The Phoenix Suns are just a bad team all around. That still doesn’t mean they have some very good pieces within the organization, such as; Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre, and Mikal Bridges. These four players are their future and are expected to do well once they finally have enough experience to win big moment games. We all forget sometimes that Devin Booker is 22 and only in the fourth year of his career, but plays like he’s an 8-year vet with the amount points he puts up every game.

The team has the right pieces, they are just taking a little longer than expected to fall in the right places. It doesn’t help the team out that they have majority young/rookie players and only a few “fill in” veteran players and by fill-in I mean a bunch of one year guys that can just teach the young core how to play properly. The only somewhat good pick up they got is in a point guard in Ricky Rubio. He is known to do pretty well at the point guard position and can carry his own when it comes to points and assists. This also allows Booker to play his true position in the shooting guard spot.

Point Guards

Credit: Russ Isabella/USA Today Sports
  • Jevon Carter
  • Jared Harper *Two-Way
  • Ty Jerome
  • Jalen Lecque
  • Elie Okobo
  • Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio will be starting this season, even though he isn’t as flashy of a point guard that he used to be, but he can still get the job done and help a team win. Him being there allows Booker to play his natural position as shooting guard instead of being the facilitator. Okobo, Jerome, Carter, Harper, and Lecque are all rookies and sophomores this year and could make a big impact at the point guard position. Rubio isn’t a spring chicken anymore so the minutes on him could get to him quicker than expected. One of these guys could make a solid backup and then later down the road even make it as a starter.

Shooting Guards

Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
  • Devin Booker
  • Mikal Bridges
Both these players are very young, but Devin has been around a little bit longer than Bridges, so he has had a little bit more success in his short tenure compared to the start of Bridges. Booker will be the starter for this team for the fourth year in a row, with Mikal being his backup. But with them being stars and the future, we may see Mikal be on the floor with Booker every now and then. With Mikal being the height and length he is, he can somewhat pass off as a small forward and even guard that position if need be.

Small Forwards

Credit: Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press
  • Cameron Johnson
  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kelly is a player that is still coming into his own, and being on a new team for a full season that’s already young can help him grow and mature with the other pieces they have. I can see him starting for this team for quite a while if this potentially becomes a home for him in this league. Johnson is a rookie out of UNC and with being part of a young team it gives him a chance to show what he can do with a lot more playing time than he would see with other teams. With the team being so young, many of the players have a chance to do the same while the team struggles to find their identity.

Power Forwards

Credit: Bill Streicher
  • Cheick Diallo
  • Frank Kaminsky
  • Dario Šarić
Dario has been bounced around from team to team these past couple of seasons, but he proves to be a good asset to have on a team’s bench. I believe him and Kaminsky will switch off on the starting roles this upcoming season for they both can play the inside and outside the game. But with a team that’s young and can go quick, I think Dario would be a better option to go with. Kaminsky hasn’t really been the same since coming into the league after winning a National title with the University of Wisconsin. With the Hornets, he was quiet and hopefully with a new team and more opportunities to start he could bring himself more confidence and back to the level of play we all seen him have in Wisconsin. Diallo is a good bench player that could see more playing time compared to when he was in New Orleans.

Centers

Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
  • Deandre Ayton
  • Aron Baynes
Ayton will be the starter for the Suns and will be on the court the majority of the time. We may see Kaminsky at this position as well when it’s time for Ayton to rest a bit. He’s coming back for his second season and is looking to improve a lot more this season. Baynes is a good bruiser to have on your team, he can facilitate as well from the top of the key if need be and can be a good rebounder and rim protector.

Coach

Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
This is Monty Williams’ first year as head coach for the Suns and is hoping to change the culture drastically this upcoming season. Even though doing that over the course of a season is tough to do, the fans would like to hope that at least something positive comes out of this year instead of another very bad season. Now I’m not saying they’ll make the playoffs this season, they are still far from it. I’m saying they could possibly not be last in the conference this year.

Projecting Starting Lineup/ Roster Cuts:

  • PG: Ricky Rubio
  • SG: Devin Booker
  • SF: Kelly Oubre Jr.
  • PF: Dario Šarić
  • C: Deandre Ayton
  • Sixth Man: Mikal Bridges
  • Rest of the Bench: Tyler Johnson, Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky, Cameron Johnson, Kyle Korver, Ty Jerome, Cheick Diallo, Elie Okobo, Jevon Carter, Jalen Lecque
  • Two-Way Players: Jared Harper
  • Roster Cuts: None
Overall, this team is still a far way to go from even being a playoff contention team. They have the right pieces, it’s they don’t have the right veteran presence to help them get over the hump of creating a winning culture in Phoenix. I know the fans are eager to see their team make it to the playoffs again, they haven’t been back since the Steve Nash and Amari Staudimire era. This team has the potential of being better than last year, believe that, but they don’t have what it takes to finally know their true identity yet. I think this is the year where they do somewhat figure it out a little bit before they really take off in another two or three years.

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