clear winner in this trade. They discarded an unhappy Reggie Jackson for a low post threat in Kanter, as well as some solid bench pieces in Augustin, Singler, and Novak. This gives OKC a really deep roster which could spur them to a title run this year. Augustin can definitely hold his own as a backup PG; Kanter at times is a very gifted low post scorer and may command double teams on some nights. They also acquire two lights-out three point shooters that could hit some big shots during the playoffs with so much defensive attention constantly going towards Durant and Westbrook.

goran dragic fox sports

In three-team trade, Suns send Goran and Zoran Dragic to Heat in exchange for Danny Granger and two draft picks, while also acquiring John Salmons from Pelicans; New Orleans gets Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton and Shawne Williams from Miami.

Why did it happen?

Dragic was emphatic over the displeasure he had with the Suns front office, and basically forced Phoenix’s hand to deal him before the deadline passed. Pat Riley savvily stole Dragic for essentially nothing: some fringe NBA players and future first round picks that Riley himself will probably never be in office to select. Miami’s league-worst stable of point guards was their one true weakness now that Hassan Whiteside has emerged as the reincarnation of Alonzo Mourning.

Acquiring Dragic, who was second team All-NBA last season, was such a huge acquisition for Miami that for a short 24 hours they perhaps were a dark horse title contender before Chris Bosh’s scary blood clot issue was discovered. But Miami will likely be able to resign Goran during the offseason and could potentially compete in 2016. More importantly, Bosh will be okay. So the Suns acquire more future picks and rid themselves of an unhappy Dragic. They also receive Danny Granger and John Salmons, who both could be waived or just wither away on the bench for the rest of the season. New Orleans get a warm-blooded backup PG in Norris Cole, which is something they need if they are to beat out OKC for the eight spot, though it is highly unlikely. Jrue Holiday’s injury is taking a turn for the worse, and you really can’t have Tyreke Evans playing 40 minutes a night at the point.

In three-team deal, Bucks send Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall to Suns in exchange for Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee; Additionally, Phoenix sends their protected 2015 first-round pick from the Lakers to 76ers, and Philadelphia sends Michael Carter-Willams to Milwaukee

Why did it happen?

This was clearly the most shocking trade of the whole deadline. The Bucks imploding their frontcourt and trading their leading scorer during a playoff run is not a strategy many teams subscribe to. The Bucks must have felt that impending restricted free agent Brandon Knight was worth more to the open market this summer than he was to their organization. Milwaukee is not interested in paying a dollar figure potentially between $12-15 million that Knight will command this summer. So instead they swap in Michael Carter-Williams who is at least under team control for two more years.

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The problem is they’re swapping Knight for possibly the worst shooter in the entire league. They do gain a 6’6″ point guard and now have a stable of players who are extremely long and can defend multiple positions. Jason Kidd likely sees a lot of himself in MCW and must feel that he can work with him to fix his woeful jump shot.

The Bucks definitely improve on defense, but will now really struggle to score the ball in the halfcourt and don’t really have someone to go to in crunch time. That will really hinder them this season, but going forward with Jabari Parker and the Greek Freak, they will surely be an interesting team to watch. They also acquire Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis to add more bodies to an already deep bench.

The Suns get a pretty good replacement for Goran Dragic in Brandon Knight. Dragic is much better than Knight, but Knight may fit better into the Suns guard dominated offense. Knight is much more a combo guard than Dragic was and can be a prolific scorer. The duo of Bledsoe and Knight seems like a more natural fit than the Bledsoe and Dragic duo, because Knight can easily transition into the 2 spot. They painted themselves in a corner when they alienated Dragic and were forced to deal him and try and get some value before he became a free agent this summer. Phoenix really screwed this up, but Brandon Knight could pay dividends for the Suns eventually.

What won’t pay dividends is the idiotic move to trade the Lakers top five protected pick to Philadelphia. It’s just insane to let that pick go. They must have proposed multiple deals not involving the Lakers pick before they eventually caved to Milwaukee and Philadelphia’s demands. Losing the pick is bad, but losing Dragic and getting nothing return is worse. So they downgraded from Dragic to Knight and let go of an asset that had the potential to land them a future star this summer. Wow. That’s some Flip Saunders-like ineptitude.

So here’s what the Sixers and Sam Hinkie were thinking when they dealt away the “current” face of the franchise. The Sixers are not in the business of trying to become average; they’re trying to reach greatness. To the Sixers, MCW was just an average prospect who may have hit his ceiling. They did not view him as a future cog going forward; he plays the deepest position in the entire league and is 100% replaceable in their eyes.

