The Phoenix Suns made waves last season when they traded for Kevin Durant. Adding KD to a team that went to the Finals two seasons ago seemed like a recipe for becoming a heavy championship favorite.
But the Suns and new owner Matt Ishbia weren’t satisfied with just supplementing their roster with a two-time champion and former MVP. In the offseason, they made another splashy trade, acquiring Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards to form a new Big 3 consisting of Beal, KD, and Devin Booker.
Phoenix’s star power had become undeniable, with a triumvirate more talented than any other in the league in terms of cumulative firepower. But even with the additions of Durant and Beal, there were now new questions surrounding the roster.
The main critique that came from dissenters scrutinized the team’s depth, or lack thereof. Landing two superstars via trade cost Phoenix most of their viable role players, and with a top-heavy roster, they had little financial flexibility to try to round out the rest of their rotation.
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The Suns were able to answer the questions surrounding their depth pretty easily, though, First, they added a handful of reliable veterans on team-friendly contracts in free agency, including Eric Gordon and Yuta Watanabe.
Then, they took advantage of an opportunity by dealing Deandre Ayton and second-round pick, Toumani Camara, to the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal in return for four rotation players: Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, and Grayson Allen.
While their new supporting cast wasn’t anything to brag about, it seemed to be enough support for such a strong superstar trio. But, even with their various additions, the Suns were still left without a single true point guard on the roster. The more optimistic fans and analysts surmised that Beal could fill in as a lead ball-handler, a role he’s played in stretches before for the Wizards.
Instead, it appears that Devin Booker has made his final transformation into a superstar floor general. The former Kentucky Wildcat has become an All-NBA talent mostly through his work as a scorer, first primarily off-ball and then gradually into more of an on-ball weapon.
Now, though, he’s not only capable of creating offense for himself, he’s orchestrating a dominant attack as their new point guard. Booker has averaged 27.9 points and 8.4 assists per game, while slashing 47/40/93 for the eighth-most efficient offense in the league. Booker has taken another leap forward, and in doing so, has singlehandedly squashed the only remaining question mark for this roster.
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| Title: Devin Booker has become the NBA’s next great point guard
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: December 7th, 2023