Suns won’t tank because draft isn’t good
by Paul Coro, USA TODAY Sports
For a good NBA team, the agenda is so simple to decipher and make universal.
Just win, baby.
It turns to just win, maybe, when seasons turn complicated for teams like the Phoenix Suns, who could finish with their worst season since their inaugural season 44 years ago.
At this low point, with nine remaining games, mounting losses are just fine with many fans and many in the organization who have an eye on draft lottery odds to reverse the franchise’s three-year spiral.
Some loyalists could never wish for losses, question how much a weak draft class will help or just disapprove of what a losing atmosphere does to young players.
The Suns players are the most united front. Their futures depend on performance. Some do not have certain returns in Phoenix or even the league. Most players are wired to compete, albeit now with a resigned outlook.
The timing and the idea of holding out Goran Dragic, the Suns’ best player coming off his best game, for the past two nights said something to fans and players about the lack of importance to win for a last-place team. Dragic did not want to sit out. He was told to sit, and it is not like when 38-year-old Steve Nash did it to save his body for a playoff push.
The Dragic move privately disturbed some Suns who have been trying to adhere to the mantras for all-out effort, no excuses and a winning culture.
The Suns known for high effort — Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Luis Scola and Shannon Brown — have seen recent time reductions. Dragic sat out two games. Tucker did not play in a March 15 game when he was healthy. Scola averaged 13 minutes on a three-game trip that included his Houston homecoming. Brown logged eight minutes in a four-week span.
“It’s a business,” Tucker said of holding out Dragic at Utah, who could help the Suns to a second draft lottery pick if they pass the Los Angeles Lakers. “All that stuff doesn’t matter. We’re going to play regardless of who they play or don’t play.
“I watch college and nobody there could impact the … [For more on Suns don't want to tank because draft isn't good, click here.]