Another reason for ditching MCW is that his numbers are inflated because of the run ‘n’ gun style the Sixers play, they have more offensive possessions than most teams. He also constantly has the ball in his hands and only shoots 38% from the field, and 26% from three (I just threw up in my mouth reading those numbers). His numbers are just awful by any standards for a starting guard in this league.

The Sixers want to develop a team around stars and MCW is never going to be one. By acquiring the Lakers’ protected pick, they are just giving themselves another opportunity to hit the lottery and draft a potential building block. They don’t really feel like they are taking a huge step back by shedding MCW either. By draft, trade, or free agency, the Sixers are constantly seeking the right opportunity to nab a superstar. Hinkie himself is one of the guys who orchestrated the James Harden trade. That is a type of scenario that they will be looking for moving forward, besides just drafting talent. Remaining flexible by staying way under the salary cap and gathering tons of valuable assets is what will make the Sixers a desired trade partner when a star from another team becomes available.

It’s not often those types of draft picks like the Lakers’ become available. It has the potential to be great, and the Sixers were selling high on MCW. Especially considering he’s a PG who can’t shoot and whose only viable trait is his height. All of this trying to acquire and develop around stars is easier said than done, I realize. But what the Sixers want to do is build something that will last not just a few years, but possibly for a decade or longer. The Sixers management is dedicated to building something special and you can begin to see through the mist if you squint really hard. The Hinkie strategy may seem outrageous to many and logical to few, but on Thursday they made the easy decision.

The Blueprint to Gaming Your Fantasy Basketball League: Trade Execution

Hey Guys,

I hope you were able to put up with last week’s craziness and learn a thing or two about basic economic concepts and their application to the NBA.  Today, we’re going to couple last week’s lesson with some of the league’s latest happenings to construct profitable trade opportunities.

Remember, the key to developing trade targets and expendable trade chips is understanding where pockets of excess supply and excess demand exist.  Hopefully, you’ve taken the last week to identify these two parties specific to your league.  For simplicity sake, I’ve established lists of candidates for both that should generally apply to most scoring settings.

Serge-Ibaka

Pockets of Excess Demand (where buyers will buy at the slightest of opportunities)- Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka and Ty Lawson.  Notice how this group of players all have demonstrated superstar ability but have under performed (to some extent) in the early part of the season.  Nonetheless, their respective performances probably have been affected by short-term noise and there is a high probability that they bounce back sooner rather than later.  I included a guy like Ty Lawson on this list because prior to posting 15+ assists in two out of his past three games. the former Tar Heel had been reeling a little bit in Denver. Leonard is dealing with this weird, fluky eye issue. Ibaka is weathering the storm until KD and/or Russell Westbrook get back. You get the jist.  If you have one of these guys, don’t sell low.  If somebody in your league is impatient and a bit short-sighted, give him a ring immediately after you finish reading.

brook-lopez-1

Pockets of Excess Supply (where sellers will sell at the slightest of opportunities)- Goran Dragic, Al Jefferson, Dwyane Wade, Brandon Jennings, Kenneth Faried,  Brook Lopez, Josh Smith.  One thing these guys all have in common- a fundamental, serious obstacle that impedes each asset’s long term value.  For a guy like Dragic, it’s the glut of point guards in the Valley of the Sun. For players like Big Al and Brook Lopez, it’s their inabilities to jump and gobble up rebounds. Scott Skiles had similar remarks regarding a certain Bulls’ big man a decade back..  For creatures like Jennings and Smith, it’s their unwillingness to play team basketball. For Wade, the fact that he can’t physically be counted on for extended periods of time significantly deters his value. You get it. All of these guys are expendable if someone will ante up.  A suave owner would best either a) underpay for such assets or b) avoid them altogether.

Once we’ve established our targets, it’s finally time to formulate trades.  Here are some strategies that I find most effective.

1. 2 for 1 or 3 for 2 in shallow (10-12 teams) leagues– I talked about this last week, but the strategy of acquiring less elite players and giving up more good players is preferable when one’s opportunity cost for refilling roster spots is less significant.  In other words, the value of a rotating roster spot depends on the strength of your league’s waiver wire.  If I could get a guy like Boogie for Dirk and someone like Wes Matthews, I’d do it every time.

