As the regular season winds down and playoffs roll on, Phoenix Suns fans have much to reflect upon and look forward to, with the promise of free-agent signings and potential transfers coming in the offseason. The front office will be looking for skilled new additions that can take their team to the next level - both established veterans who can make an immediate impact on rising stars ready for their shot at fame.
With all these rumors buzzing around, let's examine some realistic chances for success as we explore what could come from this summer's league-shaking transfer window.
Suns Hire Frank Vogel As Head Coach
The Suns just made a big move to bolster their coaching staff, hiring Frank Vogel as the team's new head coach. Vogel will join the Suns after impacting teams such as the Lakers and Pacers in his prior roles. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Suns and Vogel are actively attempting to complete a long-term agreement of reportedly $31 million over five years.
The Vogel hire comes after the firing of Monty Williams last month after four years on the job. After getting the Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021, management felt the team underperformed the past two seasons under Williams, failing to advance past the second round, even with the addition of Kevin Durant.
Suns To Hire David Fizdale as Assistant Coach
The Suns added another coach to their stable, with David Fizdale signing on as an assistant coach. Coming from the Utah Jazz, where he served as assistant general manager, Fizdale brings with him a lot of experience and knowledge. Reports indicate the Suns made a "significant financial play" to get Fizdale on board. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Fizdale will earn $1.2 to $1.5 million annually, more than quadrupling his previous salary.
Fizdale joins Vogel's staff and will be able to draw on his past head coaching experiences with the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies. He brings an understanding of how best to utilize the talent to reach maximum potential for any team he is part of. Fizdale also coached for one year as an assistant for the Lakers under Vogel in 2021.
Kevin Young To Remain With Suns; Will Be Highest-Paid Assistant
Kevin Young will remain with the Suns and make history as the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Young will receive more than $2 million annually - a significant sum for an assistant coach. He had been a finalist for the head coaching job before it went to Vogel, and Phoenix was adamant about keeping him around instead of losing him to Monty Williams' new team, the Detroit Pistons.
Young has previously worked with Vogel on past teams, so there should not be any issues when he is integrated into the new staff. Phoenix needs his experience and knowledge in their attempt to get over the hump and finally win an NBA championship - making this a critical signing as the offseason gets ready to begin.
The Suns’ Offseason Plan
The Suns are looking to make a big splash this offseason and have already made several moves that indicate they are serious about building for the future. By hiring Vogel and Fizdale and retaining Young, the Suns have a coaching staff that can establish a strong team culture and develop young players.
The questions now revolve around what kind of talent they can put around Durant. Vogel said that the Suns could "take the league by storm" next year, but they need to add a couple of key pieces that can elevate past the Denver Nuggets, who are in a position to potentially win the NBA title. Free agency will be key since the Suns don't have a first-round draft pick.
The Suns hope this all comes together in one unified plan that strengthens their roster while not compromising future flexibility. The odds on Phoenix Suns making it back into the playoffs next season are still very high. How far they can go depends on how well the team gels with Vogel running the team.