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The Phoenix Suns are one of two expansion franchises that joined the National Basketball Association in 1968. While they have had their fair share of triumphs over the decades, they are among 12 teams that have never won an NBA championship. However, they've won three Western Conference crowns and eight division titles. The Suns also have the second-highest winning percentage among teams that don't have a Larry O'Brien Trophy in their collection. Despite their lack of an NBA title, Phoenix has had some superstar-caliber players suit up for them through the years. Some of the league's greatest players have kept basketball a hot commodity in The Valley. But of all the players who have donned the purple and orange, here are the ones who stood out. Honorable Mention -; Dick Van Arsdale https://twitter.com/sunsgeek/status/1496163718366904322 He is known as the "original Sun" after the franchise made him their first selection in the 1968 expansion draft. Van Arsdale played nine seasons for the Suns before retiring in 1977. Throughout that stretch, he became a three-time NBA All-Star and one-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team member. The former Hoosier also served as General Manager, head coach, and Senior Vice President of Player Personnel for the Suns. The franchise retired his number five jersey, one of six they have in the rafters. 10. Devin Booker https://twitter.com/NBAHistory/status/1656178078731599874 Is it too early to put him on this list? Not really, especially considering he was a 2022 All-NBA First Team member. He has been a three-time NBA All-Star since the Suns selected him 13th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. As of the 2022-23 season, he is already the franchise leader in three-point field goals made with 1,089. He was also the youngest player to score 60 points in a game when he torched the Boston Celtics for 70 points in 2017. Booker will continue to amass individual and team achievements for Phoenix after signing a four-year, $224 million contract extension in 2022. That deal keeps him with the Suns until the 2027-28 season. 9. Chris Paul https://twitter.com/DuaneRankin/status/1657135984457424898 You may argue that Christopher Emmanuel Paul had successful stints with four other NBA teams before joining the Suns in 2020. However, "CP3" made the most of his time in Phoenix by leading them to the 2021 NBA Finals. He is also an NBA All-Star in his first three seasons with the Suns. During those years, Paul was also selected to two All-NBA Second Teams and one All-NBA Third Team. He was also the league's assists leader in 2022. Those credentials will be difficult to match or surpass. 8. Shawn Marion https://twitter.com/UsherNBA/status/1655247352675074050 Shawn Dwayne Marion made no excuses every time he stepped onto an NBA court. Thanks to his versatility, he scored points using his unorthodox release and can defend multiple positions. Those attributes made him a perfect piece in Phoenix's "Seven Seconds or Less" era during the 2000s. The Suns selected him ninth overall in the 1999 NBA Draft, and he played for them until 2008. During his stint in Phoenix, Marion became a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Third Team member. He was also selected to the 2000 NBA All-Rookie Second Team. The former UNLV standout had his best NBA season with the Suns, averaging 21.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in 2005-06. 7. Alvan Adams https://twitter.com/jonyeeha/status/1625961364677365760 Talk about loyalty. Alvan Leigh Adams played his entire NBA career with the Suns. The team took him fourth overall in the 1975 draft, and he retired after the 1987-88 season. He immediately made an impact after winning the 1976 Rookie of the Year award, averaging 19 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Adams also became an NBA All-Star in the same year. Initially, the Suns retired his number 33 jersey. However, Adams allowed Grant Hill to use his number when he played for the team. He became the franchise leader in rebounds (6,937) and steals (1,289). He is also second in points. 6. Amar'e Stoudemire https://twitter.com/ThrowbackHoops/status/1655398164067934209 Stoudemire was an unstoppable force at the peak of his career. The Suns took him ninth overall in the 2002 NBA Draft and played for the team until 2010. Those were some of the best years in the franchise's recent history as the Suns became perennial playoff contenders. During those years, this prep-to-pro player became a four-time All-NBA Second Team member and a five-time NBA All-Star. Stoudemire also made the 2007 All-NBA First Team a year after being limited to only three games. He averaged a career-high 26 points per game during the 2004-05 NBA season. Stoudemire increased that average to 29.9 points per game during the 2005 playoffs. 5. Walter Davis https://twitter.com/NBACobwebs/status/1641457767364845570 Walter Pearl Davis is the 1978 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 24.2 points and six rebounds per game. He averaged at least 20 points per game in six of his 11 seasons with the Suns. He became a six-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA Second Team member when he played in Phoenix. While he had a messy breakup with the Suns after the 1987-88 season, the two sides have repaired their relationship. The franchise retired his number 6 jersey in 1994. Ten years later, he was included in the Suns' Ring of Honor. Davis is the franchise leader in field goals made (6,497) and points (15,666). 4. Paul Westphal https://twitter.com/NBACobwebs/status/1658545273210109956 Paul Douglas Westphal had two stints as a Phoenix Suns player. He joined the team in 1975 after the Boston Celtics traded him and two second-round picks to the Suns for Charlie Scott. It was a great decision as he became a three-time All-NBA First Team member and four-time NBA All-Star during his first five seasons with the Suns. He rejoined the Suns before the 1983-84 season, but that was his last playing year. Westphal is a member of the Suns' Ring of Honor, and the franchise also retired his number 44 jersey. He also became the team's head coach for three seasons, leading them to the 1993 NBA Finals. Westphal became a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2019. 3. Kevin Johnson https://twitter.com/NBAHistory/status/1658216935522181143 Kevin Maurice Johnson became a member of the Phoenix Suns after a mid-season trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He repaid the trust Phoenix gave him by averaging 12.6 points and 8.7 assists in 28 games for the Suns. That was only the beginning because he leaped to become an elite point guard. Johnson became the 1989 NBA Most Improved Player, averaging 20.4 points and 12.2 assists per game. He was also a three-time NBA All-Star and four-time All-NBA Second Team member as one of the Suns' primary weapons. Johnson was also a member of the Suns team that played in the 1993 NBA Finals. He also returned from retirement in the 2000 season to replace a then-injured Jason Kidd. The Suns have retired his number 7 jersey. 2. Charles Barkley https://twitter.com/NBACobwebs/status/1657390030044766208 While Charles Wade Barkley played only four seasons with the Phoenix Suns, it is enough to rank him high on this list. In 1993, "Sir Charles" became the first Suns player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award. He also led the team to the NBA Finals in the same year. Barkley also made it to the Western Conference All-Star team in all his seasons with Phoenix. The bruising player from Auburn also made it to one All-NBA First Team and three All-NBA Second Teams as the Suns' leader. He is also a member of the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor and the NBA's 75th-anniversary all-time team. Barkley was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2006. 1. Steve Nash https://twitter.com/UNCanada/status/1656440678908395521 Stephen John Nash redeemed himself after a disappointing first stint with the Phoenix Suns. He re-signed with the Suns after a six-year stint with the Dallas Mavericks. The move changed his career as he became a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player as the maestro of the Suns' "Seven Seconds or Less" offense. Aside from winning consecutive MVP awards, he made All-NBA First-Team from 2005 to 2007. Nash was also a five-time NBA All-Star, and three-time assists leader with Phoenix. He is a member of the Suns' Ring of Honor. His philanthropic efforts earned him the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia honors.
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (ankle) was forced to undergo surgery after suffering an injury during the first-round series of the playoffs. Luckily, it sounds like Randle is progressing well from his ankle surgery. Head coach Tom Thibodeau said that Randle will be fresh and ready to go at the beginning of training camp. That's good to hear after Randle played 77 games last season and earned himself his second All-Star appearance. Randle was a top 75 fantasy player last season, so fantasy managers should expect similar production this upcoming season.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, Suns center Deandre Ayton could be on the move. With Damian Lillard still in Portland, Fischer believes Phoenix and Utah may get involved to facilitate a three-way trade, possibly resulting in Ayton getting sent to the Trail Blazers and Jusuf Nurkic going to Phoenix. Of course, while there were countless updates surrounding Lillard over the summer, the latest scenario involving the 2018 No. 1 overall pick is intriguing, considering Monty Williams is no longer at the helm. But perhaps a change of scenery would benefit Ayton, who has been hit or miss from a production standpoint throughout his career. Nevertheless, with training camp around the corner, a deal involving the 25-year-old could happen sooner rather than later. However, Ayton's fantasy value won't be determined until managers know where he'll be playing this season.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, the Bulls and Raptors have had discussions with the Blazers regarding guard Damian Lillard. After the All-Star requested a trade in July, specifically to Miami, updates cooled off over the last few weeks. However, with training camp on the horizon, teams have emerged as potential suitors. The 33-year-old has spent his entire career in Portland, averaging 25.2 points, including a career-high 32.2 points in 2022-23. Of course, any deal with the Raptors will likely involve Pascal Siakam. On the other hand, the Bulls have young, up-and-coming players on the roster, which would dramatically alter Portland's championship window. But no matter where Lillard lands, assuming he's traded, he's expected to remain a top-10 fantasy option in all formats.