2019–20 Phoenix Suns season

The 2019–20 Phoenix Suns season is their 52nd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as their 27th season at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.[1] At the conclusion of their previous season, the Suns made James Jones the team's permanent general manager, with co-interim general manager Trevor Bukstein returning to his prior assistant general manager role.[2] With a 19–63 season over, the coaching staff, including head coach Igor Kokoškov, was dismissed on April 23, 2019.[3][4] The Suns hired former New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans head coach and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams as the team's new head coach on May 3,[5] and completed the new coaching staff on June 26.[6] After the first seven games, the Suns had their best start to a season since 2013–14, and best point differential since the 2004–05 season.[7][8]

2019–20 Phoenix Suns season
Head coachMonty Williams
General managerJames Jones
OwnersRobert Sarver
ArenaTalking Stick Resort Arena
Results
Record26–39 (.400)
PlaceDivision: 4th (Pacific)
Conference: 13th (Western)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionFox Sports Arizona
RadioKTAR
< 2018–19 2020–21 >

The season was suspended by the league officials following the games of March 11[9] after it was reported that Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.[10]

Key datesEdit

Off-seasonEdit

Front office changesEdit

After the conclusion of the team's prior season, the Suns named James Jones the team's permanent general manager after serving as an interim co-general manager with Trevor Bukstein the previous season. Bukstein was moved back to his original assistant general manager role and Jeff Bower became the senior vice president of basketball operations.[2] On April 30, 2019, the Suns announced the departure of long-standing athletic trainer and senior vice president of athlete health and performance Aaron Nelson.[13] Nelson left the Suns to be the new head athletic trainer for the New Orleans Pelicans, reuniting with David Griffin and Alvin Gentry.[14] Starting with this season, Nelson's position will be replaced by a newly created sports medicine and performance team. The position is headlined by Brady Howe as the senior director of player health and performance, with David Crewe being the director of medical services and head athletic trainer.[30]

Coaching changesEdit

On April 22, 2019, the Suns fired head coach Igor Kokoškov after only one season with the team, despite giving him a three-year deal,[3] and fired the rest of the coaching staff the following day.[12] The Suns interviewed former New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans head coach and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams and Portland Trail Blazers assistant coaches Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.[4] Monty Williams agreed to a five-year deal to coach the Suns on May 3, which became effective on May 12 at the conclusion of the 76ers' playoff run against the eventual 2019 NBA Finals champions, the Toronto Raptors.[5] The Suns announced their new coaching staff on June 26, with Willie Green of the Golden State Warriors, Darko Rajaković and Mark Bryant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets scout Randy Ayers, Larry Greer of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Portland Trail Blazers on-court assistant Steve Blake named assistant coaches; Gonzaga University's director of analysis Riccardo Fois and Philadelphia 76ers player development specialist Ben Strong were named player development coaches.[6]

Draft picksEdit

Round Pick Player Position(s) Nationality College / Club
1 6 Jarrett Culver Shooting guard   United States Texas Tech
2 32 KZ Okpala Small forward   United States Stanford

Entering the night of the 2019 NBA draft, the Suns held just one first-round pick and one second-round pick.[36] With the new lottery projections, the Suns were one of three teams with the best overall odds for a top-4 pick alongside the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Due to a tied record with the Cavaliers at the end of last season, a tiebreaker coin-flip to determine which team acquired the second-best odds for a top pick in the draft was held. The Suns lost the tiebreaker, resulting in the third-best odds and a chance to fall as far back as pick #7. The tiebreaker also flips for the second-round picks; Phoenix received the #32 pick while the Philadelphia 76ers via Cleveland received the #33 pick. At the night of the draft lottery, the Suns fell to #6, the furthest a team with the third-best odds had fallen in the NBA draft lottery.[citation needed] Phoenix also held a chance to acquire the Milwaukee Bucks' first-round pick the prior season, though it would not be acquired via the Bucks having the best regular-season record that season.[37]

