Charles Barkley will be reunited with his Phoenix Suns teammates from the 1992-93 team that reached the NBA Finals this weekend as they will be honored at halftime of Saturday’s game against Indiana at the Footprint Center. .

He recently said the current Suns (21-24) shouldn’t stay intact.

“My Phoenix Suns need to blow it up,” Barkley said on TNT’s ‘Inside The NBA’ earlier this month. “The Suns are not going to win a championship.”

The Hall of Famer initially started a conversation about the teams he thought needed a boom starting with the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

“When you look at this season, I have no idea who is going to win the championship,” Barkley said. “There are some teams that are going to have to make some trades.”

Charles Barkley was honored as a member of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team during halftime of the 2022 All-Star Game.

At the time, Chicago was 17-21 while Miami was 20-19. The Bulls split their next six games, but the Heat are now 25-21 after Wednesday’s win over New Orleans.

With pen and paper, Kenny Smith asked Barkley if there are any Western Conference teams that should blow up their squads.

Barkley quickly named his Suns.

At the time, Phoenix was 20-19 and was coming off a 90-88 loss at Cleveland to end a six-game season-long road trip. The shorthanded Suns have gone 1-4 since then and were riding a three-game losing streak heading into Thursday night’s game against the Nets.

The Suns are looking to bounce back as Cam Johnson was scheduled to return Thursday after missing 37 games after tearing his right meniscus Nov. 4 against Portland, but they are still down to five players.

January 8, 2023;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker pats his teammates during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Footprint Center.
  • Chris Paul (right hip pain)
  • Josh Okogie (broken nose)
  • Landry Shamet (pain in right foot)
  • Cameron Payne (right foot sprain)
  • Devin Booker (left groin strain)

Paul was listed as questionable Wednesday after missing five games with soreness in his right hip. Monty Williams said Paul practiced “flat out” Wednesday, but the All-Star point guard remains out.

Okogie suffered a broken nose Monday against the Grizzlies when he was elbowed by teammate Deandre Ayton, who was fouled on the play by Steven Adams.

Shamet had just returned Monday after missing three games with soreness in his right hip. He now has pain in his right foot.

Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet, center, handles the ball between Memphis Grizzlies forwards Brandon Clarke, left, and Dillon Brooks (24) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, January 2, 2019. February 16, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Booker and Payne are scheduled for reevaluations later this month.

On top of that, the Suns have yet to move Jae Crowder, who hasn’t played in a single game this season as the two sides “mutually agreed” he wouldn’t attend training camp.

They’ve missed him, but the Suns were once 16-7 without Crowder.

If the Suns can be healthy by, say, February 1st and move Crowder by February 1st. The 9 trade deadline for a player who can contribute could not only make a run for playoff contention, but a run deep in the postseason as well.

Once atop the West in early December, the Suns now sit 12th in the conference. They were 12½ games out of first place heading into Thursday’s games, but just 1½ behind sixth-place Golden State.

October 25, 2022;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) face off after a play during the third quarter at the Footprint Center.  Thompson was hit with two technicals and was ejected.

Phoenix is ​​3-0 against the defending NBA champion Warriors this season, winning all three games by an average margin of 17.3 points.

The top six playoff teams avoid the play-in tournament to reach the postseason.

Is there still a possibility of a trade for Phoenix?

The Suns have had 16 different starting lineups going into Thursday’s game.

With injuries and a lack of chemistry, Phoenix has yet to figure out how good he can be, but Barkley’s assessment can’t be ruled out either.

They’re not playing well, they don’t have the same lead that fueled their franchise-record 64-win season last year and they have matchup problems against Denver, Memphis, New Orleans and Dallas.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) celebrates next to Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) after dunking in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, on Friday, December 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Phoenix doesn’t look like a championship contender, but he may not be in a position to change that with a game-changing trade.

With the team’s interim governor, Sam Garvin, unable to make a major move without Robert Sarver’s approval and the NBA has yet to approve billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia’s purchase of the team from Sarver, the Suns appear to be in a holding pattern that will not allow them to make a colossal trade.

By sbavh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *