The 2013–14 NBA season was the Phoenix Suns' 46th season in the NBA. This season marked the first time that purple was not a primary color for the team (although it was still involved with their system). It was also the first time since the beginning of the 1987–88 NBA season that the Suns ended up drafting in the top 5 of a draft. In addition, it was the first time since the beginning of the 2000–01 NBA season that the Suns made complete changes in not only their logos, but also their jerseys. When the Suns began the regular season, Goran Dragić, P. J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, and his twin brother Marcus Morris were the only players returning from playing with last season's team (while Channing Frye was still on last season's team, he didn't play any games due to a life-threatening heart ailment he had at the time). The Phoenix Suns, despite their winning record, failed to make the playoffs. This drew criticism from many fans regarding the conference system with the Atlanta Hawks, a sub-.500 team in the Eastern Conference managing to make the playoffs, with the Suns holding a Top 4 Eastern Conference seeded team had they been a part of that conference that year instead.
|2013–14 Phoenix Suns season|
|Head coach||Jeff Hornacek|
|General manager||Ryan McDonough|
|Arena||US Airways Center|
|Place||Division: 3rd (Pacific)|
Conference: 9th (Western)
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Television||Fox Sports Arizona|
|1||5||Olexsiy "Alex" Len||Center||Ukraine||Maryland|
|1||29||Archie Goodwin||Shooting guard||United States||Kentucky|
|2||57||Alex Oriakhi||Power forward||United States||Missouri|
The Suns had two first-round picks and one second-round pick this year. The first pick they had was their own pick that could have gone at number 1 at best or 7 at worst, with the best odds going for the pick to be at number 5. On the day of the NBA draft lottery, it was revealed that they would get pick 5 in the first round. Their own second-round pick was traded to the Houston Rockets for Marcus Morris, the twin brother of Suns power forward Markieff Morris. Both their additional first and second-round picks came from different teams due to last season's sign and trade deal with the Los Angeles Lakers that sent point guard Steve Nash to the Lakers in exchange for four different draft picks. The first-round pick (which ended up being the 30th pick) came from the Miami Heat due to an earlier trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers involving LeBron James, while the second-round pick came from the Denver Nuggets due to a 2011 draft day trade that traded the Lakers' rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum to Denver in exchange for their 2013 second-round pick.
With the fifth pick, the Suns selected the Ukrainian-born center Olexsiy "Alex" Len, who was a sophomore from the University of Maryland. Len averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in his last season with the Terrapins. The Suns then traded the 30th pick, which became the Serbian-born guard Nemanja Nedović from the Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for shooting guard Malcolm Lee and pick 29 that was originally from the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was Archie Goodwin from the University of Kentucky. Goodwin averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game in his only season with Kentucky. Finally, with their 57th pick, the Suns selected Alex Oriakhi, who used to play for the University of Connecticut until his senior season due to the university's NCAA Tournament ineligibility; he spent his senior season with the University of Missouri. In addition to winning an NCAA championship during his sophomore season with Connecticut, in his only season with Missouri, he scored 11.2 points, grabbed 8.4 rebounds, and recorded 1.6 blocks per game in 25.8 minutes of play for 34 games.
Veteran player Jermaine O'Neal, as well as Wesley Johnson and rookie guard Diante Garrett were unrestricted free agents as of the end of the 2012–13 NBA season. On June 29, 2013, the Suns released Hamed Haddadi's contract in order to let him become an unrestricted free agent as well. Contrary to previous seasons, the Suns decided to not focus so much on the free agency market this year. On July 15, 2013, Wesley Johnson signed a veteran's minimum contract for one year with the Los Angeles Lakers. On July 23, 2013, O'Neal agreed to a one-year deal to play for the Golden State Warriors. Garrett officially announced on Twitter that he would be playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder on August 29, 2013 before playing officially for the Utah Jazz on November 13, 2013. Haddadi ended up going back to his home in Iran to play for Foolad Mahan Isfahan on September 12, 2013, during the 2013 FIBA Asia Champions Cup, only to then play for the Sichuan Blue Whales in China. An additional player the Suns decided to sign for this season was former Temple shooting guard Dionte Christmas, who had last played with Montepaschi Siena in Italy's Lega Basket Serie A, where he and the team not only won the league's championship, but also participated in the 2012–13 Euroleague; Christmas had also performed with the team's 2013 Summer League Las Vegas Tournament squad, where he averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists during the team's 6–1 streak. The Suns also had former UC Santa Barbara combo guard James Nunnally, who last played with the Miami Heat in the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Tournament, during the Suns' training camp and preseason session.
