Phoenix Suns Future?
Do you think the Suns in the upcoming future will be better? Or will they be a disappointment again?
Last year around this time, after finishing with the worst record in the NBA, Devin Booker said publicly that he was "done with not making the playoffs." However, this year, the Suns are currently at 17-57... not really any different than they were last year. Question is, should D-Book be patient and stay? Or jump ship and leave?
Honestly, Devin Booker needs to be patient. I can see a bright future for the Suns. They've gotten lots of pieces this last year, and even though their record hasn't shown it, they've improved. And with next year's impressive draft class, I see the Suns slowly rising up.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
The first bright spot I see is Kelly Oubre Jr. The former Wizard has been playing great for the Suns. In just an average of three extra minutes of playing time, his point production has gone up four points and plus one in his steal and assist averages. Oubre has improved all across the board, and with his already good perimeter defense, it is a huge gain for the Suns. I don't see Oubre being an All-Star, but I can see him being a player that can consistently give you 15 to 20 points per night for them. If he stays long-term, and the coaching does its job right, Oubre will blossom into a huge role player.
This rookie is a stud. While he's far from winning Rookie of the Year, he is a great draft pick up by Phoenix. In his rookie year, he's averaging over 16 PPG and over 10 RPG—numbers that are fantastic for a rookie. Give him time, and this guy can be an All-Star. He can easily grab you 20-plus PPG and 12 RPG at this rate. If he can turn into a defensive monster and rim protector, the Suns are set down low.
Other bright spots I see for the Suns are TJ Warren, Tyler Johnson, and Mikal Bridges.
TJ Warren right now is giving the Suns around 18 PPG. Like Oubre, he's not gonna be an All-Star, and honestly, with new pieces being added, his point production will likely decrease, but he can easily turn into a value player that will give you at least 15 a night from here on.
Tyler Johnson, even with his absurd contract, is a good role player. He played well in Miami and can take experience to Phoenix. With new pickups coming in—possibly Ja Morant—Johnson will be a great backup point guard to help lead the second unit.
The last of the rising stars is Mikal Bridges. Kid is a great defender so far and will provide great effort for the Suns.
Other than the rising stars, the Suns added some veterans to their roster. While I don't know how long they'll stay, Jamal Crawford and Trevor Ariza are great to have. Ariza, a great defender, and Crawford with a fantastic offensive skill set will be huge mentors and provide great leadership to these young guns.
The last player of note is Jimmer Fredette. The Suns just signed him to a two-year contract from China, and honestly, I think Jimmer deserves a second chance. He was averaging 37 PPG while playing in China and even put on a show for Houston when the Shanghai Sharks visited during the preseason, dropping over 40 points against NBA-level defenders. I think if Jimmer gets his minutes, he can be a scoring machine. He won't be the leader of the team, but can provide you an upwards of 15 to 20 PPG.
Question is, who will they take in the draft? I think Ja Morant is the best match for the Suns. They need a floor general and Morant can provide that. Look at Trae Young and the Hawks. The Suns can be just like that. Booker has been handling lots of offensive load lately, but that's not his role. His role is to be a shooter, and with Morant running the floor, he's gonna give Booker great looks to score the ball. If I were the Suns GM, go with Ja Morant.
Unless Zion is still available. Because if you can get Zion, get Zion.
In the end, one-year won't magically transform Phoenix into a playoff team, especially in the West, but with time and lots of patience, along with keeping the role players they got and building around it, the Suns will be good again.