NBA 2K17 Suns Rebuild Project

Phoenix Suns Rebuild Project

We limited our rebuild projects to the end of the 2021 NBA Finals.

2017 - Year 1

Started Season Today and imported EmbraceThePace 2K17 Draft Class

Simulated to All-Star Game, and looked for trade offers for Brandon Knight and his $56.6 mil contract.  The Philadelphia 76ers wanted him for Sergio Rodriguez, who has an expiring deal and I wanted to make sure I traded Knight to a team where he would be a starting PG.

Next, I moved T.J. Warren into the starting rotation and at 18-39, simulated to the end of the year. Tyson Chandler suffered a broken wrist and missed the final nine games, allowing Alex Len to move into the starting rotation, while Marquiss Chriss and Dragan Bender saw increased minutes.

We finished with just 25 wins.

Russell Westbrook won the MVP with 29 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.

Joel Embiid won the Rookie of the Year award - 15.3 points 9 rebounds

The Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA Championship and Damian Lillard was named series MVP. He averaged 35.4 points, 8 assists and 5.4 rebounds in a five game series against the Toronto Raptors. He scored 51 points in Game 1.

The Blazers entered as the 7 seed, upsetting the Spurs, Grizzlies and Warriors (6 games).

The Raptors were the 2 seed in the East and beat the Bucks, Hawks and Cavs (5 games) to reach the NBA Finals.


The Celtics via the Nets had the best odds for the #1 pick, while my Suns had the 2nd best odds.


Entering the draft I wanted to focus on a future PG, as Eric Bledsoe will be to expensive to re-sign and will be my best trade chip in the next season or two.

Top 5 Draft Picks

Celtics - Ivan Rabb
Heat - Markelle Fultz
Suns - Lonzo Ball
76ers - Malik Monk
Mavericks - De'Aaron Fox

With my 2nd round pick, I drafted Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, to have a shooter on the bench and a replacement for Devin Booker, should he suffer an injury.

I went with Ball over Dennis Smith Jr. because I wanted the PG with the longer reach and wanted a distributor over a scorer, with Booker and Warren the future of the offense.

I re-signed Alex Len to a 3 year $22 mil deal with a player option on the third year. and brought back P.J. Tucker on a one year minimum deal.

Kevin Durant declined his player option and signed with the Brooklyn Nets for $133 mil over four years!  Jeremy Lin, Durant and Brook Lopez - is that enough in the East to compete with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Rajon Rondo signed a 2 year deal with the Rockets.

Paul Millsap teamed up with DeMarcus Cousins, signing a 4 year, $130 mil deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Not only did the 76ers draft Malik Monk, after acquiring Brandon Knight in a our deal, but they signed Jeff Teague to a 4 year $80 mil contract!

2018 - Year 2

Imported EmbraceThePace 2K18 Draft Class

Starting Five
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Devin Booker
  • T.J. Warren
  • Jared Dudley
  • Tyson Chandler

8 games into the year, I accepted a trade offer from the Utah Jazz, swapping Bledsoe (2/$29 mil left) for Derrick Favors on a $12 mi expiring deal.

Just like that, Lonzo Ball is my starting PG - new starting five
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Devin Booker
  • T.J. Warren
  • Derrick Favors
  • Tyson Chandler

However, Tyler Ulis is now my backup PG.

At the end of December, Tyson Chandler broke his ankle and was out until March.  I was actually happy about this, as it allowed me to move Alex Len back into the starting rotation and increase Chriss/Bender minutes.

Having to eat Chandler's insane contract is going to hurt the Suns rebuilding process in real life.

30 wins was a 5 game improvement from last season.

Booker led the team with 23.6 points per game while Warren scored 17.  Booker shot 35% from 3pt on 7.4 attempts per game.  They both shot 43% from the field on the year.  Booker was even top 10 in FTA per game at 5.2 but shot just 76% from the charity stripe.  Only Cousins shot worse in the top 10.

Lonzo Ball battled a shoulder injury all year long, before having his season ended by a high left ankle sprain.  He finished averaging 11 points, 9.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game, but shot just 38% from the field.  He was named the ROY.


LeBron James won the MVP - 23 points 9.9 rebounds 9.8 assists 2.7 steals and 50% shooting.  However, his Cleveland Cavalier failed to reach the NBA Finals again, this time losing in 6 games to the Chicago Bulls, who lost Rondo, but added Mason Plumlee in the offseason.

The Portland Trail Blazers returned to the NBA Finals, this time knocking off Stephen Curry and the Warriors in the 2nd round and defeating Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in the WCF.  That series went 6 games.

Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler brought the NBA Championship back to Chicago, defeating the Blazers in a six game series.  Butler was named the series MVP with 22.5 points 7.7 rebounds and 6 assists.

I focused on adding wing players entering the draft.

Top 5 Picks

Pistons - Mohamed Bamba
Wizards - DeAndre Ayton
Pelicans - Luka Doncic
Hawks - Michael Porter Jr.
Hornets - Hamidou Diallo

With the 6th pick, I drafted Isaac Bongo and added Mikal Bridges with the 15th pick (via Heat).

The Boston Celtics traded the 17th pick (via Nets) to the Hornets for Nicolas Batum.

Brook Lopez left Durant and Brooklyn to play for the Denver Nuggets (3/$46 mil).

The Charlotte Hornets signed Nerlens Noel to a 3 year $57 mil contract.

