Phoenix Suns: 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2019

Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images /
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Phoenix Suns
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images /

With the 2018 portion of the season in the rearview mirror, here are five New Year’s resolutions for the Phoenix Suns as they head into 2019.

Despite their best efforts to turn the page and become a more respectable basketball team in 2018-19, the Phoenix Suns are in a familiar place as the calendar flips from 2018 to 2019.

At 9-29, they’ve got the second-worst record in the association. They’re also tied for the league’s second-worst point differential, have the third-worst offense and fourth-worst defense, so it’s only natural — and in keeping with the last few years — to start looking ahead to the upcoming draft.

Even after winning five of their last 10 contests, the Suns just don’t have the established talent or experience to join the other 14 teams vying for a playoff spot in a loaded Western Conference. However, outside of the likely No. 1 overall pick in Zion Williamson, nobody in the upcoming draft class looks like the type of immediate difference-maker Phoenix needs to take the next step.

To that end, the Suns’ next step in their progression could be a tricky one. They still need an upgrade at the point guard position, but Devin Booker has emerged as an underrated playmaker and the team’s de factor 1-guard on offense.

They also need help defensively, but have three defensive-minded wings in Mikal Bridges, Josh Jackson and Kelly Oubre Jr. that will help on that end as they grow as players. They need experienced free agents, but every player they’ve overpaid to come join an ongoing rebuild has looked over the hill.

It’s not an easy path forward for co-interim general manager James Jones, even with franchise cornerstones like Booker and Deandre Ayton in place. The Suns look to be turning a page, but for a team with such a dismal record, there are plenty of New Year’s resolutions to be made, and unlike most New Year’s resolutions, they need to extend beyond the first three weeks of January.

Bearing all that in mind, here are five areas for improvement — both on and off the court — that the Phoenix Suns need to commit to for the 2019 calendar year.