5 best free agent signings in Phoenix Suns history, ranked


For the reason that championship drought in Arizona has been evident over the previous 5 many years, it’s been exhausting for the Phoenix Suns to draw the expertise their staff wants. They’ve had greater than a handful of division titles and a few convention titles however for some motive, they simply can’t appear to go over the hump and elevate the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Suns have had spectacular spurts that stored them in playoff rivalry for consecutive seasons however by way of the course of their historical past they’ve managed to plateau and model themselves as a very good franchise quite than an ideal one. This makes Phoenix not the perfect touchdown spot for a free agent hungry for some rings. However, that didn’t cease the Suns group from attending to work and buying the best items to construct a playoff staff through the years.

Listed below are the 5 greatest free-agent signings in Phoenix Suns historical past.

5. Raja Bell (2005)

After 5 years of going across the league, 6’5″ ahead Rajah Bell lastly discovered his dwelling in Phoenix when he signed a five-year contract with the Suns. At this level of his profession, he was by no means actually a bonafide starter and got here off the bench loads in his first 5 seasons within the NBA. However, head coach Mike D’Antoni noticed one thing within the gritty ahead that will be a key piece in his line-up which ultimately pushed D’Antoni to begin the newly-acquired Bell. Bell would find yourself being the right match to a Steve Nash-led offense and would offer sufficient firepower from long-distance which opened up the ground for Nash and the remainder of the Suns’ attackers. He averaged 14.7 factors per recreation whereas taking pictures 44.2% from deep in his first season in Phoenix. In his second season, he ended up main the league with 205 whole three-pointers made.

Although his offense was clicking, it was his protection that actually assist the Virgin Islands native stand out. Bell’s defensive presence offered the Suns some much-needed depth within the different facet of the ground. He would take it upon himself to get a bit of too pleasant along with his opponents and get beneath their pores and skin. Who might overlook his clothesline on the good Kobe Bryant of their 2006 NBA playoffs match-up?  Bell prided himself on being a lockdown defender and was the Suns’ premiere backcourt stopper in his time in Arizona.

4. Grant Hill (2007)

The Suns have been coming off two consecutive Convention Finals exits in order that they have been trying so as to add one other expertise to their staff to probably assist the staff construct on it’s latest successful trajectory. The entrance workplace determined to signal 13-year veteran Grant Hill to try to assist them go over the hump. Hill began out as an athletic slasher as a hotshot rookie for the Detroit Pistons and was one of many greatest names within the mid-90’s. Sadly, a horrific ankle damage plagued the Duke alum’s profession in Detroit and ultimately with the Orlando Magic Hill was already handed his peak and a nagging ankle damage wasn’t serving to. This was when the Suns grabbed the chance to swooped in and signal the seasoned vet on a discount.

The Suns already had sufficient athleticism in Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion. What they clearly lacked at the moment was some veteran savvy and management which Hill dropped at the desk. At 35, Hill was nonetheless capable of contribute to the Suns offense as a starter and was a powerful addition to the Phoenix protection the place he thrived. By some means, the trainers in Phoenix did a terrific job in ensuring Hill stayed on the ground as he ended up beginning virtually all of his video games with the Suns in 5 high quality seasons. Although Hill’s keep in Phoenix didn’t end in some {hardware}, his contribution to the staff’s younger stars was plain.

3. Clifford Robinson (1997)

The late Clifford Robinson had a frightening process of filling within the void for the Suns within the post-Charles Barkley period. Robinson had fairly a profession with Portland Trailblazers the place he averaged 16.2 factors per recreation in eight seasons in Portland which included a Sixth Man of the 12 months Award (1993) and an All-Star nod (1994). Together with Antonio McDyess, up and coming level guard Jason Kidd and newly-acquired shooter Rex Champman, Robinson would shine and ensure the Suns would constantly make it to the post-season.

Although hit didn’t fairly shot within the numbers, Robinson’s stint in Phoenix was actually impactful. He did virtually all the things for the Suns each time he was on the ground – from scoring, rebounding, stealing and blocking. He was a stat sheet stuffer that any Fantasy staff proprietor might solely dream about. His greatest season in a Suns uniform was within the 1999-2000 NBA season the place he logged in 18.5 factors per recreation, 4.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and .eight blocks per recreation. This was additionally the identical season the place he exploded for a 50-point recreation in opposition to the Denver Nuggets in January 2000. He additionally made it to the NBA All-Defensive Second Staff for the primary time that season.

2. Tom Chambers (1988)

GM Jerry Colangelo and head coach Cotton Fitzsimmons jumped the gun as quickly as they have been allowed to once they signed huge man Tom Chambers when the free company opened up previous to the 1988-1989 NBA season – even when they needed to spend greater than what they wished to. After slowly constructing his resume with the Seattle SuperSonics, Chambers got here into the Suns group as one of many predominant scoring weapons and proved that he was price each penny. He debuted with the Suns by averaging 25.7 factors per recreation in his first 81 video games and adopted that up with an much more spectacular 27.2 factors per recreation common in his second season within the desert. In each of his first two seasons in Phoenix, he was capable of lead the staff to back-to-back Convention Finals stints.

Chambers would proceed to hold the Suns to the playoffs in all of his 5 seasons in Phoenix. Although his numbers went down a bit after two prolific years, he nonetheless managed to make his presence felt down low and was a key piece to the Suns’ 1993 NBA Finals look, simply to be booted out by none aside from Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls squad. In his time in Phoenix, he made it to a few All-Star Video games and was named to the All-NBA Second Staff twice.

1. Steve Nash (2004)

The legendary Steve Nash will undoubtedly make it to any all-time Suns listing. And, on condition that he re-signed with Phoenix in 2004 makes his greater than eligible to be on this listing.

Although he was initially drafted by the Suns as their 15th general decide in 1996, Nash took a 6-year trip out in Dallas from 1998-2004 the place he slowly made a reputation for himself as some of the thrilling level guards within the league on the flip of the century. And when he was again within the free-agent market in 2004, the prodigal son made his method again to the desert the place he would have a very powerful years of his profession.

Nash introduced his lengthy locks to Phoenix and paired up with head coach Mike D’Antoni to create some of the thrilling offenses in latest NBA historical past. The Canadian spearheaded D’Antoni’s ‘seven seconds or much less’ offense which empowered Nash to place his foot on the fuel and run an offense based mostly on pace and adrenaline. This fast-paced offense allowed Nash to completely blossom into an elite level guard and dominated this place for years to come back. The eight-time All-Star would deliver Phoenix again to the map and would rake in a ton of wins and particular person accolades in his second stint with the Suns. Nash was capable of deliver his squad to a few Western Convention Finals and snagged back-to-back MVPs in eight superb seasons.

Nash managed to surpass a couple of Corridor of Famers and at present sits because the franchise’s help chief with 6,997 profession assists in Phoenix. He additionally leads the franchise in three-pointers made (1,051) and free-throw proportion (90.7%). Ring or no ring – Nash has undoubtedly made his case as one of many brightest Suns to ever play for the franchise.

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