One of the team's biggest signings from last season, Michael Beasley, was bought out of his contract on September 3, 2013. His buyout of the team's contract had the team paying Beasley only $4.66 million for this season as opposed to the $6 million he was initially owed (which saved the team $1.34 million in salary), and then has the team stretching his original guaranteed salary of $3,000,000 for one year to $2,300,000 for three straight seasons, with each year paying him only $766,666 instead of the entire guarantee he was owed. Because of Beasley being bought out of his contract, he was considered an unrestricted free agent by the NBA during his time of being waived. Beasley would end up signing with the team that first drafted him as the #2 pick in the 2008 NBA draft, the two-time champion Miami Heat on September 11, 2013. In addition to being signed by the Heat before the start of the regular season, some of the $4,660,000 that the Suns owed him now gets paid by the Heat instead.
On January 5, 2014, the Suns decided to bring back former fan favorite player Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract. However, his contract would not officially be signed until January 8 due to not only finding out whether Barbosa would be healthy enough to participate, but would also have to wait for FIBA to approve his move from Brazil to the NBA. The move was prompted due to star point guard Eric Bledsoe being out longer than the team had initially expected due to a knee injury that had later on turned into a torn meniscus that he got against his former team on December 28, 2013. The last NBA team Barbosa played for was with the Boston Celtics before an ACL tear led him to being traded to the Washington Wizards; he had then played for the Esporte Clube Pinheiros in Brazil as a means of playing while healing up from his past injury. He has been able to play under the shooting guard position with Ishmael "Ish" Smith playing most of the back-up point guard duties while Eric Bledsoe remains injured. Barbosa would end up signing a second 10-day contract immediately after the first one ended on January 18, 2014 before being confirmed by Lon Babby and the staff that Barbosa would get $650,359 and remain on the team for the rest of the season on January 27, 2014.
During the post-trade deadline period of free agent signings, the Suns decided to waive back-up center Viacheslav Kravtsov out of the team on March 1, 2014. In exchange for Kravtsov's leave of absence on Phoenix, the Suns decided to sign former Boston Celtics and CBA's Foshan Dralions all-star power forward Shavlik Randolph on the same day. Randolph was signed to the Suns in order to have not only tried to help the team win enough games to make it to the playoffs for the first time in over three seasons, but to have also helped the team out in the postseason had the team actually made it to the 2014 NBA Playoffs.
On June 27, the Suns agreed to trade their 30th draft pick (which became Nemanja Nedović) to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the rights to Malcolm Lee (who they first acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves) and the 29th pick (which became Archie Goodwin) that the Warriors first acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder. On July 2, the Suns participated in a three-team trade that had the Suns send Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers and a 2014 second round pick they acquired from the Toronto Raptors last season to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler, both of whom last played for the L.A. Clippers. On July 27, the Suns agreed to trade Luis Scola (who the team got from amnesty bids last season) to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, and a 2014 lottery protected first round draft pick. The Suns would later trade Butler to his hometown team (the Milwaukee Bucks) on August 29, 2013 in exchange for Ukrainian power forward/center Viacheslav Kravtsov and American point guard Ish Smith. Finally, in the team's last trade before the regular season began, the Suns traded their center Marcin Gortat, alongside guards Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee, and last year's lottery pick (Kendall Marshall) to the Washington Wizards in exchange for power forward Emeka Okafor and their 2014 Top 12 protected first round draft pick on October 25, 2013. Of the players the Suns traded to Washington, only Gortat would end up playing for the Wizards before the regular season began as Marshall, Brown, and Lee were all waived by the Wizards three days later. In addition, back-up center Viacheslav Kravtsov would end up being waived from the Suns on March 1, 2014.
Interim head coach Lindsey Hunter was officially granted a chance to be interviewed by the Detroit Pistons to be their head coach on April 24, 2013, which led to indications that the Suns were looking for a new head coach. On May 9, 2013, the Suns announced that along with Hunter, assistant coaches Brian Shaw of the Indiana Pacers, Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Rockets, Mike Budenholzer of the San Antonio Spurs, and Quin Snyder from PBC CSKA Moscow were considered options to be the team's head coach for this season. Five days later, the Suns announced that their search would expand to also include assistant head coaches Mike Malone of the Golden State Warriors, David Fizdale of the Miami Heat, and Jeff Hornacek of the Utah Jazz, with the latter assistant also being a Suns fan favorite. In addition to the aforementioned announced candidates, the Suns also announced interest in looking at Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford, Houston Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Villanova University head coach Jay Wright, Butler University head coach Brad Stevens, and Iowa State University head coach Fred Hoiberg. On May 26, 2013, the Suns announced that former Suns player Jeff Hornacek was the new head coach, to replace interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, who later signed with the Golden State Warriors in September 2013 as an assistant head coach. Hornacek got a three-year contract with an optional fourth year.