On draft night, the Suns agreed to three separate trades, each involving different teams, which were all made official on July 6. The first trade involved trading small forward T. J. Warren to the Indiana Pacers and their second-round pick of the draft (which became small forward KZ Okpala of Stanford University) to the Miami Heat for cash considerations from Indiana involving their salary cap in free agency.[17] Their second trade had the Suns trade the 6th pick of the draft (which became shooting guard Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech University) to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for power forward Dario Šarić and Minnesota's own first-round pick at #11.[18] That selection became forward Cameron Johnson from the University of North Carolina, who became an All-ACC First Team member in the 2018–19 season. With their final trade, the Suns agreed to trade away the Milwaukee Bucks' future first-round pick to the Boston Celtics in exchange for center Aron Baynes and the 24th pick of the draft (which was owned earlier on by the Philadelphia 76ers), point guard Ty Jerome from the University of Virginia.[19] Jerome was an All-ACC Third Team member in 2018 before being an All-ACC Second Team member in 2019 and winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament with Virginia.

Free agencyEdit

For this season, free agency begins on June 30, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. EST instead of the previously typical July 1 at midnight EST period.[21] Players Dragan Bender (through declining a fourth-year team option), Jamal Crawford, Troy Daniels, and Richaun Holmes all became unrestricted free agents as of the end of the 2018–19 NBA season, while Kelly Oubre Jr. became a restricted free agent. In addition, both Jimmer Fredette and Ray Spalding hold non-guaranteed second seasons with the team, while Tyler Johnson holds a player option for this season. Tyler Johnson exercised his player option on June 21,[38] while Jimmer Fredette and Ray Spalding were not guaranteed a second year with the team on June 24 and 29, respectively, though Spalding played with the Suns during the 2019 NBA Summer League, while Fredette played for the Golden State Warriors there.[39][40] George King also has a two-way contract that expired this season, though he played for the Utah Jazz's Summer League team instead.

On June 30, Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio agreed to a three-year deal worth $51 million to become the Suns' newest starting point guard, which was signed on July 8.[25] The next day, both Troy Daniels and Richaun Holmes agreed to new deals to join the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, respectively. Charlotte Hornets power forward/center Frank Kaminsky also agreed to a two-year deal worth $10 million later that day, which was signed on July 17.[27] On July 3, the Suns agreed to trade Josh Jackson, De'Anthony Melton, and two second-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for guards Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter,[24] with Korver being waived on July 8.[41] On July 6, the Suns signed undrafted Brewster Academy point guard Jalen Lecque to a partially guaranteed four-year deal (first two seasons fully guaranteed).[20][23] Four days later, Kelly Oubre Jr. agreed to a two-year extension worth $30 million to return with the team, which he signed on July 16.[26] On July 15, Jimmer Fredette signed with the Panathinaikos B.C. in Greece. The next day, the Suns agreed to a two-year, $3.5 million deal with former New Orleans Pelicans power forward Cheick Diallo, which he signed on July 23,[28] and a two-way contract spot with Auburn University point guard Jared Harper, which he signed on August 3.[42] On July 21, George King signed a multi-year deal with the Dolomiti Energia Trento in Italy.[43] Dragan Bender later agreed to a partially guaranteed two-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks on July 25,[44] officially signing with the Bucks on July 30.[45] Ray Spalding also agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Atlanta Hawks a day later on July 31, though he was waived before the pre-season concluded on October 8.[46] Spalding then signed with the Houston Rockets on October 10 before being waived on the 19th and playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA G League. Jamal Crawford would not sign a new player's contract with any team as of January 13, 2020.

On September 27, 2019, the Phoenix Suns announced the signing of Auburn point guard Jared Harper on a two-way contract, as well as the training camp signings of Texas Tech forwards Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase and ratiopharm Ulm guard David Krämer, a born Slovak raised in Austria that competitively represents Germany.[32][47][48] They later waived Owens, Odiase, and Krämer from the team after the conclusion of their preseason on October 15.[49] The Suns also signed and waived forwards Aaron Epps and Troy Williams on October 19.[50][51] Every player except for Williams would play for the Northern Arizona Suns afterward, with Troy playing for the U.S. Victoria Libertas Pallacanestro in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A. Owens eventually signed a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns on January 15, 2020.[52][53] After failing to find a trade for Tyler Johnson, he was waived from the team on February 10. Johnson was replaced by former Philadelphia 76ers power forward Jonah Bolden on a 10-day contract two days later. Jonah Bolden was not renewed for another 10-day contract on February 24.

