Three Potential Breakout Suns of 2014
The 2013-14 season was a breakout season for just about everyone on the Suns roster, as career highs were met practically across the board. The team enjoyed its most successful season in years because of it, winning 48 games and barely missing the playoffs in the rough and tumble Western conference.
Some may think that the Phoenix Suns simply overachieved this season and will return to being uncompetitive next year, but the fact is there are still a number of untapped talents on an already very talented roster. Seeing a surplus of players realizing their potential like this season will be unlikely, but here are three players who could turn the corner and become the Suns next breakout player.
1. Archie Goodwin, SG
At just 19 years old and behind the likes of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, and Gerald Green, rookie combo guard Archie Goodwin did not have much of a chance to contribute this season for the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin bounced between the D-League and the Suns bench, never really establishing himself in the Suns rotation, but dominating the D-League to the tune of 26 points per game with a .494% field goal percentage.
The highlight of Goodwin’s season actually came on the last game, once the Suns were officially eliminated from the playoffs. Suns coach Jeff Hornacek finally decided to let the kid play, and Goodwin responded with a 29 point outburst and an insane .846% field goal percentage.
Goodwin has yet to display the ball handling and passing ability necessary to be a starting guard in the NBA, but the kid can flat out score and has drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook. It will be tough figuring out how to get him into the rotation, but Goodwin has all the makings of a go-to scorer and that is something the Suns could definitely use off the bench.
2. Alex Len, C
Many have already written Alex Len off as a bust, and that is completely unfair. While it is true that Len didn’t enjoy a rookie season expected of a top five pick, it’s also true that Len’s status as a top five pick was more of an indication of a weak 2013 class than his actual expectations.
Len displayed flashes of the offensive talent and athleticism that led the Suns to take a chance on him, but preseason surgeries and an overall lack of development left Len on the outside of the rotation. However, many big men take a few years to develop, and with a full offseason to develop and get 100% healthy, Len could earn himself a starting role next season and lock up the center position as we all know he can.
3. Marcus Morris, SF/PF
A lot of people think Marcus Morris’ breakout season was last year, but I’m not quite convinced. Marcus was considered to be a better offensive player than his brother Markieff coming out of college, and I believe we have yet to see Marcus realize his true potential. He was another player who was let loose in the last game of the season, and responded with 22 points. We could see Marcus Morris evolve into a 10-15 PPG player off the bench next season, making the Morris twins combo even more dangerous.