Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver knows zero about basketball. As an owner he’s cheap, interferes, and has unrealistic expectations about how to win in the league. He’s despised in Phoenix because the Suns have missed the playoffs eight straight years and fans blame Sarver. His greatest move in the past seven years has been the drafting of Devin Booker. That’s it. No free agent splashes, nothing for anyone to trick themselves with, no illusions in the darkness. Sarver fired his GM before the season started. All summer they refused to make a deal for a point guard. The Suns are not flirting with disaster as much as they are asking for it. Ownership is rocky.
Sarver professes to hate the Lakers more than any team in the NBA but where’s the evidence? He assured the few fans he still has left he would do nothing to help the Lakers get better. This, after he made the Lakers better by gifting them Tyson Chandler via an early Chandler buyout.
The Lakers defense (field goal percentage) is ranked 9thand their defensive rating is 11th because Sarver let Chandler walk to the Lakers in November instead of making them wait until February, or at least December. Since Chandler joined the Lakers they have won twice as many games as they have lost. Good job Sarver. Not helping a team in your division by helping a team in your division.
A few days ago, Sarver made his appeal to the fans disgusted about the Chandler give away. He told them he would not trade Trevor Ariza to the Lakers. He was not going to help the Lakers get better. Absolutely was not going to happen. And yet, when the deal fell through- Ariza to Washington- guess who Sarver was talking to? Yep. The Lakers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Sarver couldn’t get the Lakers to bite on Ariza for one of the Lakers young core- a no brainer . Rejected, Sarver went back to the Wizards and completed the deal.
What Sarvers says in a mic and what he does are two different things.
The latest Sarver’s mouth is moving but don’t trust him is when he says he is not moving the team to Seattle. Sarver wants a new stadium. He wants Phoenix to pay for it. Sarver is a billionaire. He wants the tax payers to line his pockets with more cash- welfare to a billionaire so to speak- and incur the burden. He doesn’t want to come out of his pocket and pay for the arena himself or create financing on his own as the Warriors have done with the new Chase Arena in pricey San Francisco.
Sarver is aggressively threatening or passively moving the chess pieces to hold Phoenix hostage but this is the problem. The Suns stink. They have 6 wins on the season and their biggest move to date was acquiring Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre from Washington. Just what they need. More guards on an already crowded guard centered team.
Rivers is Doc’s son who has not thrived if Doc isn’t setting things up. In Washington, he had four year lows. 7.2 ppg, 2.0 assists. His offensive rating was 94 and his defensive rating was worse than his rookie year, 118. Translation, he can’t shoot and he can’t guard anything on a NBA floor. Oh, did I mention he was shooting 39% and 31% from three. That will definitely get you traded. Austin is on a one year deal.
As for Kelly Oubre. He’s athletic and young and he can’t shoot the three. The Wizards goal was to turn him into a defender. It worked in moments. He’s a free agent and will make a mid-level salary for someone. He makes more sense.
The Suns didn’t hurt their financial flexibility but what exactly are they doing with an average Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre who is inconsistent and young? The Suns don’t exactly develop players. The Suns are a revolving door without much talent coming through. DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker are the two exceptions but they can’t push the rest of the roster with them.
Devin Booker shoots and shoots and Ayton is a nice talent in the post but he’s a couple of years away from domination.
But Robert Sarver won’t tell you that. He’s impatient, irascible and doesn’t understand how NBA contenders are built. He want’s more money to build a stadium to seat fans that don’t come in the first place. The Suns are 4th worst in attendance,79% capacity. So who exactly are buying these tickets for a new arena?
Robert Sarver will tell you everyone but don’t trust him to say the whole truth.