The future of the Phoenix Suns didn't look this good at this time last year.
After a season that saw them increase their win total from 2012-13, Suns' owner Robert Sarver says the future is bright for the team, but stresses that nothing is promised when it comes to the NBA.
"The future, I think, looks really good, but that doesn't guarantee anything," Sarver told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "So all that means is that we got the tools right now to move ahead and we've got some of the people to move ahead. That doesn't guarantee that we are going to make those decisions that are going to lead to that. There are no guarantees in this business for a lot of reasons. So it gives us the opportunity, but I'm not going to get too excited because at the end of the day, it's all about results. We have to prove those results, but I thought this year was a great year for us."
Plenty went right for the Suns this year, as first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek got career years out of Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, Eric Bledsoe and the NBA's Most Improved Player, Goran Dragic.
Hornacek finished second behind Gregg Popovich in Coach of the Year voting after leading the Suns to a 48-34 campaign.
The Suns also gave their roster a completely new look, only keeping four players from the 2012 season in Dragic, P.J. Tucker and Markieff and Marcus Morris.
"We took a huge step forward," Sarver said. "We know we've got an excellent head coach and a good coaching staff along with him. We know we've been able to execute on some good trades and we have some really good young players that took a big step forward. Pretty much everybody on the team had one of their best years in their career. I think we are probably two years ahead of what we thought we'd be. So for a guy that is pretty impatient like me that is always good."
The Suns' have not played a postseason game since 2010, but it sure felt like they were in the thick of things late in the season. Six of the team's last eight games came to future Western Conference playoff teams, including a pair of losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks -- the eventual seventh and eighth seed, respectively.
"I felt great about the season," Sarver said. "I was really bummed we didn't make the playoffs. I would have loved to see some of these guys get a chance for some playoff experience. I think it would have really helped them. I think we got a taste of it the last week or two of the regular season. To me some of those games had a playoff type of environment and atmosphere to them. I would have loved to see us be in the playoffs."