Before the season began, the Suns were involved in a trade with the New Jersey Nets, which included trading Jason Kidd and replacing him with Marbury. The new Suns point guard would lead the team in scoring at 20.4 points per game, becoming the first Suns player to average 20 or more a game since Kevin Johnson during the 1996–97 season. Shawn Marion increased his scoring as well, averaging 19.1 per game. Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk both continued to provide the team with scoring off the bench before being traded to the Boston Celtics for rookie Joe Johnson midway through the season. Anfernee Hardaway returned to appear in 80 games, after being sidelined all but four games the season before, and added 12 points a game. Johnson, who earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors, rounded out a team rich in talent at the guard position. Tom Gugliotta was again plagued by knee injury, starting in just half the season's games.
The season was a disappointment for an organization looking to build a new core of talent. For the first time since the 1987–88 season, the All-Star Game did not feature a Suns player. To complete the season on a low note, a franchise-record of 13 straight playoff appearances was snapped when the Suns failed to qualify for postseason play. Following the season, Dan Majerle retired after making his second stint with the Suns.