Suns Retorter: The Future is Now and It's Bright
Barry Gossage NBAE
Welcome to the future. Despite what your childhood tried to tell you, it’s not a world that includes robots, flying cars that fold into suitcases or self-tying sneakers. As a matter of fact, it’s a world that looks very familiar to the past with one big difference: the future is much brighter.
A mere 364 days ago at the NBA Draft Lottery in New York City, it wasn’t clear when or if the Suns would make it to this point. The team had just completed the second worst season in franchise history, had no coach, had just hired a new 33-year-old general manager with no experience and the franchise had more question marks than the fabric the Riddler’s tailor has to use. I know. I was sitting there in the studio in Time Square covering the event as the envelopes were unveiled while, not unlike many fans, secretly clinging to lucky charms hoping for the No. 1 pick. That pick never came, but the luck showed up by the summer.
The Suns found the right coach in Jeff Hornacek. The rookie GM, Ryan McDonough, found his stride in quick order. His moves made the roster take shape and the team surprised everyone with 48 victories and narrowly missed the playoffs.
While the offseason started again with the NBA deputy commissioner (albeit it a new one in Mark Tatum) pulling the Suns logo out of an envelope, the entire perspective is different.
The ping-pong balls may have once again bounced far from the Suns way, but they are still set up for bigger and better things.
They will select at No. 14, No. 18 and No. 27 on June 26th. They have over $20 million in cap space and a roster full of young and desirable talent. The team has the assets, the determination and the plan. That means the possibilities this summer are more infinite than the combinations in the draft lottery.
It’s a far cry from just a year ago. The joy and excitement of Suns basketball has returned. Fans have never been prouder to wear purple and orange. Optimism has return to the Valley of the Suns and it’s all come from rebuilding the right way. By collecting assets, trading for quality young talent and having the foresight to position the franchise with cap space flexibility, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and his staff have set this up to be an offseason almost as entertaining and important as the season just completed.
As Imagine Dragons sang, “welcome to the new age.” It’s brighter than the past of just a year ago. It’s also a future that doesn’t look all that different from the historic past for the Suns. As much as things change, they stay the same and the Suns are ready to rise again.