This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!
Title track: 118
Fan relations: 119
Stadium experience: 11
Bang for the buck: 100
Change from last year: -13
The Suns fell 13 spots on our list and now are the lowest-ranked team in the NBA. This squad ranks 100th or worse in all but one category: affordability. In that, it is ranked No. 98. That's ... encouraging? The roster isn't good, and ownership is worse. Put it this way: The Suns haven't made the playoffs since a surprise trip to the conference finals in 2010, Alvin Gentry's first season. Gentry is gone, and Phoenix is on its third head coach since. Ouch.
As mentioned, affordability is the best of a bad bunch, but that's only relatively speaking. A ticket costs slightly above league average. But the Suns have the league's most expensive soda, and if you're looking to drown the sorrow of another loss in an ice-cold beer, that will cost you $10.25.
Phoenix scores well below average in the categories measuring honest ownership and loyalty to core players. At the trade deadline two seasons ago, Phoenix dealt both Goran Dragic (who reportedly wanted out) and Isaiah Thomas, who has gone on to become a star in Boston. There hasn't been much to fill that void. Despite their attempts to nab free agents in recent years (remember that 2014 plan to court LeBron James?), the Suns received the worst score of any NBA team when fans were asked if the franchise is willing to pay to attract quality players and coaches. Owner Robert Sarver (voted the worst in the NBA, at 117th overall) admitted the team's shortcomings in February in an open letter that included an admission that the Suns haven't represented the city with the utmost integrity. Maybe Sarver would like to take back those comments about millennials.
It might be harsh to drop new coach Earl Watson 44 spots from last year before his team even takes the court, but fans are understandably concerned about his inexperience. Watson, 37, is just two-and-a-half years removed from his final game as a player, and his roster is also relatively green, though loaded with promise. Devin Booker, the 13th overall pick in the 2015 draft, was named to the All-Rookie First Team in May. He will be joined by forwards Dragan Bender, a summer-league standout from Croatia, and Marquese Chriss, who will be in just his sixth year of organized basketball. Both will be just 19 years old this season. If Watson can harness this group, he could turn his ranking -- and maybe the rest of them -- around.