In addition to Hunter's departure as the head coach, assistant head coach Igor Kokoškov departed from the Suns to be an assistant head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 29, 2013. On June 12, it was announced that Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson would also not be an assistant coach with the Suns in 2013–14. In June 25, 2013, the Suns let go of remaining assistant coaches Noel Gillespie and Dan Panaggio. On that same day, Hornacek announced his four assistant coaches for the 2013–14 season: former Boston Celtics affiliates Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi, and former Suns teammates Kenny Gattison and Mark West. Jerry Sichting was a champion player for the Boston Celtics during the 1985–86 NBA season, and he was more recently an assistant head coach for the Washington Wizards last season. Mike Longabardi was an assistant head coach for the Celtics' last six seasons, which included their 2007–08 NBA champion team, and was also their defensive coordinator in his last two seasons with the Celtics. Kenny Gattison was a former 3rd round selection by the Suns in the 1986 NBA draft that also was an assistant head coach for Larry Drew during his head coaching tenure with the Atlanta Hawks. Mark West was a player for the Phoenix Suns from 1988–1994 and was on their 1999–2000 team before accepting a front office gig for the team afterwards until this season. Former Suns assistant head coach and Phoenix Mercury head coach Corey Gaines would also end up taking on the role of being a player developmental coach that Hunter had formerly taken the role of last season.
On April 22, 2013, the Phoenix Suns fired general manager Lance Blanks due to his lackluster performance in his position over the last three years. Their search for the newest general manager included former Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway, former Los Angeles Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester, former New York Knicks executive Mark Warkentien, assistant general managers Jeff Weltman of the Milwaukee Bucks (a finalist for general manager back in 2010), Ryan McDonough of the Boston Celtics, Wes Wilcox of the Atlanta Hawks, and Troy Weaver of the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Tony Ronzone, Eddie Johnson, David Griffin, Gersson Rosas, and Sam Hinkie considered as possible candidates. Other candidates that had garnered interest in the job included former Bulls and Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, as well as former Phoenix Suns players Grant Hill and Charles Barkley.
On May 1, 2013, it was revealed that the four finalists for the job were Boston Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough, Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman, former Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway, and former Utah Jazz and New York Knicks executive/general manager and current San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden. Four days later, the finalists were narrowed down to either Jeff Weltman or Ryan McDonough being the newest general manager. Finally, on May 7, 2013, the Phoenix Suns announced that Boston's assistant general manager Ryan McDonough would be the Suns' newest general manager for the next four years. Ronnie Lester, along with the Washington Wizards' director of player personnel Pat Connelly would later be hired by McDonough to be talent evaluators for the Suns. The Suns would also hire Emilio Kovačić as an international scouting consultant for the Suns and Trevor Bukstein as an assistant general manager.
|2013–14 Phoenix Suns roster|
|Olexsiy "Alex" Len||$3,492,720|
|Ishmael "Ish" Smith||$985,000|
Because Hamed Haddadi was waived by the Suns before July 1, he was only owed $200,000 by the team instead of the full $1,400,000 that he would have gotten had he stayed with the team. In addition, while Josh Childress is still owed $7,182,500 due to them amnestying his contract last season, his salary does not affect the Suns' overall salary cap to their season this year. Also, with the Michael Beasley buyout the Suns did on September 3, 2013, they now owe Beasley $4,660,000 for this season as opposed to giving him the full $6,000,000 had he stayed with the team during the regular season. Not only that, but some of the money that the Suns owed Beasley this season would be offset by the Miami Heat due to their re-signing of him for a second stint. To add to the post-season player movements, the Suns' waiving of back-up center Viacheslav Kravtsov has his contract of $1,500,000 being retained as a part of a pay-off for the rest of the season as of March 1, 2014, in order to add room to using power forward Shavlik Randolph and his $306,036 contract.