I had to match the Nets 3 year $62 mil offer sheet to keep T.J. Warren.

11 days into free agency, no team had offer Favors a contract.  I decided to offer one, but quickly realized why he had no offers - he wanted $25 mil per year!  He only scored 11 points per game (42% FG) for me after acquiring his expiring contract.  He ended up back with the Nets on a 3 year $73 mil deal, teaming up with Durant.

2019 - Year 3

Starting Five
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Devin Booker
  • T.J. Warren
  • Marquiss Chriss
  • Alex Len

Ball again suffered a injury knocking him out for a couple months.  This time, 28 games into the year, he broke his left ankle and wouldn't return until March.

Tyler Ulis was now my starting PG - I guess I should have signed a veteran during free agency...oops!

Sergio Rodriguez was available as a free agent and I added him to the roster.

Ball returned in March and was back in street clothes before April with a sprained right knee that ended his season.

We finished just two games better than last year with 32 wins.

Westbrook was the MVP again, averaging a triple-double - 23.5 points 10.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists.

Hawks SF Michael Porter Jr was the Rookie of the Year - 14.4 points 6.8 rebounds 42% FG 34% 3pt

LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to another NBA Title, knocking off the Minnesota Timberwolves in six.  His 26.5 points 10.8 rebounds 7 assists and 3 steals won him the MVP.  He posted a triple-double in Game 6 (25/16/10) with five steals and 3 blocked shots.

Andrew Wiggins broke his leg in Game 3 of the Finals with the Wolves up 2-0.


I signed Booker to a 3 year extension worth $70 mil - year 3 was a player option worth $24 mil.

My Suns won the NBA Lottery and will select first in the 2019 NBA Draft!

I had 8 trade offers to review, including DeAndre Jordan and Gordon Hayward.  However, I decided to keep the cap space and drafted a 6'10 PF with a 7'5 wingspan named Coty Hicks.

With Tyson Chandler's contract finally expired, I found myself with $18 mil to sign a free agent and no player on my roster was over the age of 26 (Len).  I added veterans Wes Matthews and Wilson Chandler to be my new Jared Dudley/P.J. Tucker duo off the bench.

The Hornets added Jonas Valanciunas for 3 years and $71 mil, pairing him with Noel.  They found the money by letting Kemba Walker sign with the Hawks for $85 mil over three years & let Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sign with the Dallas Mavericks for $90 mil over four years.  Charlotte drafted the top PG in the draft.

Now a free agent, Eric Bledsoe signed with the San Antonio Spurs for 3 years and $56 mil.  Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are locked into long term deals too.

2020 - Year 4

Starting Five
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Devin Booker
  • T.J. Warren
  • Marquiss Chriss
  • Alex Len

Mykhailuk suffered a torn left meniscus in the Summer League and will miss most of the season.

T.J. Warren broke his foot at the end of December and wont return until March.  Chandler will slide into the starting rotation while Bonga and Bridges will finally get some regular minutes.

With 31 wins at the end of March, we were finally fighting for a playoff spot in April.  The T'Wolves 33 wins was good enough for the 8th seed at this point, with 9 games remaining.  Warren has still not returned from his injury.

Booker went down with a knee injury after losing the first two games in April and all hope was lost.  We finished with just 34 wins, two more than the year before, but not enough to reach the playoffs.

Steph Curry won the MVP, scoring 33 points per game on 50% FG and 45% 3pt.

The Philadelphia 76ers were the #1 seed in the East, led by Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, but they lost in five to the Chicago Bulls in the ECF.

The Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the WCF, allowing Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to lead the Blazers back to the NBA Finals.

McCollum's 29 points per game and 7 assists led Rip City to another NBA Championship and an MVP award.  He scored 30+ in three of the 5 games.


The New York Knicks won the 2020 NBA Lottery.

I re-signed Dragan Bender 3 years 66 mil - 3rd year player option - who was finally going to become a starter with Alex Len's hitting free agency.  However, I had to bring back Alen Len, bird rights, as signing all of my young players to long term deals maxed out my cap space.

I signed 34 year old Goran Dragic to run the second unit as I let Ulis walk.

I matched the Bulls offer of $72 mil to Chriss over three years.

2021 - Year 5

Starting Five
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Devin Booker
  • T.J. Warren
  • Marquiss Chriss
  • Dragan Bender

Just a perfect end to my rebuild project - Lonzo Ball tore his left ACL and was done for the year on March 5th.  With just 22 wins at this point in the season, it's all over.  Time to turn this franchise over to a new GM - who will take over a roster full of young talent.

Ben Simmons (17.3 pts/12.6 reb/6.5 ast) was named the season MVP, the Sixers lost to the Pacers in the ECF and Russell Westbrook finally won an NBA Championship with the Oklahoma City Thunder - winning the MVP.


I am not sure what the Phoenix Suns plans are in the near future, but they will have to draft the right players and pull off a blockbuster deal in order to compete in the Western Conference.  It doesn't seem like many free agents will view this organization as one that can win anytime soon.  They need to do everything they can to clear two bad contracts in Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler.  I do love the potential of Bledsoe/Booker/Warren/Chriss/Bender - but that is a few years away, if Bledsoe is even still around.

Next up, Mike will rebuild the New Orleans Pelicans franchise and attempt to build a Championship roster around Anthony Davis!