Predicting the Phoenix Suns' Starting Five for Next Season

By Nathan Grubel

Predicting the Phoenix Suns' Starting Five for Next Season

Phoenix Suns
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns finished a surprising 48-34 on the season, one spot away from making the 2014 NBA playoffs. Many thought that the Suns would be one of the worst teams in the league, but the team's young talent led by head coach Jeff Hornacek stepped up to the challenge and developed quite a bit as the season went on. Here is an early look at next year's projected starting five:

Point Guard: Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Point Guard: Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bledsoe is an energizer bunny in the lineup, able to provide great energy and explosion at the point guard position on both offense and defense. Bledsoe's intensity really helps the team, and his development in terms of a consistent outside shot will be key for Phoenix's offense going forward. Regardless, Bledsoe is one of the best defensive guards in the league and should see a starting spot for years to come.

Shooting Guard: Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Shooting Guard: Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dragic stepped up big time when Bledsoe was out due to injury for an extended number of games during the regular season. Dragic is a scoring guard who is great at handling the ball as well as creating for others, not just himself on offense. Dragic leaves a little to be desired on defense, but most of that is taken away by Bledsoe's tremendous defense. As long as Dragic remains consistent shooting the ball, his spot is not going anywhere.

Small Forward: Gerald Green

Gerald Green
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Small Forward: Gerald Green

Gerald Green
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Green finally developed a more consistent jump shot on the offensive end, and proved he had more to offer than just being an athlete off the bench. Green was more focused this season than he ever was in the past, and it led to coach Hornacek rewarding him with more minutes and chances to prove himself. Now that Green has proven himself a two-way talent, he should see major minutes come next season.

Power Forward: Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Power Forward: Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Morris surprised a lot of people with his development as a scorer and rebounder at the power forward position. Morris was one of the best sixth men in the league, and has developed his game to the point where he should be able to hold his own in a starting lineup. Whether it is in the low post or beyond the arc, Morris can hit shots from anywhere and can rebound the ball at a high rate, two things any starting lineup craves nowadays.

Center: Miles Plumlee

Miles Plumlee
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Center: Miles Plumlee

Miles Plumlee
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Plumlee was viewed as sort of a lost opportunity in Indiana, as he saw limited playing time despite being a late first round pick for the Pacers. Plumlee got a chance in Phoenix this past season as Emeka Okafor was injured and Alex Len was too young to step in and play big minutes. Plumlee established himself as a quality low post defender and rebounder, which should net him the starting spot come next season for the Suns.

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