How the Phoenix Suns Can Build Off Their Success in the Bubble

How the Phoenix Suns Can Build Off Their Success in the Bubble

Anthony Bearese, Staff Writer

The Phoenix Suns have been irreverent for many years now. The last time this franchise was even in playoff contention, Steve Nash was the MVP of the league and the Seattle SuperSonics were still a team.  But when the NBA came back from the  COVID-19 we had an unlikely team that was making a run for the playoffs. Not the Spurs, Grizzlies, or the Pelicans, but it was the Phoenix Suns. Out of all the teams in the playoff race everyone was rooting for, the Suns when they went on an immaculate eight game winning streak and didn’t lose a single game in the bubble up until they didn’t qualify to get in the game to compete  for the 8th seed. Devin Booker played phenomenal during the stretch as he put the team on his back and made them look like a contender for eight games. These teams weren’t basement dwellers, they played playoff contenders such as the Clippers, Thunder, Mavericks and 76ers and the Suns got quality wins against them all. 

As the playoffs concluded and the Suns were eliminated months ago, but now can they build off that success during the last eight games? Sometimes eight games is all it takes to change the culture of a franchise. This team looked great against great teams and for most of the eight games they blew their competition out.  Devin Booker turned into a superstar right in front of our eyes  some people before this just saw him as a scorer before the bubble, but after he looked like a man with a mission willing to do anything to reach the playoff. Booker was really impressive, averaging  30.5  points during that stretch. Booker was in the race for the MVP of the bubble and nobody at the start even gave the Suns a shot to win two games let alone all eight games. If the Suns want to run it back with their team filled with great young prospects, they might turn out to be really good players if they develop them right. The other option is to recruit talent to the Suns.  That would be very intriguing  considering they are a small market team and had a losing culture the last couple years. In today’s NBA there are two star teams in big markets, but some high value free agents would think that the Sun’s run was just a fluke.  Devin Booker has connections with some really talented players throughout the league, and he has to try his best in trying to convince them to join him and not the other way around. 

The Suns can go in many different directions this off season. They could trade for a star player that’s looking for a new home or get a player that they can win now with. The most important move is to get other play makers and shot creators around Devin Booker. He is their franchise player, and he needs better pieces around him for this team to succeed. One way they can go is trading for Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder.  He would easily be his best teammate he has ever had in a future Hall of Famer. He could be so good for this team, and he could bring in a new culture of winning to this franchise that they haven’t had in so long. Chris Paul could do the same thing he did for the Thunder by being a leader in the locker room giving advice to the young guys and sharing wisdom. The only downside of trading for Chris Paul is that he has one of the worst contracts in the NBA.  They would have to give up some type of capital, such as a first round draft pick or a young player and nobody knows if the Suns are willing to do that or not. 

The most realistic option considering the circumstances of this year free agents not being the best is to run it back this season. If the Suns are able to still be able to compete at the level they were at the bubble they should be a playoff team but they probably won’t make it past the first round. But for the 2021 NBA free agency class they would have some big time names in there such as Kawhi Leonard , Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul , Blake Griffin and many more star players out there. In this year’s draft the Suns got the tenth pick this year and they got some options in the latter part of the lottery like Cole Anthony, Tyrese Haliburton, Patrick Williams and Theo Maledon. They are good players but they don’t jump off the board. The Suns would be better off either trading the pick for future draft picks or for a team trying to dump a bad contact off the books.  They could give the Suns that player and even more future draft picks for them to build off.  Overall the Suns have many ways they can handle their future after the bubble. They just have to stay consistent and be competitive against good teams and rack up some wins and they should be a very dangerous team in the years to come in this new NBA.