2. Selling into strength– When deciding it is most opportune to part ways with an asset, selling into strength is a counter intuitive must.  Most people understand the notion of buying low and selling high, yet these same individuals cannot successfully enact this strategy when the appropriate time comes.  At the height of one’s excitement regarding a certain individual’s play, a crafty fantasy owner should be asking themselves if it’s time to sell.  In the market, the phrase “Bulls make money, Bears make money, Pigs get slaughtered” has held true throughout history.  When profits (good trade opportunities) are there, take ’em and don’t look back. Even if the asset continues to perform or even outperform, green is green.  When you play in a league with 11 or so of your friends, the ability to have trading partners is often taken for granted.  It’s important that your friends feel like they are getting a fair (or even superior) deal when you decide to pull the trigger.  You never know when you’re going to need to draw from the well again :).

3. The Initial Offer– This may be common sense, but if you’re serious about getting a transaction completed, you best not make your first offer your best one.  As a buyer or seller, your strongest source of leverage is keeping your reservation price private.  If you spill the beans from the get-go, it will be nearly impossible to capture the edge in your trade.  Along with this strategy, I find the underutilized tool of proposing a “serious” offer, deleting it, and proposing a lessor offer very effective.  This tactic plays off the idea that recency bias is legitimate in fantasy basketball markets.  Even if you constructed the initial offer thinking it was too light, it will look great in comparison to the second offer and will provide you a solid starting point for progressing talks.

4. Knowing, then asking what the market needs– Bringing the article full circle, understanding the intricacies of the market is essential to sustainable success.  To put it simply, you need to understand your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses better than they do themselves.  Additionally, understanding his or her personality and biases toward marquee names is also beneficial.  It will allow you to a) not offend the person on the other end and b) potentially give up less real talent if you play your cards right. By asking what your opponent needs, you are already operating in good standing and your odds of getting a trade done are substantially higher.

You’ve got the basketball knowledge and you’ve got the strategies. Now, it’s up to you to turn your team from a dud into a stud.

Thanks for the read and happy Thanksgiving,

-Stav

The Blueprint to Gaming your Fantasy Basketball League: Relative Value

Hey Guys,

I hope you are surviving your week. If you find yourself needing a bit of a break from your 9 to 5 and you happen to play fantasy basketball, it’s time to push your work off your desk and pay attention to what I’m about to tell you.

Today, I’m going to teach you how to take your team to the next level.  How will we do that? Of course, by masterfully crafting and then subsequently executing trades.

Before we start conjuring up trades, we need to make sure we understand the intricacies of the fantasy marketplace. Today- this will be our main focus and we will transition into constructing trades later this week.

Particularly important to our analysis, the relationship between excess supply and excess demand needs to be properly explained.  Excess supply represents a scenario where a manager has a variety of options and will look to sell an asset into any spike in value.  An example of this type of situation would be that an owner of Goran Dragic (concerned about the glut of point guards in Phoenix) might look to trade him after his solid performance in Boston two nights ago. While his performance was great, his value is still down relative to projections before the season. The spike in his value is merely a lower high, a potential sign of sellers dominating buyers in the future.

Excess demand, on the contrary, exists when buyers step in and buy an asset on any type of weakness. When these buyers step in to buy the pullback in an asset, they are essentially raising its floor value. An example of this situation taking place would be if the owner of Kelly Olynyk received an influx of trade rumors even after his 13 minutes/four board/three turnover dud for the Gonzaga alum. Here, the market could be betting on the fact that Kelly O. has shown enough early this season that this game could have been a blip on the radar. If buyers do appear in on Olynyk’s value, their purchase would conversely form a higher low.  A higher low has a high probability of foreshadowing a trend of higher demand (and prices) in the future.

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Once we’ve established pockets of excess supply and demand in the marketplace, it’s essential that we couple this knowledge with a thorough understanding of your league’s scoring settings. This is where a shrewd owner understands the importance of players like James Harden and Kyrie Irving who contribute most of their points in FTMs and 3PM or the downfalls of guys like DeAndre Jordan and Michael Carter Williams who struggle in FT% and FG%, respectively.

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With many fantasy owners operating in many leagues at the same time, they often lose sight in the scoring discrepancies that exist in between leagues. This is where an owner forms a bias about a player that may impede his or her ability to properly value the asset they either possess or want to acquire. An example of this is analyzing a guy like Al Jefferson. Often thought to be one of the best centers in the game and a high round draft pick (went for $54/$230 budget in my league), the big man only averages 2.5 FTMs out of his 20 PPG. For fantasy purposes, he is a very inefficient scorer, but an asset his owners would ask an arm and a leg for. In reality, Jefferson more accurately depicts one of these pockets of excess supply. Understanding valuable insights presents crafty owners with enticing opportunities down the road.

