Former Suns’ Executive Analyzes Struggles

For fans of the local basketball team the sun has been slowly setting since the spring of 2010. Entering the week only one team in the NBA had a worse record than the Phoenix Suns.

The Phoenix front office has preached patience and a commitment to #TheTimeline, a popular slogan with what appears to be an ever-changing blueprint moving forward.

So where did it start to all go wrong for Robert Sarver’s team?

“I think what’s happened big-picture wise,” former Suns VP of Player Operations David Griffin said to’s Brad Cesmat in a recent interview. “They sort of got caught in-between a little bit. They weren’t exactly all about the young developing players.”

Griffin believes the Suns approach of adding veteran pieces in hopes of attracting free-agent LaMarcus Aldridge in the summer of 2015 backfired because they felt they were closer to contending than being a lottery team.

Some of those veterans have now moved on while the one’s who have remained haven’t become “difference makers” for a franchise desperately lacking an identity.

In short, there’s still plenty of work to be done for Phoenix to be a playoff contender once again.

“I think they’re going to have to go through this process,” the former World Champion General Manager of the Cleveland Cavs said. “It’s difficult to play well together when they’re all together because nobody there is making anyone better.”

Griffin feels the most sustainable NBA franchises in the NBA experience success in drafts, free-agency and trades.

The one constant has been, and will continue to be, rising star guard Devin Booker who appears to be getting better every year of his young career. He scored at least 30 points in four of the last five games entering Monday’s game in Miami against the Heat.

“Most teams that are going through the rebuilding and tanking don’t have a guy of the level of “Book,” Griffin said.

Suns’ fans can only hope there will be more Devin Booker’s making their way to the Valley.

Preferably sooner than later.