The Phoenix Suns have spent plenty of time searching for their point guard of the future and a player who can mesh alongside young star Devin Booker. After adding center DeAndre Ayton in the 2018 NBA Draft, the need at point guard became an even bigger talking point. But it seems that they’ve finally found their answer early on during 2019 NBA free agency.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Suns have agreed to sign former Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio. As Charania reports, it’s a three-year deal worth $51 million.
This is a big move for the Suns, as Rubio is an exceptional passer and should be a great fit next to Booker in the backcourt. With that said, we’re going to take a look at the team’s roster and starting lineup ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season following this signing.
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Phoenix Suns Roster & Starting Lineup With Ricky Rubio
*Notates expected starter
C: DeAndre Ayton*, Aron Baynes
PF: Josh Jackson*, Cameron Johnson, Dario Saric, Ray Spalding
SF: Mikal Bridges*, George King
SG: Devin Booker*, Ty Jerome
PG: Ricky Rubio*, Tyler Johnson, De’Anthony Melton, Elie Okobo
The Suns had TJ Warren on the roster until just before the 2019 NBA Draft, when they opted to trade his contract, along with the No. 32 overall pick to the Indiana Pacers for cash considerations. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the move, which created an interesting outlook of the team’s roster prior to the draft.
Rubio, who’s 28 years old, spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves before playing the last two with the Utah Jazz. After averaging 10.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game with the Timberwolves, he increased his with Utah, but his assists dropped.
Over 145 games with the Jazz, Rubio posted marks of 12.9 points, 5.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Although the 6-foot-4 guard’s shooting percentage dipped in his second year with the team, during the 2017-18 season he knocked down a career-best 35.2 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Impact of Rubio’s Addition on Devin Booker
After spending the last two seasons playing alongside a talented young shooting guard in Donovan Mitchell, Rubio finds himself teaming up with another sharpshooting backcourt mate. Booker has averaged 26.6 (2018-19) and 24.9 points (2017-18) over the past two seasons and over the span of his career has made 35.4 percent from 3-point range.
Booker is also coming off the best all-around season of his career. He posted personal highs in points (26.6) and assists (6.8), along with field goal percentage, hitting 46.7 percent from the field during the 2018-19 season. Rubio will only make life easier for Booker, Ayton, Josh Jackson and the rest of his Suns teammates.
This addition is a strong one for Phoenix, and should immediately bolster their outlook thanks to the addition of arguably their most glaring need on the entire roster.