2014-15 Suns preview: Roster breakdown

PHOENIX — On the cusp of season two in this Suns renaissance, we’re getting comfortable with the team’s position on positions.

They don’t really worry about ’em.

So, with this commitment to thinking of basketball players as basketball players and refusing to place positional limits on anybody, judging the roster can be tricky.

But that didn’t prevent us from soliciting some opinions from a personnel executive currently employed by another NBA team.

And his first response when asked to assess the Suns was this:

"Well, they’ve spent a lot of money on point guards," the exec said.

Right, before rehiring Eric Bledsoe for $70 million over five seasons, the Suns served up $27 million to add Isaiah Thomas. After landing Bledsoe, they made a more modest cut into their budget that’s expected to help secure Goran Dragic for an expected windfall next summer.

OK, so they’ve gone all in on having at least two PGs on the floor for extended stretches of most games. What also must be reconciled in any review of their roster is another apparent overload of medium-sized players.

"I’m sure they have a plan," our expert said.

That would be play fast, play the players who are been playing well and always have the wherewithal to pounce if an elite player is available in trade.

Anyway, our roster examination will begin with a quick statement from our personnel guy in an overall look at each of three size-related groupings. From there, he’ll provide a brief assessment of what might be expected from each player within the group.

Goran Dragic (1), Isaiah Thomas (3), Eric Bledsoe (2) and Tyler Ennis (4).

"Based on their approach and skill level," he said, "there will be games when these guys run teams out of the gym. And they’re not all in their prime yet."

Eric Bledsoe: "If he keeps shooting the ball close to what he’s shooting from 3 during the preseason, Bledsoe will be more than worth the money. Even if he doesn’t, he really fills the stat sheet otherwise, too. If he can stay healthy, this could be their star going forward."

For the record, Bledsoe has made 7 of 13 attempts from beyond the arc against NBA teams during dress rehearsals.

Goran Dragic: "He had a career year with a pretty impressive jump in 3-point accuracy. Was that because he had so many more catch-and-shoot opportunities playing off the ball? He’s really good, but I expect a dip in efficiency."

Isaiah Thomas: "Working against second units a lot of the time could make him a great pickup. Right player, right system. Playing against back-up points guards will help him on the defensive end, too. He hasn’t been too dialed in there in the past."

Tyler Ennis: "Ennis is very different from the others. He probably has the best feel for the game in terms of running a team but doesn’t have the jets."

Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, Marcus Morris, T.J. Warren, Archie Goodwin and Zoran Dragic

"The skill sets for these guys are pretty diverse. There’s some talent here, but more experience may be needed for one or two of these players to create separation from the pack."

Gerald Green: "He’s a great example of how a coach like (Jeff) Hornacek can isolate a guy’s ability and make him an extremely productive weapon. People are expecting Green to lose minutes this year, but I think they’ll find a way to get him on the court and keep him there when he’s going well."

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P.J. Tucker: "Tucker is simply the kind of player every team needs. On offense, he’s the guy I’d leave open if you get in defensive rotation, but he’s improved enough on that corner 3 to keep having big minutes."

Marcus Morris: "I’ve generally thought of him as lacking that motor to even approach his potential, which is pretty decent. But he seems to be getting it, as far as rebounding and defending. That’s the great thing about having a lot of competition at your position."

T.J. Warren: "The more you watch Warren, the more you like how crafty he is at scoring. He’s almost like a savant at those runners and angle shots. They say he guards better than he showed in college. If that’s true, he’ll be on the floor some, and this is where some feelings of the other guys could get hurt in terms of playing time."

Archie Goodwin: "That jump shot still looks broke, and the decision-making needs more work. Goodwin’s a premium athlete and plays hard, but I don’t expect to see him much this year."

Zoran Dragic: "The struggle to find minutes is obvious, but he’ll make practices even more competitive. He just gives them even more depth in case of injury or if they make a move."

Markieff Morris, Andrew Tolliver, Miles Plumlee, Alex Len and Shavlik Randolph

"Getting really talented big guys isn’t easy. If they had more talent here, they wouldn’t have had to load up to beat teams from the perimeter."

Markieff Morris: "Some nights, Morris looks really hard to guard. Will he look to shoot more 3s with (Channing) Frye gone? That didn’t work so well in the past, did it? I think he’s the key to their team. He is one of many players who had a break-out last season. If he takes it up another notch, he’ll give them what they need in isolations if they get slowed down into half-court stuff."

Anthony Tolliver: "Is he the guy who shot 41 percent from 3 last year or the guy who struggled the previous two years? We’ll see. As a guy to replace (Channing) Frye, the difference in size makes them more vulnerable defensively."

Miles Plumlee: "Since late last season, he doesn’t seem to have progressed much beyond dunking lobs. He plays hard on defense and is really athletic, so . . . to me, he’s just OK right now."

Alex Len: "I wasn’t a big fan . . . at least not to be taken fifth in the draft. But he does have far more potential than Plumlee as someone you can throw the ball into and get a basket. And he has enough length and agility to be a pretty fair rim protector."

Shavlik Randolph: "If the extended shooting range I’ve heard about translates into the regular season, Randolph is a smart veteran who can give them some minutes. But he really makes them vulnerable near the basket on defense."

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