Media day has come and gone for all 30 NBA teams, training camps are open, and preseason basketball is just days away, so let's bounce around the Association and filter through some of this week's biggest talking points.

 

Suns down in the dumps

If media day vibes are a harbinger of things to come, it's going to be a long depressing season for a Suns team coming off a league-best (and franchise-record) 64 wins.

As quickly as Phoenix rose from the ashes of a 10-year playoff drought in 2021 to become what looked like a perennial contender, the Suns appear on the brink of fading back into oblivion. The 2021 finalists and 2022 No. 1 overall seed have been reeling since their embarrassing playoff exit.

Chris Paul, for his part, said he learned nothing from that 33-point home loss to Dallas. Deandre Ayton, whose four-year, $132.9-million offer sheet with Indiana was matched by Phoenix a couple of months ago, sulked through the team's first official gathering of the season. Ayton also admitted that, as of media day, he had yet to speak with head coach Monty Williams since their dramatic Game 7 clash. If you think the Ayton situation can't get any more awkward, remember the big man can't be traded until Jan. 15 and has veto power over any potential moves for another six months after that.

Finally, Jae Crowder was absent from media day while the Suns seek a trade partner for the disgruntled veteran.

Looming over all that drama is team owner Robert Sarver's process of seeking a buyer for the franchise after receiving a one-year suspension and $10-million fine following the league's investigation into complaints of racism and misogyny, which employees leveled against him.

Perhaps a new owner eventually revitalizes a team that should still be a contender on paper. But for now, the Suns look like they're looking forward to the season ending before it's even tipped off.

 

Wood off the bench?

The Mavericks will be hard-pressed to replicate their Western Conference finals success after losing Jalen Brunson in free agency, but acquiring Christian Wood was the right move for various reasons. As it turns out, Wood will likely start the season coming off the bench behind JaVale McGee - something the big man claims he only found out about when asked at media day.

Wood said the right things about being more concerned with who finishes games, and barring something unforeseen, he should end up playing starter's minutes despite not being on the court for tip-off. But the situation is worth monitoring. Wood is in a contract year, and his reputation up to this point has been that of a statistically productive big man who doesn't impact winning and can be cantankerous. He has a chance to change that in Dallas, but all parties need to be on the same page.