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Phoenix Suns 2015 roster: It's playoffs or bust for the Suns

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After narrowly missing out on a playoff spot the past two years, the Suns need to either finally make the postseason or rethink their approach.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns fell short of making the playoffs in the West for the second season in a row in no small part because of chemistry issues. Goran Dragic wasn't happy with the addition of Isaiah Thomas and asked for a trade. The front office decided to clean house and also move Thomas, while adding Brandon Knight at the trade deadline. But it was too late for a postseason push.

The changes continued in the summer. After signing Tyson Chandler to anchor the defense, the front office chased free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. They ultimately couldn't land him but one of the cap clearing moves they made backfired. The trade that sent Marcus Morris to Detroit angered his brother Markieff, who publicly stated he wanted out of Phoenix as well. For now it looks like he's going anywhere, but general manager Ryan McDonough has proved he's not afraid to pull the trigger on mid-season trades.

After two solid seasons in which they fell short, mediocrity is no longer an option for the Suns. They need to make the postseason to prove this core is worth building around. The talent is there but it remains to be seen if the chemistry returns after a tumultuous year.

LAST YEAR

RECORD: 39-43 (10th in the Western conference)
PLAYOFFS: Missed
OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY: 102.9 (14th)
DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY: 103.4 (17th)

ROSTER

No. PLAYER POS HEIGHT WEIGHT AGE COLLEGE
1 Devin Booker SG 6'6 206 18 Kentucky
2 Eric Bledsoe PG 6'1 190 25 Kentucky
3 Brandon Knight PG 6'3 189 23 Kentucky
4 Tyson Chandler C 7'1 240 32 Dominguez H.S.
10 Sonny Weems SF 6'6 205 29 Arkansas
11 Markieff Morris PF 6'10 245 26 Kansas
12 T.J. Warren F 6'8 230 22 North Carolina St.
14 Ronnie Price PG 6'2 190 32 Utah Valley
17 P.J. Tucker SF 6'6 245 30 Texas
20 Archie Goodwin SG 6'5 200 21 Kentucky
21 Alex Len C 7'1 260 22 Maryland
30 Jon Leuer PF 6'10 228 26 Wisconsin
35 Mirza Teletovic PF 6'9 242 30 Bosnia

Coach: Jeff Hornacek

Assistant coaches: Jerry Sichting, Mike Longabardi, Corey Gaines, Earl Watson, Nate Bjorkgren.

OFFSEASON CHANGES

IN: Tyson Chandler, Sonny Weems, Mirza Teletovic, Jon Leuer, Ronnie Price.

OUT: Gerald Green, Brandan Wright.

The Suns' big acquisition was Chandler, who will take over the starting spot at center, leaving Alex Len to cover the minutes Brandan Wright received last season. They also reloaded with veterans at the forward position by letting Gerald Green walk and adding Sonny Weems, Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer.

DEPTH CHART

POINT GUARD SHOOTING GUARD SMALL FORWARD POWER FORWARD CENTER
STARTER Eric Bledsoe Brandon Knight P.J. Tucker Markieff Morris Tyson Chandler
RESERVE Ronnie Price Devin Booker Sonny Weems Mirza Teletovic Alex Len
RESERVE Archie Goodwin T.J. Warren Jon Leuer
RESERVE

THE KEY QUESTION

PREDICTIONS

BEST CASE: Morris lets bygones be bygones and fully commits to the team. The two-headed monster of Bledsoe and Knight proves to be too much for opponent's defenses to contain and Chandler provides the veteran leadership and defensive presence the Suns need. They grab the sixth seed and have a good showing in the first round.

WORST CASE: Morris proves to be a distraction and the Suns trade him for pennies on the dollar. Bledsoe and Knight don't mesh as intended, forcing the front office to rethink its strategy. With the playoffs not looking like a real possibility, they clear the deck and go into rebuilding mode.