After acquiring Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns were extremely limited in what other players they could add during the free agency period. Despite cap space being scarce for the franchise, they still added some serviceable players, such as Eric Gordon and Bol Bol, to their training camp roster.
But there are risks involved in adding unclaimed role players to a roster. Sometimes, things do not always work out. That is one reason Zack Buckley of Bleacher Report believes the Suns should still be targeting players to bring in, such as former Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles.
“The Suns’ search for role players could carry over into the regular season. They still couldn’t aim very high, but maybe an established veteran like (Nicolas) Batum or (Joe) Ingles would be a modest upgrade,” Buckley writes. “[Ja’Sean] Tate, meanwhile, might be one trade away from earning glue-guy status by making a host of hustle plays for a winning team.”
Devin Booker Named Top Shooting Guard in NBA
There is no question that Durant is the Suns’ best player. After the franchise acquired the four-time NBA scoring champion from the Brooklyn Nets at the NBA trade deadline in February, Phoenix’s odds of winning the NBA championship improved from +1400 to +425. A notable change to say the least.
But despite Durant bringing his otherworldly talent back to the Western Conference, the two-time NBA Finals MVP may still not be the Suns’ most important player. That title may belong to their All-Star starter, Devin Booker.
But as far as Booker’s position goes, Donnie Druin of Sports Illustrated believes there is no question that the Suns’ guard is the cream of the crop.
“Still, the clear top dog at the 2-guard position heading into 2023-24 is Devin Booker,” Druin writes. “An efficient scoring machine who can drop buckets from three, from the midrange or near the basket, off the dribble or with his feet set, and one who has proven he can lead teams as far as the Finals, something he accomplished not all that long ago in 2020-21.”
Questions Surround Suns Current Roster
Booker helped lead the Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021. It looked like the star shooting guard had a good chance of winning the title that year after going up 2-0 against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. However, the reigning league MVP led his team to four straight wins and delivered the 2021 NBA title to Milwaukee.
Booker and the Suns have not had much playoff success since falling to the Bucks in 2021. They have since suffered back-to-back playoff exits in the second round. As the team prepares to enter training camp in the coming weeks, the roster will look much different than it did last year. They have beefed up their star power with the additions of Durant and Beal, and Chris Paul is no longer their floor general after trading him to Washington.
Despite a roster packed with talent, Druin believes there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Booker and the Suns heading into this season.
“The Suns will have a lot of expectations weighing on them next season, having Durant around from the start of the campaign this time and following the offseason addition of Beal,” Druin added. “Will Booker or Beal be the team’s primary point guard? And how will Booker mesh playing with two other ball-dominant scorers? Those are just a couple of questions surrounding Booker into 2023-24.”