AOL.com's NBA Power Rankings: 22. Phoenix Suns
The 2015-16 NBA season is just a few short weeks away, and in the meantime, AOL Sports has been bringing you our team previews and power rankings every Monday through Friday until tipoff. Last up was the New York Knicks at No. 23.
Next up, we have a young team in an interesting predicament.
Flashback to two seasons ago, and the Phoenix Suns were projected to finish near the bottom of the league -- securing a lottery pick in Year 1 of Jeff Hornacek's tenure as coach. Lo and behold, Phoenix chased a playoff spot for the better part of a year, setting up surprisingly high expectations for 2014-15.
In a strange half-in, half-out position of contention two summers ago, the Suns went out and signed Isaiah Thomas to join Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt. By the trade deadline, the team wasn't contending as hoped, and the project was restarted.
Which is where we stand now.
Phoenix is rolling with Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt, which boasts loads of potential but minimal proven NBA accolades. Tyson Chandler is on board at center, which should provide the team with a strong defensive backbone to go along with Bledsoe's prowess along the perimeter.
But this Suns team still reeks of a rebuild.
The Markieff Morris scenario is a concerning one, with the talented forward all but publicly demanding a trade earlier this summer when Phoenix traded his twin brother.
There is a good amount of young ancillary players, namely Devin Booker and Alex Len, and P.J. Tucker is a solid two-way player on the wing.
Phoenix wouldn't be a long way from contention in the East, but in the stacked West, it's hard to imagine them standing a chance.
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AOL.com's Preseason NBA Power Rankings: 23. New York Knicks