1) What grade does the Suns LVSL squad deserve for their performance?
Matt: The Suns summer league squad gets an A+. They were mediocre last summer league and their roster had no true veteran outside of P.J Tucker. The Suns summer squad showed great continuity on both ends of the court and Suns fans should be excited after their summer league performance. Look at this as the first stepping stone.
Eric: I would say that the summer league team gets a solid A grade. I can’t give an A+ since they didn’t win it all and collect that trophy. However, everything else went according to plan except for 20 minutes at the end of the final game. The team showed cohesion as a unit on both ends of the floor, communicated, and showed the determination and perseverance to come back from a big deficit to beat Minnesota. They also garnered positive national attention for the team which didn’t happen last season, and won’t for most of this upcoming season. Basically, this was the calm between storms.
2) Archie Goodwin has been the talk of the town with his performance at Vegas, how impressive has he been?
Matt: On a scale of 1-10, I’d say 8. I haven’t seen a Suns player draw fouls at will since…A long time ago. Goodwin will be just 19-years old next month, and his potential is VERY promising.
Eric: I am really excited about Goodwin and would also give him an 8. He has all the tools to become a great player. The perimeter shot, ability to draw contact and finish in the lane, polished floater and defense, everything you want in a player in his prime . . . at 19 years old (almost).
3) Who is the one player on the Suns summer league roster that has the best chance to make the Suns regular season roster?
Matt: I have my money on Arinze Onuaku. The Suns needs more depth at the center position after losing Jermaine O’Neal and Hamed “Who’s your” Haddadi. Onuaku displayed an excellent nose for the ball. Defensively he’s a little slow and can’t jump but that big body should be able to compensate for some of his physical limits.
Eric: I would also say Onuaku. I was predicting Dionte Christmas or Chris Babb earlier, and they are probably better players overall, but wouldn’t fit into the guard heavy Phoenix roster. But as the last man on the bench, he would only play in blowouts. Right now the frontcourt is a little tight too. Marcin Gortat, Alex Len, Channing Frye, Luis Scola, Markieff Morris, and sometimes Michael Beasley all fill the center and power forward spots.
4) Should the Suns attempt to move Luis Scola, and Shannon Brown before training camp to open up more playing time for players like Goodwin, and the Morris twins?
Matt: Absolutely. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, the Suns aren’t playing for wins right now but rather they want to see development in their young players. Remember this, the season the Oklahoma City Thunder won 50 games back during the 2009-2010 season, they won just 23 games during their 2008-2009 campaign. The Suns are kind of in the same shoes. The Suns want to see potential, and they want to see development as opposed to meaningless wins that won’t earn them a playoff berth.
Eric: I would say yes on Luis Scola and no on Shannon Brown. Scola is a crafty veteran and you can’t start Markieff over him, it’s just disrespectful. Scola has earned the right to start. Scola also will win you some of those meaningless games and his value isn’t going much higher.
While Brown has won championships with the Lakers, it won’t look as bad starting Eric Bledsoe over him and having Brown mentor Bledsoe and Goodwin. I would still trade his expiring contract at the trade deadline, but by then he will have imparted value to the young SGs and increased his trade value as teams may be desperate for a veteran shooting guard to bolster their roster due to injury or for a playoff run.