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Our last aspect of analysis today revolves around the mantra of understanding the relationship between acquisition limits and the strength (or weakness) of the league’s waiver wire. In smaller leagues (10-12 teams) with lenient acquisition rules, roster flexibility is an asset that most owners overlook. The ability to add extra games to your fantasy lineup is analogous to taking walks in baseball.  Why not take the free base runners if given the opportunity to do so? (Sorry for mixing up sports). When it comes to making trades, it is so important to remember this concept.  In shallow leagues, trading in two good talents for one elite talent is the way to go. The marginal utility between the elite and good player supersedes the discrepancy between the additional good player and the waiver wire replacement that can be added and dropped at moments notice.  This is where a guy with Derrick Favors who might play 3.5 games per week loses out to the guy who gets 5.5 games out of the Chris Kaman-Brandan Wright revolving door.

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers     arrows  NBA: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks

While I know you guys were hoping I would jump right into the trading, laying out the foundation of knowledge is essential for consistent success in trading.  Hopefully, these three concepts provide you with enough insight to start exploring enticing, yet realistic, trade opportunities that will take your team to the top.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

2014-15 League Pass Legends: Phoenix Suns

(image via Bleacherreport)
(image via Bleacherreport)

Last season, my League Pass Legends squad shattered expectations and comfortably made the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference. While I wouldn’t be shocked if Phoenix had a similar breakout, expectations are generally much higher than they were for this team a season ago. Last season, projected by many to win 20-25 games, the Suns burst out of the gate and never truly slowed down, finishing 48-34. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to crack the top eight in the absurdly stacked Western Conference (The Bulls and Raptors each won 48 games as well, and received home-court advantage in addition to making the playoffs out East).

This year, the Suns would likely have to win 50 games to qualify. That’s gonna be tough, but certainly not impossible. Phoenix is bringing back star guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe (fresh on a new long-term deal!) in addition to most of last year’s team. Dragic emerged as a stud last year, averaging 20.3 PPG on insane 50.3% FG shooting and 40%+ from downtown. That is some next level stuff right there. If Bledsoe can play 75 games, watch out. The kid is an athletic freak and in his first starting gig last season, he proved it.

The one key departure Phoenix is faced with is that of Channing Frye. Frye has had an up and down career in the NBA, including missing the entire 2012-13 season for heart surgery. He came back strong last year and provided a dangerous weapon in the Suns’ offense by spacing the floor as a big man. Frye is in Orlando now, and the Suns will struggle to fully replace his contributions with the Morris twins.

(image via NBA)
(image via NBA)

Speaking of the Morris twins, Markief and Marcus, they’re another fantastic reason to watch Phoenix on League Pass this year. The Suns, knowing the brothers prefer playing together, knew they could only afford to pay a combined $52 million to them. Rather than trying to figure out how to distribute the money, the Suns were upfront with the twins and let them decide how to split it. The Morris twins were locked up, the Suns received good deals on both players, and everyone’s happy. The Morris bros. should see a lot of playing time this year and their development, especially from range, is key to Phoenix staying afloat out West.

The biggest offseason addition the Suns made comes in the form of the NBA-tiny Isaiah Thomas. The Suns stole Isaiah on a four year, $28 million deal. The last pick (!) of the 2011 draft, Thomas has emerged as an elite scoring guard who can pass the ball as well. Thomas averaged over 20 PPG in Sacramento last year, which makes it all the more insane that the Kings think they improved by replacing him with the ever-mediocre Darren Collison. Thomas will be a huge addition to the Suns bench, and it’s hard to imagine a more fun/potentially great backcourt then a rotation of Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, and Isaiah Thomas. I’m giddy just thinking about it!

(image via fansided)
(image via fansided)

Oh, and possibly most importantly…ZORAN DRAGIC!!!! The Bros. ‘oran Dragic are an incredibly fun thing about the Suns. I mean two talented, chippy, LEFTY, Slovenian guards playing on one team? And they’re brothers? So down. (Note: I don’t think Zoran will be particularly good or important to this team on the court.)

Overall, it’s going to be extremely tough for Phoenix to displace Memphis, Houston, Dallas or another Western Conference playoff team. However, this extremely talented core of young players combined with year two of the potentially great Jeff Hornacek at head coach means the Suns are a team I will rarely miss on League Pass.