Suns Rumors

2023/24 All-NBA Teams Announced

The All-NBA teams have been announced for the 2023/24 season.

A total of 99 media members voted on the honors, with players receiving five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote and one point for a Third Team vote. This year’s All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

Others receiving votes and their point totals are the CelticsJaylen Brown (50), the ClippersPaul George (16), the SixersTyrese Maxey (16), the TimberwolvesRudy Gobert (12), the SpursVictor Wembanyama (11), the PelicansZion Williamson (11), the Magic’s Paolo Banchero (10), the KingsDe’Aaron Fox (9) the Heat’s Bam Adebayo (7) and the BullsDeMar DeRozan (1).

This is the first season that a minimum number of games was required to qualify for most postseason awards under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Among the stars who might have received All-NBA consideration if they had reached the 65-game threshold are Sixers center Joel Embiid, who was the 2022/23 MVP, along with Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Knicks forward Julius Randle and Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis.

Wembanyama, who received two votes for the Second Team and five for the Third Team, was the only rookie named on any of the ballots. Earlier this week, he became the first rookie to earn a spot on an All-Defensive First Team.

The Lakers with Davis and James and the Suns with Durant and Booker were the only teams to have multiple players honored. They were both eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Several players became eligible for salary increases by achieving All-NBA honors. Read more here.

Valley Suns Announced As Phoenix’s G League Affiliate

Phoenix’s new NBA G League affiliate will be known as the Valley Suns, the team announced today in a press release. In addition to revealing the team name, the franchise revealed the Valley Suns’ colors and logo, which can be viewed here.

The Suns ran an online contest that gave fans the opportunity to submit ideas for the G League team’s name. According to today’s announcement, more than 12,000 fans submitted ideas, with “dozens” of those respondents suggesting the Valley Suns.

“The Valley Suns is the community’s team and will provide fans an energetic and family-friendly atmosphere while developing aspiring talent on and off the court,” Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein said in a statement. “We’re excited to launch the new G League team with a name and identity chosen by our fans and inspired by the unique desert landscape that we call home.”

The team will play its home games at Mullett Arena at Arizona State University. The facility is about an 11-mile drive from the Footprint Center, where Phoenix plays its home games, so the NBA and G League Suns will have no problem shuttling players back and forth frequently during the season.

The Suns had been the last NBA franchise without a G League affiliate. They announced in February that they’d acquired the right to own and operate an NBAGL team and that it would debut in 2024/25, which will be the first season in which all 30 NBA teams have G League affiliates of their own. The league will have 31 teams in total, including the unaffiliated Mexico City Capitanes.

Phoenix actually had a G League affiliate known as the Northern Arizona Suns from 2016-21, but former team owner Robert Sarver sold the franchise to the Pistons, who relocated it to Michigan and rebranded it as the Motor City Cruise. Current owner Mat Ishbia stated shortly after officially assuming majority control of the Suns in 2023 that reestablishing a G League team was a priority.

Western Notes: Conley, Wolves, Mavs, Suns, Billups, Warriors

The calf/Achilles issue that sidelined Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals hasn’t gone away — he’s listed as questionable for Game 1 of the Western finals. Conley will play on Wednesday, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), but the team will keep a close eye on that injury going forward.

“It honestly depends on if you can get through the game without having any small setback,” Conley said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “You have some movements that really kind of jar it or cause the pain to go up really quickly and kind of stays there for a little while. Some games I get through the whole game and you don’t have any setback and so you just kind of keep building upward and forward. So I’m just trying to stack as many of those days together as I can.”

Keeping Conley healthy will be crucial for the Wolves as they look to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. In the series vs. Denver, the team had a +13.6 net rating in the 196 minutes he played, compared to a -6.7 mark in the 140 minutes he wasn’t on the floor.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

What Could Little, Roddy Bring Back In Trades?

  • The Suns are hamstrung by reaching the second luxury tax apron, which severely limits what they can do in terms of personnel moves. Gerard Bourguet of PHNX Sports explores potential trades involving Nassir Little or David Roddy, noting that Little’s $6.75MM could force the Suns to explore three-team deals if they try to deal him to another team above one of the tax aprons. That’s because apron teams can’t take back more salary than they’re sending out. Roddy’s modest $2.8MM contract includes a team option but they might have to add a draft pick to trade him.
  • The Suns are making some changes to their front office. Assistant general managers Morgan Cato and Trevor Bukstein have not been retained, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Lakers, Jackson-Davis, Beal

The idea that LeBron James will be a driving force in choosing the Lakers‘ next head coach is inaccurate, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who said during an appearance on FanDuel’s Run it Back show on Monday that the star forward has had no involvement in the process so far (Twitter video link).

