2018-2019 Phoenix Suns Team Preview and Betting Picks
Talking Stick Resort Arena – Phoenix, Arizona Igor Kokoskov – Head Coach Western Conference – Pacific Division 2017 Record: 21-61
Phoenix Suns CoachingThe Phoenix Suns parted ways with former Head Coach Earl Watson and brought back former Suns Assistant Coach Igor Kokoskov as the new Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns. This is Kokoskov’s first NBA Head Coaching job but he has experience coaching at various other places. Kokoskov has coached in the College ranks as an assistant for Missouri and was a Head Coach of the Georgia Bulldogs from 2008 until 2015. Kokoskov’s career in the NBA has spanned as an assistant for the LA Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and Utah Jazz. He won an NBA Title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and was an NBA Assistant on the All-Star squad in 2006.
Phoenix Suns Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Suns used their 1st first-round NBA Draft selection to pick 1st overall and take former Arizona Center Deandre Ayton.
- June 21, 2018 – The Suns used their 2nd first-round NBA Draft selection to pick 10th overall and take Villanova Small Forward Mikal Bridges.
- June 22, 2018 – The Suns used the first of their two 2nd round NBA Draft selections to pick 31st overall and take Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez Point Guard Elie Okobo.
- June 22, 2018 – The Suns used the second of their two 2nd round NBA Draft selections to pick 59th overall and take Colorado Shooting Guard George Kings.
- July 2, 2018 – The Suns waived Alan Williams, who later signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
- July 3, 2018 – The Suns waived Tyler Ulis, who later signed with the Chicago Bulls.
- July 6, 2018 – The Suns signed free agent Trevor Ariza, formerly of the Houston Rockets, to a 1-year deal worth $15-million dollars.
- July 7, 2018 – The Suns re-signed Devin Booker to a 5-year max contract extension worth $158-million dollars.
- July 9, 2018 – The Suns lost Elfrid Payton to free agency, who later signed with the New Orleans Pelicans
- July 20, 2018 – The Suns traded Jared Dudley to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Darrell Arthur.
- July 20, 2018 – The Suns traded cash to the Philadelphia 76’ers in exchange for Richaun Holmes.
- August 3, 2018 – The Suns signed Isaiah Canaan to a non-guaranteed contract for 1-year and with a value of $1.7 million dollars.
- August 3, 2018 – The Suns lost Alex Len to free agency, who later signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
- August 31, 2018 – The Suns sent Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton.
- October 16, 2018 – The Suns signed free agent Jamal Crawford, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves, to a 1-year deal worth $2.3 million dollars.
Phoenix Suns Starting 5Elie Okobo (PG) – Okobo has a very bright future! He is able to see the court and determine how a play is playing out and is turning into a great acquisition for the Suns. He is just 20-years old and already years ahead of his fellow players at that age. Devin Booker (SG) – Booker signed the big contract extension this past offseason and now he can focus on playing basketball. Booker is 21-years old and will serve as the teams top scorer and should make the All-Star team this season. TJ Warren (SF) – Warren is in his 5th season in the NBA and seems to show glimpses of stardom in each season. That being said, as soon as he starts to shine, injuries bring him back down. If he can stay healthy, he may end up being a real star for the Suns. Ryan Anderson (PF) – Anderson is a valuable 3-point shooter but the key factor here will be his minutes. If he doesn’t get the minutes on the court, he can’t get the reps and he won’t succeed. Deandre Ayton (C) – Ayton was the #1 overall NBA Draft pick and the Suns will waste no time with getting him experience. They have sort of thrown to the wolves and he is coming back the leader of the pack! In the first few games, he has shown that he can withstand the pressure of the NBA and is a bright light among rookies in the NBA.
Phoenix Suns Key Bench PlayersDe’Anthony Melton (PG) – Melton sat the bench last year at USC because of investigations but had he been an every day, all year player, he would have easily been drafted in the first round. He was in the summer league and really impressed dropping 16 points per night and 7 rebounds per night. Trevor Ariza (SF) – The Suns signed Ariza to a one-year deal and his veteran leadership could earn him an extension as they will want to see him provide guidance to the youth on the team. He doesn’t play as strong of defense that he did a few years ago but he is still a capable defender off the bench. Josh Jackson (PF) – In his second season in the NBA and with the Suns, Jackson showed last year that he is one of the better defensive players in the NBA and now will look to allow his offense to catch up with his defensive skills. Isaiah Canaan (PG) – If the Suns find themselves in a jam with the youth experiment, they can revert back to Isaiah Canaan at the point. Canaan is the most experienced PG on the Suns and can handle the ball with a sense of security. Dragan Bender (C) – Bender was the 4th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but his talents haven’t come through on the court like the Suns expected. He will be coming off the bench against this year and now with Ayton taking over the starting Center position and Ryan Anderson sharing duties at Power Forward, the question comes into play what Bender’s role will be in 2018-2019. Mikal Bridges (SF) – Bridges is a sharpshooter that is expecting to make a big impact off the bench this year for the Suns. In his first year with the Suns, Bridges will be expected to go slowly and grow with the team.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Phoenix SunsThe Suns are a team full of 20-something-year-old kids that are going to grow up within the organization. They are set up in a great position to be successful in the years to come. That being said, it won’t happen this year. The Suns will struggle to win 30 games this year but this should be the last season that we see that happen. I expect the Suns to use one or two of their young players to trade for a franchise veteran this year prior to the trade deadline. They need a player on the starting unit that can lead the team and sort of be that go-to-guy for leadership. Yes, the Suns have Booker and he is a great shooter and player but he has yet to show any signs of leadership abilities. He will be the face of the franchise but they need more. They need a leader that can get into the locker room and calm these young kids down when testosterone starts taking over. I expect the Suns will teeter right around that 30 win mark and miss the postseason once again this year. Let us not forget, not only is the team young but they have a new Head Coach trying to instruct the team his style of play and that will take some time. Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Phoenix Suns:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +25000
- Odds to Win Western Conference Championship: +12500
- Odds to Win Pacific Division: +12500
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 28.5