|2013 pre-season game log|
Total: 5–2 (Home: 2–1; Road: 3–1)
Pre-season: 5–2 (Home: 2–1; Road: 3–1)
|2013–14 season schedule|
|y-Los Angeles Clippers||57||25||.695||0.0||34–7||23–18||12–4||82|
|x-Golden State Warriors||51||31||.622||6.0||27–14||24–17||11–5||82|
|Los Angeles Lakers||27||55||.329||30.0||14–27||13–28||6–10||82|
|1||z-San Antonio Spurs *||62||20||.756||–||82|
|2||y-Oklahoma City Thunder *||59||23||.720||3.0||82|
|3||y-Los Angeles Clippers *||57||25||.695||5.0||82|
|5||x-Portland Trail Blazers||54||28||.659||8.0||82|
|6||x-Golden State Warriors||51||31||.622||11.0||82|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||34||48||.415||28.0||82|
|14||Los Angeles Lakers||27||55||.329||35.0||82|
|2013–14 game log|
Total: 48–34 (Home: 26–15; Road: 22–19)
November : 8–8 (Home: 4–3; Road: 4–5)
December : 10–3 (Home: 6–1; Road: 4–2)
January : 9–7 (Home: 4–3; Road: 5–4)
February : 6–6 (Home: 5–4; Road: 1–2)
March : 10–6 (Home: 5–2; Road: 5–4)
April : 4–4 (Home: 1–2; Road: 3–2)
|2013–14 season schedule|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|Olexsiy "Alex" Len||42||3||8.6||.423||.000||.645||2.4+||.1||.1||.4+||2.0|
|Ishmael "Ish" Smith||70||1||14.4||.423†||.043||.564||1.8||2.6||.7||.2||3.7|
* – Stats with the Suns.
† – Minimum 300 field goals made.
^ – Minimum 55 three-pointers made.
# – Minimum 125 free throws made.
+ – Minimum 70 games played or 800 rebounds, 125 steals, 100 blocks, 1400 points.
|June 27, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Golden State Warriors|
|July 2, 2013||Three–team trade|
|To Los Angeles Clippers
||To Milwaukee Bucks|
|To Phoenix Suns|
|July 27, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Indiana Pacers|
|August 29, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Milwaukee Bucks|
|October 25, 2013
||To Phoenix Suns
||To Washington Wizards|
|Dionte Christmas||Signed 2-year deal worth $1.3 million||Montepaschi Siena|
|Leandro Barbosa||Signed two 10-day contracts / 1-year contract worth $650,359||Boston Celtics / Washington Wizards / Esporte Clube Pinheiros / Phoenix Sunsa[›]|
|Shavlik Randolph||Signed 1-year deal worth $306,036||Boston Celtics / Foshan Dralionsb[›]|
^ a: During this season, Barbosa played under the Esporte Clube Pinheiros in the Novo Basquete Brasil league. However, before that time, Barbosa played with the Boston Celtics up until he had a season-ending injury with the team on February 12, 2013. He then got traded to the Washington Wizards nine days later, only to never play a game for them in the process. After his first 10-day contract ended with the Suns, he signed a second 10-day contract immediately afterwards before finally staying on the team for the rest of the season on January 27, 2014.
^ b: Throughout most of this season, Randolph ended up playing for the Foshan Dralions as one of the team's two different foreign players the team's allowed to have during their season. However, before playing in China with Foshan once again, Randolph had played under the Boston Celtics and remained with the team until he was waived on August 1, 2014. Because Foshan was eliminated from playoff contention before Randolph was signed onto the team on March 1, 2014, he did not have to worry about any penalties that might have been received from China.
|Player||Reason left||New team|
|Hamed Haddadi||Waived||Foolad Mahan Isfahan / Sichuan Blue Whales / Mahram Tehranc[›]|
|Jared Dudley||Traded||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Wesley Johnson||Unrestricted free agent||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Jermaine O'Neal||Unrestricted free agent||Golden State Warriors|
|Luis Scola||Traded||Indiana Pacers|
|Alex Oriakhi||Signed a new contract||Limoges Cercle Saint-Pierre / Hapoel Holon / Erie BayHawks / Sioux Falls Skyforced[›]|
|Diante Garrett||Unrestricted free agent||Oklahoma City Thunder / Tulsa 66ers / Iowa Energy / Utah Jazze[›]|
|Caron Butler||Traded||Milwaukee Bucks / Oklahoma City Thunderf[›]|
|Michael Beasley||Waived||Miami Heat|
|Marcin Gortat||Traded||Washington Wizards|
|Kendall Marshall||Traded / Waived||Washington Wizards / Delaware 87ers / Los Angeles Lakersg[›]|
|Shannon Brown||Traded / Waived||Washington Wizards / San Antonio Spurs / New York Knicksg[›]|
|Malcolm Lee||Traded / Waived||Washington Wizards / Philadelphia 76ers / Delaware 87ersg[›]|
|Viacheslav "Slava" Kravtsov||Waived||Foshan Dralionsh[›]|
^ c: During the off-season, Haddadi played for the Iranian Foolad Mahan Isfahan basketball team during the 2013 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in September. The team won the Champions Cup, but his performance ended up gaining interest to the recently Chinese Basketball Association promoted Sichuan Blue Whales, who used to play in the Chinese National Basketball League until winning that basketball league's championship and being promoted by the CBA. He officially signed with Sichuan on September 28, 2013 and continued to play with the team until the end of the 2013–14 CBA season. After his season with Sichuan ended, which included a respectable first season CBA record for a new team, Haddadi decided to return to his home nation once again to play for Mahram Tehran at the Iranian Super League on February 19, 2014 for the rest of the season.