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Pacers aren't interested in acquiring guard/forward Tim Hardaway Jr. Buddy Hield is expected to be moved sometime soon, with Dallas recently emerging as a potential destination. However, despite the fact that the salaries between both players are similar, making a swap easier, Indiana may not be fond of Hardaway's additional contract year. The 31-year-old has bounced around the league throughout his career, making stops in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas. He's appeared in 657 regular-season games, averaging 14.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 36.1% shooting from deep. Hardaway was rumored to be on the move last season, although it never happened. But with the Mavs seemingly not done reshaping the roster, the sharpshooter's days in Dallas might be coming to an end.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks are interested in acquiring Pacers guard Buddy Hield. The sharpshooter will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, so he requested a trade after not receiving an extension offer to his liking. Of course, multiple teams have emerged in the latest rumblings surrounding Hield. However, Dallas might be in the best position to make a swap with the Pacers, at least in terms of matching salaries, considering the Mavs can exchange Tim Hardaway Jr. Still, as for now, it doesn't appear as if discussions between Dallas and Indiana have progressed, with Stein indicating that Indiana may not want Hardaway in return. With training camp is right around the corner, a deal could happen soon. Yet, until fantasy managers know where Hield is heading, it is tough to determine how things will look from a production standpoint.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson has received high praise from his head coach Chauncey Billups, who is backing him for stardom. "Scoot is going to be a star in this league," Billups told Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. "He plays both sides of the floor with ferocity. He is very, very driven. He's a playmaker, he's a real point guard. Got some leadership about him. He looks like he's the starting safety of the Denver Broncos. He's going to be an exciting player for the whole world to watch but our fan base, they can rest assured they'll be entertained." As Damian Lillard seems to be on the brink of leaving Portland, Henderson appears poised to star in the NBA already in his rookie season.
Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Josh Green is looking to improve defensively in 2023-24. "I want to be able to be a bigger defensive presence next year for the Mavs," Green told Grant Afseth of DallasBasketball.com. "I think this is a perfect time to try. I think I'll be in pretty good shape from picking up full court every game." Green took big strides last season to produce a career year, and the 22-year-old appears to have no intentions of resting on his laurels. He already had a solid role in the rotation a season ago, averaging close to 26 minutes a night, but taking his defensive game up a notch will definitely improve his chances of earning even more playing time.
New York Knicks guard/forward Josh Hart is believed to be penciled in for the backup power forward role for training camp. According to SNY's Ian Begley, the Knicks like the idea of Hart playing in the second unit and making plays as a screener out of the short role. The team doesn't have a lot of frontcourt depth, and playing Hart in the power-forward position will be an interesting experiment. The 28-year-old stands only at six-foot-four, but he's always been a good rebounder, and it seems like the Knicks staff sees Hart as a good fit for the position.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham is fully healthy and ready to go for the 2023-24 NBA season, and teammate Jaden Ivey sees him having a great campaign. "I think a lot of people are going to be shocked," Ivey told Omari Sankofa of The Detroit Free Press about Cunningham. "He's going to have a special season this season for us." Cunningham, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday, has averaged 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists through his 76 career games. A stress fracture in his left shin limited the talented guard to just 12 games last season, but he's been healthy all summer, and judging by Ivey's words, Cunningham appears ready to take his game to the next level.
Chicago Bulls guard/forward DeMar DeRozan is ready to add another element to his game, announcing he will be taking more three-point shots in the new season."Next year it'll be more frequent threes from me without a doubt," DeRozan told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. "Just because I've always had this vision in my career as I got older, I want to be able to just continue to expand my game. And that's a main priority and a point of focus for me to just capitalize on as I get older." DeRozan is among the top 40 scorers in NBA history, but he has averaged only 1.5 three-point attempts for his career. He has gotten close to two attempts per game in the past couple of seasons, and it looks like the 34-year-old is now ready to fully embrace outside shooting. If he can do it efficiently, then we should see DeRozan's scoring numbers get a nice bump. He hit 32.4 percent of his three-point shots last term.