The Phoenix Suns came out as the biggest winners of the 2018 NBA Draft, taking the gigantic center, DeAndre Ayton, first overall and acquiring another top ten talent in Mikal Bridges from the Philadelphia 76ers. While everyone is comparing the combination of Ayton and guard Devin Booker to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Shaq O’Neal, most people are overlooking the big picture of the young core that the Suns have assembled somewhat under the radar. Today, we need to bring this up and coming project to life. This is why the Phoenix Suns are the next superteam.
Why the Phoenix Suns are the next superteam
The starting five
While the starting five is extremely young, there is no doubting that they are extremely talented. The point guard is a toss up between Tyler Ulis and Brandon Knight, although there isn’t much doubt that they could land a solid piece in free agency. Ulis got more playing time then planned in the 2016-17 season when the Suns depth got stretched due to a blast of unexpected injuries. He has looked promising but has struggled with consistency on both sides of the court.
Devin Booker plays the two, and looks every bit of a budding NBA star. Booker even went as far as to score 70 points on the Boston Celtics in a March 24th, 2017, match-up. This season, he won the three point shooting contest with an incredible stretch of great shots that won him the game. Booker already has 42 games to his statline where he scored 30 or more points.
Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender will end up being the forwards, once the franchise moves on from T.J. Warren. Jackson adds the defense that they need to the team. He reminds you of a young Draymond Green with more upside. Jackson has the ability to take over a ballgame, and collect the defensive stat line you want to see as well.
Then, of course, there’s Ayton. He’s like Shaq, big physical in the paint, but he is a threat from distance. He’s going to be a tough contender to guard, but will need to brush up on his defensive positioning to play better defense.
Depth is there
With Jackson and Bender starting, there are two players who could potentially start on other teams who could be playing behind them for the next four years. Marquise Chriss is a guy who came on strong last season, and is developing a deep range shot nicely. He plays the four and is a better defender then Bender, but has a ways to go before he becomes a consistent offensive threat.
Don’t forget Mikal Bridges. Traded from the 76ers, Bridges was the tenth overall pick in this years draft, and probably should have gone to the Knicks at nine. He’s a solid two way player with nowhere to go but up once he receives NBA coaching.
The next few years
The Suns have all of these players (excepting Knight) under contract for the next four years once they sign Booker to a big extension. Before the Draft, there was a lot of speculation that Booker might move on to another team, but after the draft it became clear that the Suns are Booker’s team. He owns them. They are building a talented roster around him and building around his strengths.
If Ayton is everything that we think he will be, there isn’t much of a chance that the Suns will fail. Jackson has nowhere to go but up and is improving dramatically, and with Chriss, Bender and Bridges on the roster, it’s a deep young core who will be around for a long time.
The Phoenix Suns are going to be the next Superteam in the NBA. There is so much talent there that cannot go to waste, and a diehard fan base who are craving the success back in the days of Charles Barkley and more. The Suns are about to be loaded for the next few seasons.
Don’t expect a dramatic turn around in 2018. The Suns still need time to mesh and blend. When March of 2019 rolls around, expect to see a completely different team, a well oiled machine. It won’t be until next season, after a 30 win 2018-19 campaign, that we will truly realize how good this team is together.
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