^ d: Second-round rookie Alex Oriakhi decided to sign with the French Limoges Cercle Saint-Pierre team on July 31, 2013, after having a lackluster showcase on the Suns' Summer League team. However, after playing in France for a few games, Oriakhi decided to leave Limoges on November 8, 2013. Three days later, Oriakhi decided to play for the Israeli team known as Hapoel Holon. Oriakhi would continue to play in Israel until December 21, 2013 where he decided to return to the U.S.A. to play for the D-League's Erie BayHawks in Erie, Pennsylvania. He'd continue to play in Erie until February 7, 2014 where he got traded to the Sioux Falls Skyforce in South Dakota. Even though Oriakhi is currently playing basketball for the Miami Heat's D-League affiliate, his NBA rights are still retained by the Phoenix Suns.
^ e: On August 30, 2013, Diante Garrett signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a means of trying to make it to their roster. However, while Garrett did end up playing for the Thunder, he was ultimately waived by the Thunder before the NBA's regular season began on October 25. Garrett then signed up for the D-League's Tulsa 66ers on Halloween and then was traded to the Iowa Energy the next day (while not officially playing for either team as well) before finally playing for the Utah Jazz on November 13, 2013.
^ f: Even though Caron Butler never played with the Suns, he still wound up being a part of the team for around 6-7 weeks before being traded to his hometown team in the Milwaukee Bucks. Butler would continue to end up playing for the Bucks until he got waived on February 27, 2014. He'd end up signing onto the Oklahoma City Thunder four days later on March 1, 2014.
^ g: In the trade in which the Suns sent Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown, and Malcolm Lee to the Washington Wizards, all three of those players were waived by the team immediately afterwards. Therefore, while each of those players was traded to the Wizards alongside Marcin Gortat, only Gortat stayed on their roster once the trade came to pass. Marshall would end up playing for the Delaware 87ers in the D-League on December 3, 2013 before signing a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on December 19, 2013, while Brown would end up signing two 10-day contracts to play for the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs (while also waiving shooting guard and former Phoenix Suns training camp candidate Othyus Jeffers from their team) on February 1, 2014, only to then get waived after finishing his second 10-day contract with San Antonio on February 21, 2014, and then signing with the New York Knicks alongside former Suns player Earl Clark on February 26, 2014, before officially staying with the Knicks for the rest of the year on March 20, 2014, after successfully completing his second 10-day contract on March 10, 2014; Malcolm Lee would miss the entire 2013–14 NBA season being making an agreement to play with the Philadelphia 76ers on September 24, 2014 before being cut after the pre-season ended on October 25, 2014, and then sign with the affiliated Delaware 87ers in the D-League on November 3, 2014, before returning with the 76ers on December 5, 2014 to play an official game for them before being waived six days later when the 76ers traded Brandon Davies to the Brooklyn Nets for Andrei Kirilenko, Jorge Gutiérrez, and a 2020 second round pick (he'd end up playing with the 87ers again two days later and remained there until January 30, 2015).
^ h: Throughout the rest of the season, Viacheslav "Slava" Kravtsov did not sign with a new team in either the NBA or in an international country, regardless of whether it's in his home nation of Ukraine or a new nation altogether. In the summer, however, he did participate in Ukraine's first ever FIBA World Championship in 2014. On September 16, 2014, Kravtsov signed a new contract to play for the Foshan Dralions (which would later be officially named the Foshan Long-Lions by the time Kravtsov signed with them) of the Chinese Basketball Association (which coincidentally enough was his replacement's former team before signing with the Suns late in the season).
2013–14 NBA season by team