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Marcus Morris onto the Pistons. They would likely have moved Markieff Morris then, too, had Aldridge come, but dealing Marcus away fractured their relationship with Markieff. Phoenix traded him to Washington for a first-round pick the next season. They ended up trading that pick -- plus two other assets -- to move up and draft Chriss.In what felt like a flash, almost all of Phoenix's prime-aged talent aside from Bledsoe and Knight was gone.
Drafting Booker is the one question mark in comparing those two scenarios. In that first scenario -- in which the Suns keep Thomas, and hit the brakes after the Dragic deal -- they may not have picked high enough to nab Booker 13th in 2015. As Thomas lifted Boston into the playoffs, the Suns sunk without him from 29-25 at the trade deadline to 39-43 -- and jumped up in the draft order. No first-rounder taken after Booker that year has anything like his upside. That first scenario might include Cameron Payne instead of Booker.
It's still better than where Phoenix is today. They would have been able to pivot in almost any direction from a position of strength.
They have no starter-level point guard, and no prospect who might turn into one. They have to make another coaching decision after Watson's departure. Phoenix looked unprepared and unmotivated Cameron Artis-Payne Jersey to start the season. The locker room was off before the opening debacle against Portland, Booker recalls. "We all just sat there with our headphones on," Booker says. "You can feel the energy of a locker room before a game, and we didn't have it. How is our energy not there in the first game?"
Watson started Jackson at power forward. Effort waned. Players whispered that Watson, always encouraging, seemed to let guys stay on the floor through too many mistakes. Cameron Artis-Payne Jersey They wondered about accountability, sources say, and that has become a buzzword up and down the organization under Triano. (Watson declined comment.)
Triano has nothing but good things to say about Watson, and insists he shares in the blame for the 0-3 start. "You feel partially responsible," he says. "I was the lead assistant." The team's leaders also harbor no ill will toward Bledsoe, and insist his trade request -- an open secret within the team -- did not sap morale. "Eric's tension wasn't with the players," Booker says. "That's one of my dearest friends."
But http://www.officialpanthersonlinestore.com/Aleksander_Barkov_Jersey things are different now. Jackson is coming off the bench and playing at small forward. "I thought we did Josh a bit of a disservice playing him at [power forward] when he has only played [small forward], and we think his future in the NBA is there," Triano says.
Triano tweaked the scheme on defense, and instituted clear, simple rules for help defenders: one foot at the edge of the paint, a step or two further than Watson permitted. (Watson wanted to erase corner 3s, and so far, the Suns are allowing the third fewest as a share of opponent attempts, per Cleaning The Glass.) Phoenix is running more varied plays on offense.
Triano will not tolerate a lack of effort, particularly from Chriss, who sulked occasionally when he didn't get the ball during those first three losses and was slow getting back on defense. "When you don't play with energy, you are going to come out," Triano says. "And when he pouts, we are going to take him out and refocus him. He is going to be a great player. He just http://www.nflchiefsofficial.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_ANTHONY_SHERMAN_JERSEY.html has to play the right way."(Phoenix has been pleased with Triano. He has the chance to earn the job on a full-time basis, McDonough says.)
The Suns need Chriss, Bender, and Jackson to pop. They represent the dividends from the wild spasm of moves in 2015. If they are busts, it is a disaster. If they are merely solid, the Suns could be the next Magic -- a rebuild without a tentpole star. That is a long, uncertain journey.
The Suns hope Booker is that star. Warren continues to blossom as a scorer, though his 3-point shot and playmaking have stalled. Phoenix ranks dead last in assist rate after finishing 29th last season, per NBA.com.
Both Warren and Booker have worked harder on defense this season, skittering over screens, moving their feet, and spreading their arms wide. They're still young, and defense isn't their strong suit. They both can get a little hazy off the ball: