A summer for change: The new-look Suns attempt to fix Phoenix’s basketball culture

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams hopes a culture change can help the team win more games. (Photo by Karrissa D. Herrera/Cronkite News)

The chemistry of players, including, from left, guards Jevon Carter, Elie Okobo and Jared Harper, could mix a difference in the success of the Suns in 2019-20.(Photo by Karrissa D. Herrera/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Bashing the Phoenix Suns has become a trend around the NBA, and with four straight seasons at the bottom of the league and no playoff appearances since 2010, it’s easy to understand the criticism.

“The way people view the Phoenix Suns has to change,” guard Devin Booker said.

The organization embraces the idea.

The Suns are starting this season fresh. With only six players returning from last year’s roster, and new head coach Monty Williams, the team is undergoing the first steps of a culture change.

Key additions to the team include point guard Ricky Rubio, the 2019 FIBA World Cup MVP; bigs such as Aron Baynes and Dario Saric; and the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, Cameron Johnson. After all the changes, the Suns open the season with the youngest average player age of any NBA team at just under 24.

The Suns are projected by sports analytics site FiveThirtyEight.com to almost double their win total from 19 to 36 this season, which would have moved the 2018-19 team from the last place 15th seed to the 11th overall spot in the Western Conference.

The Suns open their season on Wednesday at home against the Sacramento Kings.

Sports Reporter, Phoenix