“I’m told LeBron James is not involved in the Lakers’ head coaching search,” Charania said. “… (He) has made it clear this is the organization’s decision. He’s had no conversations with the Laker about J.J. Redick, his podcast partner. He’s had no conversations with J.J. about that position as well.

“I did speak to (James’ agent) Rich Paul this morning. He said, ‘LeBron James and J.J. Redick, they do a podcast together. That does not mean that he wants J.J. Redick as his head coach.’ He’s leaving it up to the organization.”

Previous reports have indicated that the Lakers will more heavily weigh Anthony Davis‘ future and input as they decide on a new head coach, since the expectation is that Davis’ time in Los Angeles will extend beyond that of James, who will turn 40 later this year.

Charania reiterated that point during his Run it Back segment, noting that Davis has “built a rapport” with James Borrego. While Charania cites Davis and Borrego overlapping during their stints with the Pelicans, it’s worth noting that Borrego left New Orleans for Orlando during the 2012 offseason, which is when Davis was drafted, so any overlap was very brief. Borrego returned to the Pelicans in 2023 as an assistant on Willie Green‘s staff.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke makes it clear he’s not a fan of the idea of the Lakers hiring Redick, writing that it would “not only be one of the oddest Lakers coaching hires in a long list of them…but it might also be the first talk-show driven head coaching hire in NBA history.”
  • Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski, who was named to the All-Rookie first team on Monday, believes his teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis should have joined him in receiving All-Rookie recognition, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Jackson-Davis narrowly missed earning a spot on the second team, finishing 11th among vote-getters, a single point behind Grizzlies forward GG Jackson. “Just to see from a guard’s perspective (Jackson-Davis’) impact on our games and how he helped us win games this year, I think maybe the voters should take winning into more of an account,” Podziemski said. “It sucks to see him not make it. I think he was well deserving of it.”
  • Could Bradley Beal thrive in a point guard role the same way that Jrue Holiday did under new Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee? Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic weighs that question, considering just how important it is for Phoenix to add a true point guard this offseason.

Eastern Rumors: Capela, Fizdale, Bulls, Randle, Heat

Veteran Hawks center Clint Capela is expected to be on the trading block this summer, Marc Stein reports at Substack.

As Stein explains, the Swiss big man will be on an expiring $22.3MM contract in 2024/25. Atlanta won the draft lottery and gave Onyeka Okongwu a four-year rookie scale extension last offseason, so Capela could be on move, particularly if the team chooses a big man with the No. 1 overall pick.

Capela, who just turned 30 years old, averaged 11.5 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 1.5 BPG in 73 games last season (25.8 MPG). The 10-year veteran has averaged a double-double for seven straight seasons.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • According to Stein, before the Bulls hired Wes Unseld Jr. and Dan Craig to be the top assistants under head coach Billy Donovan, they showed interest in David Fizdale. A former head coach, Fizdale was an assistant with the Suns this past season but may be departing after Frank Vogel was fired. Phoenix reportedly offered Fizdale a front office position to stay with the team, but he has yet to accept it.
  • Rival teams are monitoring Julius Randle‘s situation with the Knicks, Shams Charania of The Athletic stated on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back (Twitter video link). Randle will be extension-eligible this summer and holds a $34.2MM player option for ’25/26, meaning he could be a free agent next year if he opts out. “How (the Knicks) handle that extension situation, if that is a conversation, what transpires, I think that will be interesting,” Charania said.
  • The Heat may have to barter this year if they want to trade their second-round pick (No. 43 overall) or acquire another one, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. As Winderman details, for the upcoming ’24/25 season, teams that purchase a second-rounder with cash will be hard-capped at the first tax apron, and Miami is keenly aware of that fact. “It definitely factors in,” said Adam Simon, the Heat’s vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager. “And you have to look at the big picture and what business you’re doing. And, so, that’ll come into play. But doing something that’s going to hard cap you, you definitely have to take that into consideration.”

And-Ones: Potential Coaching Changes, Wembanyama, France, Draft Odds

Head coaches Taylor Jenkins, Willie Green and Chauncey Billups could all be in danger of losing their jobs next season, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who discussed the topic with league personnel at the draft combine. Hollinger cites a belief that the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Trail Blazers will consider coaching changes if they get off to slow starts.

Jenkins has been mostly successful during his time in Memphis, finishing second in the 2022 Coach of the Year race, but he’s coming off a 27-win season as the Grizzlies were overwhelmed by injuries. Hollinger notes that the organization fired most of his staff prior to the combine, which could be a sign of trouble.

Green posted 49 wins this season, but New Orleans wasn’t competitive while being swept out of the playoffs in the first round by Oklahoma City. There’s been more scrutiny on Green’s offensive philosophies and player usage, especially at center, Hollinger adds.

Billups seems most likely to be replaced as he’s entering the final year of his contract and is reporting to a general manager who didn’t hire him. Portland also made changes involving its assistant coaches, and Hollinger states that Billups seemed to be trying to position himself for the Suns job before they hired Mike Budenholzer. Everyone that Hollinger spoke with expects Billups to be replaced by next offseason.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • In addition to trying to win a gold medal for France, Victor Wembanyama hopes to use the 2024 Olympics as a learning experience, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. “I am here to learn from some of the best players in the history of the national team,” Wembanyama said. “I am not here to explain anything to players with five, six or seven international campaigns under their belts. For sure, I will have responsibilities, but they will be realistic. I will have as many as necessary.”
  • Alexandre Sarr, who hopes to follow Wembanyama as the second French player to be drafted No. 1 overall, is part of a wave of NBA talent from the nation, Hollinger writes in a separate story. Zaccharie Risacher will also get consideration as the top pick, as four players from France may be taken in the first round. Wembanyama and Bilal Coulibaly both went in the lottery last year, and Hollinger notes that Nolan Traore is likely to be selected early in 2025. “I think we got so much talent, it’s exciting,” French native Rudy Gobert said. “You go (back) 20 years ago, we had a few guys like (Tony Parker) and Boris Diaw and (Nicolas) Batum, and now you look and there’s so much talent every year coming in. Credit the French clubs and the French federation for being able to develop some of this talent and allowing them to play to their abilities.”
  • HoopsHype has released its annual draft predictor, charting the most likely players to be selected by each team. The list starts with Sarr, who is considered to have an 87.9% chance to be drafted by Atlanta.

Suns Notes: Budenholzer, O’Neale, Eubanks, Gordon, Okogie

New Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer vows to be demanding with the team’s three stars, writes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Among the topics Budenholzer addressed Friday at his introductory press conference is how he plans to get the most out of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal in their second season together.

“I think they know that I’m gonna have high expectations of them,” Budenholzer said. “I’m gonna coach ’em, I’m gonna hold ’em accountable. But that’s what I’m gonna do with everybody. And so it’s not any different. That’s kind of been my roadmap for coaching, whether it’s the best players or the entire roster.”

The Suns were criticized this season for not having a traditional point guard to create easier scoring opportunities for their Big Three. Budenholzer told reporters that’s an area that needs to be looked at this summer as part of the larger picture of creating a more versatile team.

“We need to be able to play different ways, bigger, smaller,” he said. “But I think the point guard position has a place, and we’re gonna talk about it and figure it out. But I just know we’re gonna need to be able to play lots of different ways, including without a point guard.”

There’s more from Phoenix:

  • The competitive nature that Budenholzer showed during his interview helped him land the job as the Suns moved quickly to find a replacement after dismissing Frank Vogel, Bourguet adds in the same piece. “I’m a competitive guy, and we talk about this too: Throughout that process, Bud must have said ‘compete’ 95 times in two minutes,” general manager James Jones said at the press conference. “Compete at everything, compete in practice, compete with each other, against each other. Compete against your opponent, but more importantly, compete with yourself.”
  • Because the Suns are subject to second apron provisions, they might benefit from re-signing free agent forward Royce O’Neale to more than his market value, Keith Smith of Spotrac suggests in his offseason financial look at the team. Phoenix is prohibited from taking back more than it sends out in a trade. Smith states that if O’Neale’s actual value is around $10MM per year, the Suns can increase their trade options by paying around $15MM or by giving him the exact amount of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which currently projects to be $12.9MM for 2024/25.
  • Drew Eubanks, Eric Gordon and Josh Okogie are all good bets to decline their player options for next season, according to Smith, who recommends trying to re-sign Eubanks and Gordon to veterans’ minimum contracts this summer with a new player option for the following season. Phoenix holds Early Bird rights on Okogie, so Smith sees a new contract in the $5-8MM range as another way to create tradable salary.

Lakers Rumors: Mitchell, Redick, LeBron, Reaves, Bronny

As the Lakers weigh their offseason options, one path they will seriously consider is packaging players and draft picks to attempt to acquire a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Within the last year, star guards like Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Zach LaVine have been mentioned as possible targets for Los Angeles, but Jovan Buha of The Athletic (YouTube link) says another name will likely be at the top of the team’s wish list entering the summer.

