The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Phoenix Suns, who hope to make a return trip the NBA Finals after losing four straight games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the last series of the season.
Phoenix Suns 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: JaVale McGee, Elfrid Payton
The Suns locked up Paul on a long-term deal, which was the first priority of free agency. McGee is a veteran with championship experience and can provide good energy off the bench. Payton is a solid backup point guard, although the Suns are likely to go with Cameron Payne in that role ahead of him.
Key departures: Torrey Craig
Craig was a backup big for Phoenix during its playoff run, but got thrust into a bigger role when Dario Saric went down. Ultimately, this is not going to be a piece that makes or breaks the Suns. Craig is a good player, but the Suns are going to be fine without him.
The expectations remains high for Phoenix after the franchise’s first playoff trip in a decade resulted in a Finals appearance. Getting back to the last series of the season might be a tough ask, but making a deep playoff run is in the cards. The Suns will hope to string together back-to-back playoff appearances and maybe win a series or two.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Mikal Bridges
Bridges had a breakout performance in Game 2 of the Finals, but cooled off after that 27-point effort. The small forward averaged just 7.8 points per game in the last four games of the series. That’s not going to fly this season. Bridges is a capable three-point shooter who should take on a bigger offensive role this season. As opponents crowd Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton more, look for Bridges to break out. He offers a good value play in DFS formats and could be a late-round lottery ticket for fantasy managers in drafts.