RosterEdit

Roster listing
Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
C 22 Ayton, Deandre   6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1998–07–23 Arizona
F/C 46 Baynes, Aron 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 260 lb (118 kg) 1986–12–09 Washington State
G 1 Booker, Devin 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 206 lb (93 kg) 1996–10–30 Kentucky
F 25 Bridges, Mikal 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 209 lb (95 kg) 1996–08–30 Villanova
G 4 Carter, Jevon 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1995–09–14 West Virginia
F/C 14 Diallo, Cheick 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 219 lb (99 kg) 1996–09–13 Kansas
G/F 10 Jerome, Ty 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1997–07–08 Virginia
F 23 Johnson, Cameron   6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1996–03–03 North Carolina
F/C 8 Kaminsky, Frank   7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1993–04–04 Wisconsin
G 0 Lecque, Jalen 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 2000–06–13 Brewster Academy (NH)
G/F 2 Okobo, Élie 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1997–10–23 France
G/F 3 Oubre, Kelly   6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 203 lb (92 kg) 1995–12–09 Kansas
F 41 Owens, Tariq (TW) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1995–06–30 Texas Tech
G 11 Rubio, Ricky 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1990–10–21 Spain
F 20 Šarić, Dario 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1994–04–08 Croatia
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (GL) On assignment to G League affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  •   Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 2020–03–14

SalariesEdit

Player 2019–20 Salary
Devin Booker $27,285,000
Ricky Rubio $16,200,000
Kelly Oubre Jr. $15,625,000
Deandre Ayton $9,562,920
Aron Baynes $5,453,280
Frank Kaminsky $4,767,000
Mikal Bridges $4,161,000
Cameron Johnson $4,033,440
Dario Šarić $3,481,985
Ty Jerome $2,193,480
Cheick Diallo $1,678,854
Élie Okobo $1,416,852
Jevon Carter $1,416,852
Jalen Lecque $898,310
Jared Harper $79,568
Tariq Owens $50,000
Total $98,221,864

The Suns were also left with the dead salary cap space of $3,440,000 from Kyle Korver to start the season, as well as removed Tyler Johnson's $19.245,370 on February 10, 2020.[54]

PreseasonEdit

The preseason schedule was announced on July 29, 2019.[55] The preseason schedule was the second-shortest preseason in franchise history, behind the lockout shortened 2011–12 season.[56] The Suns ended their preseason with a 2–2 record.

2019 preseason game log
Total: 2–2 (Home: 1–1; Road: 1–1)
2019–20 season schedule

Regular seasonEdit

On June 7, 2019, the NBA announced that the Suns would play against the San Antonio Spurs on December 14, 2019 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City.[57] The NBA announced the rest of the league's schedule on August 12.[29]

Game logEdit

2019–20 game log
Total: 26–39 (Home: 13–22; Road: 13–17)
2019–20 season schedule

StandingsEdit

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div GP
xLos Angeles Lakers 49 14 .778 0.0 23–8 26–6 9–2 63
Los Angeles Clippers 44 20 .688 5.5 25–7 19–13 8–4 64
Sacramento Kings 28 36 .438 21.5 14–17 14–19 7–5 64
Phoenix Suns 26 39 .400 24.0 13–22 13–17 5–9 65
oGolden State Warriors 15 50 .231 35.0 8–26 7–24 2–11 65


Western Conference
# Team W L PCT GB GP
1 xLos Angeles Lakers * 49 14 .778 63
2 Los Angeles Clippers 44 20 .688 5.5 64
3 Denver Nuggets * 43 22 .662 7.0 65
4 Utah Jazz 41 23 .641 8.5 64
5 Oklahoma City Thunder 40 24 .625 9.5 64
6 Houston Rockets * 40 24 .625 9.5 64
7 Dallas Mavericks 40 27 .597 11.0 67
8 Memphis Grizzlies 32 33 .492 18.0 65
9 Portland Trail Blazers 29 37 .439 21.5 66
10 New Orleans Pelicans 28 36 .438 21.5 64
11 Sacramento Kings 28 36 .438 21.5 64
12 San Antonio Spurs 27 36 .429 22.0 63
13 Phoenix Suns 26 39 .400 24.0 65
14 Minnesota Timberwolves 19 45 .297 30.5 64
15 oGolden State Warriors 15 50 .231 35.0 65


Awards and recordsEdit

AwardsEdit

Week/MonthEdit

All-StarEdit

  • On January 30, 2020, Deandre Ayton was once again named a member of the World Team for the Rising Stars Challenge. However, due to a left ankle injury sustained on February 10, he abstained from playing in the event, being replaced by Nicolò Melli.[59]
  • On February 13, 2020, Devin Booker was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, replacing Damian Lillard for both the Three-Point Contest and the 2020 NBA All-Star Game as a member for Team LeBron.[60]
    • Booker became the runner-up in the Three-Point Contest for 2020, coming behind Buddy Hield by tying him in the first round, but losing by one point in the final round. He also put up six points, four rebounds, and a block coming off the bench in Team LeBron's 157–155 win over Team Giannis.

RecordsEdit

Team recordsEdit

  • On October 12, 2019, the Suns set a pre-season record for most three-pointers made in a single game with 24 made.[63]
  • On October 23, 2019, Ricky Rubio tied Elliot Perry as the only players to put up 11 assists in their Suns debut games.[64]
  • The 43–14 first quarter the Suns scored for a 29-point lead against the Golden State Warriors on October 30, 2019 became the team's largest lead by the end of a first quarter in franchise history, beating the 24-point lead held against the Utah Jazz back on January 5, 1994.[65]
  • On November 5, 2019, Devin Booker became the first player in franchise history to score at least fifteen field goals and 3 three-pointers while making 75% or more of his attempts in both areas.[7]
  • Throughout the team's first seven games of the season, the Suns scored 89 three-point field goals, breaking a team record set back in the 2009–10 season.[66]
  • From December 27, 2019 until January 7, 2020, Devin Booker set the franchise record of 7 consecutive 30+ point games, previously set at 5 games and repeated by Charlie Scott and then also tied by Charles Barkley.[67][61]
  • On February 8, 2020, Deandre Ayton became the quickest player in franchise history to reach 1,000 rebounds with 19 grabbed against the Denver Nuggets, getting to that mark in only 94 games played with Phoenix.[68]
  • On March 6, 2020, Aron Baynes tied former Suns players Quentin Richardson and Channing Frye for the franchise record of most three-pointers made in a single game.[69]

MilestonesEdit

Team milestonesEdit

Injuries, suspensions, and personal games missedEdit

Player Duration Reason(s) for missed time Games missed
Start End
Cameron Johnson October 23, 2019 October 26, 2019 Sore left calf 2
Ty Jerome October 23, 2019 December 2, 2019 Right ankle sprain 18
Deandre Ayton October 24, 2019 December 17, 2019 Suspended for diaretics 25
Ricky Rubio October 26, 2019 October 28, 2019 Left knee contusion 1
Ricky Rubio November 18, 2019 November 19, 2019 Back spasms 1
Aron Baynes November 19, 2019 November 29, 2019 Right hip contusion 5
Ricky Rubio November 21, 2019 November 27, 2019 Back ailment 3
Cheick Diallo December 2, 2019 December 4, 2019 Illness 1
Aron Baynes December 2, 2019 December 9, 2019 Left calf contusion 4
Devin Booker December 14, 2019 December 20, 2019 Right forearm contusion 3
Cameron Johnson December 17, 2019 December 20, 2019 Left hip soreness 1
Tyler Johnson December 17, 2019 December 21, 2019 Illness 2
Deandre Ayton December 20, 2019 December 30, 2019 Right ankle sprain 5
Ricky Rubio December 21, 2019 December 23, 2019 Illness 1
Frank Kaminsky December 30, 2019 Sore right knee / left patella stress fracture
Ricky Rubio January 13, 2020 January 15, 2020 Personal reasons (birth of his son)[75] 1
Kelly Oubre Jr. January 15, 2020 January 20, 2020 Placed on the concussion protocol 2
Cameron Johnson January 18, 2020 February 7, 2020 Bruised right quadriceps / contusion 10
Aron Baynes January 20, 2020 February 21, 2020 Sore left hip 13
Dario Šarić January 31, 2020 February 21, 2020 Left ankle sprain 7
Ricky Rubio February 2, 2020 February 4, 2020 Right ankle sprain 1
Ty Jerome February 2, 2020 February 7, 2020 Sore left calf 3
Tyler Johnson February 3, 2020 February 10, 2020 (Waived) Sore right knee 4
Deandre Ayton February 10, 2020 February 21, 2020 Sore left ankle 2
Kelly Oubre Jr. February 25, 2020 Right meniscus tear
Deandre Ayton March 3, 2020 Left ankle sprain
Cameron Johnson March 6, 2020 Mono

TransactionsEdit

TradesEdit

July 6, 2019[17][76] Three–team trade
To Indiana Pacers
  T.J. Warren (from Phoenix)
2022 second-round pick (from Miami)
2025 second-round pick (from Miami)
2026 second-round pick (from Miami)
To Miami Heat

Draft rights to #32 pick   KZ Okpala (from Phoenix)

To Phoenix Suns

Cash Considerations (from Indiana)

July 6, 2019[18] To Phoenix Suns
  Dario Šarić
Draft rights to #11 pick   Cameron Johnson
To Minnesota Timberwolves

Draft rights to #6 pick   Jarrett Culver

July 6, 2019[19] To Phoenix Suns
 /  Aron Baynes
Draft rights to #24 pick   Ty Jerome (from Philadelphia via Boston)
To Boston Celtics

2020 protected first-round pick (from Milwaukee via Phoenix)

July 7, 2019[24] To Phoenix Suns
  Jevon Carter
  Kyle Korver
To Memphis Grizzlies
  Josh Jackson
  De'Anthony Melton
2020 second-round pick
2021 protected second-round pick

Free agentsEdit

Re-SignedEdit

Player Signed Date
Kelly Oubre Jr.[26] Signed 2-year deal worth $30 million July 16, 2019

AdditionsEdit

Player Signed Former team(s)
Jalen Lecque[20] Signed 4-year partially guaranteed deal worth $6,129,593 Brewster Academy Bobcats
Ricky Rubio[25] Signed 3-year deal worth $51 million Utah Jazz
Frank Kaminsky[27] Signed 2-year deal worth $10 million Charlotte Hornets
Jared Harper[42][32] Signed two-way contract worth around $79,568-$410,706[77][78] Auburn Tigers
Cheick Diallo[28] Signed 2-year deal worth $3,500,000 New Orleans Pelicans
Tariq Owens[52][53] Signed two-way contract worth at least $50,000[77] Texas Tech Red Raiders / Northern Arizona Suns
Jonah Bolden Signed a 10-day contract worth $81,677 Philadelphia 76ers

SubtractionsEdit

Player Reason left New team(s)
Jimmer Fredette[39] Waived   Panathinaikos B.C. OPAP
Ray Spalding[46] Waived Atlanta Hawks / Houston Rockets / Rio Grande Valley Vipers / Charlotte Hornets / Greensboro Swarm
George King[43] Two-way contract expired   Dolomiti Energia Trento /   Stelmet Enea BC Zielona Góra
Troy Daniels[79] Unrestricted free agent Los Angeles Lakers / Denver Nuggets
Richaun Holmes[80] Unrestricted free agent Sacramento Kings
Dragan Bender[45] Unrestricted free agent Milwaukee Bucks / Wisconsin Herd / Golden State Warriors
Jamal Crawford Unrestricted free agent
Kyle Korver[41][81] Waived Milwaukee Bucks
Tyler Johnson Waived
Jonah Bolden 10-day contract expired

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