“If the Lakers go down the three-star path, and it’s still unclear — I think they’re going to kick the can down the road and see the possibility and see what the asking price is. There are teams that can outbid them if they get into a bidding war,” Buha said in an episode of Buha’s Block. “But if they do go down that road and at least explore it, (Cavaliers guard) Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy.”

There’s no guarantee that Mitchell will be available this summer, since the Cavs hope to sign him to a long-term extension. If Mitchell turns down that offer and ends up on the trade block, the Lakers would have plenty of competition for the five-time All-Star and wouldn’t necessarily be able to offer the best package, as Buha notes. L.A. would be able to offer up to three first-round picks alongside perhaps guard Austin Reaves, forward Rui Hachimura, and other salary-matching pieces.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Echoing previous reports, Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times says people around the NBA view J.J. Redick as the favorite in the Lakers’ head coaching search. Opinions on Redick’s potential as a coach are split, with some high on his upside due to his understanding of the game and his ability to clearly communicate ideas, while others “see nothing but inexperience” or believe his business relationship with LeBron James would have a negative impact on the locker room, Woike writes. Sources tell The Times that one reason Redick is viewed as a frontrunner is a widespread belief that he’ll have “incredibly strong” interviews.
  • Within that same L.A. Times story, Woike explores the likelihood of LeBron remaining with the Lakers (his sources believe it’ll happen), discusses the team’s top trade targets (he says none of Young, Murray, LaVine, and Brandon Ingram were seriously linked to the Lakers at the combine), and mentions the team’s ongoing fondness for Reaves. According to Woike, the Lakers regard Reaves highly as a “prospect for the future” on a team-friendly contract.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic is among the reporters to stress that drafting Bronny James won’t offer a team any assurances of having a shot at his superstar father. “It would not surprise me in the coming weeks if a team does reach out to (agent) Rich Paul – or anyone else around Bronny James, (including) LeBron James himself – and says, ‘Hey, if we draft Bronny James, would you come as well, LeBron?'” Charania said on the Up & Adams Show (Twitter video link). “And the answer to that is going to be no, as of right now. That’s not a given, that’s not something that’s going to be preordained.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said earlier in the week that Paul has made a concerted effort to dispel the idea that his father-and-son clients need to play together.
  • The Lakers announced on Friday (via Twitter) that they’ll host three preseason games outside of Los Angeles in the fall. The Lakers will play the visiting Timberwolves on October 4 and the Suns on Oct. 6 at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs before facing the Warriors on Oct. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Suns Notes: Budenholzer, Tellem, Big Three

Mike Budenholzer spoke for the first time since taking over as head coach of the Suns on Friday in his intro presser. According to ESPN, Budenholzer was emotional when talking about his childhood in Arizona.

It’s mind-boggling to me, like mind-blowing, to think that I’m going to be the head coach of the Phoenix Suns,” Budenholzer said.

A former NBA champion as coach of the Bucks, Budenholzer is tasked with leading a franchise with three super-max players in Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. That group went 49-33 last season and was swept in the playoffs under former head coach Frank Vogel.

I’m excited about working with this roster and these players,” Budenholzer said. “We have great players. And with great players come great expectations. I think we embrace that.

Budenholzer didn’t coach last year after being dismissed by the Bucks. He has a 484-317 record over a 10-season coaching career.

This year, for me, was really healthy,” Budenholzer said. “I kind of had a list of priorities, diving into my kids and my family, super important. We’ve been through a lot. So really, the time with my kids was just amazing. My son’s a senior in high school — going to every one of his games — driving home you’re like, ‘Wow, I got a gift.

We have more from the Suns:

  • With the Suns maintaining a “championship or bust” mentality, Budenholzer isn’t necessarily safe for the long run despite the hefty five-year, $50MM contract he signed, Duane Rankin of Arizona Republic writes. Rankin lists eight conversations Budenholzer needs to have with Phoenix brass, including why he needs to have more say in the team’s roster construction than his predecessors.
  • The Suns are closing in on hiring Nets executive Matt Tellem to the team’s front office, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Tellem began as a basketball information coordinator in 2011 and was promoted to vice president of strategy for Brooklyn in 2023. He also served as general manager of the Long Island Nets from 2019-23.
  • Appearing on The Burns & Gambo Show, Suns general manager James Jones said there is no scenario in which Beal, Durant or Booker are traded this summer (Twitter video link). “Those guys aren’t going anywhere. Those guys are part of the solution,” Jones said. With Phoenix lacking flexibility and draft assets to make major upgrades to a roster that was swept out of the first round of the playoffs, there has been some speculation about the futures of Phoenix’s star players. However, Jones’ comments this week echo a recent report from ESPN suggesting that the big three aren’t going anywhere.