The Phoenix Suns have once again been eliminated from the NBA playoffs in humiliating fashion, dropping a home Game 6 to the Denver Nuggets to conclude the 2022-23 season. Here’s a look at how this year went for the Suns, and how they shape up heading into the offseason.
2022-23 season recap
The Suns started out relatively slowly, and then battled through some injuries. The big one was Devin Booker being sidelined multiple times with groin issues. Phoenix made a huge trade at the deadline, adding Kevin Durant after a long pursuit. The team also underwent a change in ownership and it really did feel like a new era was taking place. The Suns kept winning with Durant in the lineup before he suffered a knee injury and missed a good portion of the end of the season.
The Suns defeated the Clippers in the first round, although that team was shorthanded with Paul George missing every game and Kawhi Leonard sitting out the final three. Phoenix then went toe to toe with the Nuggets for five games before getting smoked in Game 6 at home.
2023 offseason priorities
Last offseason felt long for the Suns, largely because they didn’t make any changes. That’s unlikely to be the case this summer. The team has committed more than $155 million to Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul and Landry Shamet. Only Durant, Booker and Shamet are highly likely to return. Paul is more likely to come back than not but he could be out.
The Suns will almost certainly trade Ayton, who has showed no interest in being part of this team. He’s lethargic on the court and doesn’t seem to enjoy the challenge of playing for a contender. Jock Landale, who is a free agent, is a better fit for this team. An Ayton trade could help the Suns not only retain Landale but also get some more competent role players on the fringes.
Ultimately, this offseason will be about surrounding Durant and Booker with enough role players to make a championship run. We’ll see how the Suns go about doing that.