2023 Phoenix Suns Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert NBA Picks
The Suns went all-in at last year’s trade deadline, picking up Kevin Durant to bring their core of Devin Booker and Chris Paul to the next level. A second-round exit left the franchise still in search of their first NBA title, but a few crafty offseason moves has them in position to excel in a very competitive Western Conference. Will this be the year the stars finally align for the Suns, or will it be another season of disappointment for this very talented squad?
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Phoenix Suns Offseason Recap
Despite sporting one of the most talented rosters in the league, the Suns stayed very active this offseason, revamping their starting lineup in the process. They kicked things off by trading Chris Paul for Bradley Beal, after a lackluster 3 seasons in the desert. Paul’s leadership on the court will be missed, and his ability to spread the floor allowed Booker and Durant to operate in the open court. However, they felt as though the 38-year-old was no longer able to bring what they needed to the table and made the smart decision to move on.
In steps Beal. Beal has struggled to stay healthy during his 11 years in Washington, having played 60 or fewer games in each of the last 4 seasons. When he’s on his game, Beal certainly is an upgrade over Paul. He’s a better defender and gives them even more depth in the scoring department. While he won’t be able to make the mesmerizing passes Paul did on a nightly basis, he is used to playing heavy minutes and can score at will in the open court.
In free agency, they picked up Yuta Wantanabe and Eric Gordon, who will be able to provide valuable minutes when their stars are resting. Wantanabe shot 44.4% from deep last season, while Gordon has a 41.2% and 37.1% clip from deep over the last two seasons. Needless to say, the Suns are capable scorers.
The madness didn’t end there, as the Suns moved on from the DeAndre Ayton saga, picking up Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkic in the 3-team deal involving Damian Lillard. Ayton never really lived up to his expectations in Phoenix, and the Suns were forced to move on from him and dump his contract on the cap friendly Trail Blazers. Nurkic may be a slight downgrade, but his defense in the paint will allow the Suns to get ahead in scoring early in games. Allen was a key member for the Bucks over the last 2 seasons. And while he won’t be making headlines, he hits his free throws, rarely turns the ball over, and has shot 39.5% from deep over his 5-year career.
Phoenix Suns Season Expectations
The expectation within the Suns organization is to make, and win, the NBA Finals. They have a star studded starting lineup and addressed their depth issues in the offseason. With Paul and Ayton being the notable departures, and Beal, Nurkic, Allen, Gordon, and Wantanabe coming in, this Suns lineup became more balanced, deeper, and has all the individual talent needed to succeed.
Frank Vogel will have plenty of pressure to deliver in his first season at the helm, as there are no excuses if the former Lakers coach can’t get this squad to the promised land. Booker put up a career high in PPG with 27.8 per contest and had his most efficient offensive season, scoring on 49.4% of his attempts. The 3-time all-star forms a lethal duo with Durant, who is a consistent 30-point scorer, and has proven so over his 12-year career. The Suns have a win total of 51.5 wins, which is the 4th highest total in the league. After posting a franchise best 64 wins in 2021-22, the Suns took a decline last regular season, securing just 45 wins and the 4th seed that went with it. Another top 4 seed feels like the floor for this squad. And unless they get hit with the injury bug, the Suns have all they need to compete long term with the Western Conference heavyweights.
Phoenix Suns Schedule Breakdown
The Suns kick off the season with a pair of road games, taking on the Warriors on opening night, and the Lakers 2 days later. Starting on December 1, the Suns get to avoid the cold Northern climate with 13 of their next 16 games taking place at home, including a special Christmas showdown against the Mavericks. Their longest road trip is 7 games, but games against the Mavericks, Pacers, Magic, Heat, Nets, Hawks, and Wizards will still be very winnable. All and all, the Suns have a favorable schedule, and don’t have any lengthy road trips against stiff opposition.
Phoenix Suns Odds
The Suns are a deserved title favorite, coming in with +600 odds to win it all, and they are +325 to make the Finals. They have all the pieces needed to win. However, whether or not they can put it all together early in the season will have a big impact on their seeding in April. The Suns lack of chemistry with their new squad will be hard to overcome, especially considering the Ayton trade only went through less than a month before opening night.
In the in-season tournament, the Suns have a favorable group, featuring the Lakers, Grizzlies (without Ja Morant), Jazz, and Trail Blazers. At +140 odds to top the group, it is rare to find such plausible plus money on a squad this talented.
Phoenix Suns 2023-24 Season Predictions
There is no reason to stall any longer… but for the second straight season, I’ll be fading the Suns. It takes several months, or even years, for an NBA squad to gel, and the Suns lack that time under the belt as a team. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Suns sitting at 10-10 through the first quarter of the season, and it would be quite the uphill battle to finish off the year with the 42-20 record needed to still cash their total. They have the talent but have repeatedly shown they lack the grit needed to win in high pressure situations. Beal is a great addition, but he’s been playing on the bottom feeder Wizards for the last several seasons and may take some time adjusting to the national microscope the Suns will be under.
I expect the Suns to fall just short of their total, with a 48-34 record in the regular season. Due to the early season nature of the tournament, I can’t place my hard-earned cash on the unproven Suns, and you shouldn’t either.
Regarding the postseason, I think the Suns hold solid value at +600, but I won’t be pulling the trigger just yet. When the Suns inevitably get off to a slow start, I expect a better price to be offered in the coming weeks. When locking in a futures bet this early in the season, it is only worth tying up the bankroll if the price will be dramatically dropping in the near future. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Suns at +400 by the time the postseason rolls around, a +700 +800 price will be on offer soon. Let’s wait until then to take a shot on the Suns.
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