Enough is Enough...It's Time To Shine Phoenix

Enough is Enough...It's Time To Shine Phoenix

Phoenix Suns

Alright, that does it. The gloves are coming off. Phoenix Suns fans we are going to back you up on one glaring truth.

It's time for the Phoenix Suns to take a leap forward. 

The Phoenix Suns have been in the news over the last several years for mainly the wrong reasons. They have had themselves a whirlwind of drama it seems each and every year. Yes, we can see all of you wearing your "sell the team Sarver" shirts while reading this. We only hope you get to experience that Heavenly feeling one day.

But for now, let's talk about the optimism moving forward for the Phoenix Suns. There's plenty to like and we are buying one move in specific. 

MONTY WILLIAMS, THE SAVIOR

I'm all-in on this coaching hire. Yes, you should be more than thrilled that the Phoenix Suns finally made an outstanding coaching decision in getting Monty Williams for this young team. First off, let me get this out of the way. Yes, I agree that the Igor Kokoškov firing was a bit ridiculous. The problem with the Suns right now is this young team needs stability. We are talking about what...three different coaches in the span of three years? Imagine how difficult that is for a rebuilding team that is so young. Each year, getting a new philosophy and system installed. It's time that the Suns give someone multiple years of a coaching staff, and I believe that Monty Williams is going to be just the coach to do that. 

The last time that Monty Williams took over a team was the 2010-11 season in which Williams took over Head Coaching duties for the then New Orleans Hornets, with a young developing star in Chris Paul. Before taking over, the New Orleans Hornets finished the 2009-10 season with a 37-45 record under then Head Coach Jeff Bower. In his first year in running the show, Williams led the Hornets to a 46-36 record, good enough for the 7th seed in the Western Conference. The Hornets would go on to lose in the first round 4-2 against the #2 seed Los Angeles Lakers. The next year was tough one under Williams as the Hornets would go on to win just 21 games, but this was the year of the Chris Paul trade and the team also lost key veterans such as David West and Peja Stojaković.

Williams is no stranger to getting results immediately once he takes over a team, and he's a highly respected coach in the NBA. This is just a part of why I believe the Suns are finally ready, in theory, to take a big step forward. But there are other reasons as to why fans should be excited about this teams development.

DEVIN BOOKER...IT'S SHOWTIME

Devin Booker

Last year was the offseason in which Devin Booker received his first big payday, and locked himself in long-term as the face of the Phoenix Suns franchise. Booker went on to sign a five-year, $158 million extension, which is set to kick in officially starting this upcoming season. What many don't know about Booker, is that his numbers have continued to climb almost across the board each year. The one knock is that Booker's 3P% took a bit of a hit this year, but he should only continue to improve as a player. 

 
MIN
PTS
REB
AST
FG%
3P%
17-18
34.5 24.9 4.5 4.7 43.2% 38.3%
18-19
35.0 26.6 4.1 6.8 46.7% 32.6%

Booker is ready to make another leap, and I truly believe it. Although this will be Devin Booker's 5th year in the league, he still won't turn 23 years old until late October. For all of you that love to track offseason tape, there's been video footage that Booker has sought out former Miami Heat legend Dwayne Wade to work with him on his offensive game. Booker continues to develop his arsenal on the offensive side of the ball, and his stock is only trending upwards.

YEAR 2 OF THE DEANDRE AYTON EXPERIENCE

One of the strangest things I noticed last year was the amount of heat that last years number 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton received from around the NBA. The problem was it was Suns fans that were bitter that the franchise didn't take eventual Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic. Listen, I get it. Luka looks like he's going to be an elite player in this league for years to come. But I still question the fit of both Luka and Booker on the floor at the same time. Both are ball-dominant guards and the Suns have had a Grand Canyon-like hole of a promising young big man on their roster. It's also not like Ayton didn't produce at a high level for this Suns franchise. 

Yes, I completely understand the critics out there when it comes to Ayton. I'd like to see him take a big step forward in his development this year especially on the defensive side of the ball. This Suns team is set up to take a big step forward, but it's going to start with Ayton especially. If the athletic and physically imposing big man can take steps forward as a defensive anchor, it will do wonders for this team this upcoming year. Side note...The addition of Aaron Baynes will do WONDERS for Deandre Ayton. Trust us. 

 
MIN
PTS
REB
AST
FG%
BLK
18-19
30.7 16.3 10.3 1.8 58.5% 0.9 

ALL ABOARD THE KELLY OUBRE JR HYPE TRAIN (#ValleyBoyz)

Kelly Oubre Jr

In a shocking move last year, the Phoenix Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards and picked up pending RFA Kelly Oubre Jr in the process. Well once Oubre stepped on the floor for the Phoenix Suns, he absolutely blossomed into a scoring threat for this team moving forward. The Suns took advantage of this, and locked up Oubre this summer, rewarding him with a two-year $30 million contract. In 40 games with the Phoenix Suns, Oubre went on to average a career-best 16.9 PTS, 4.9 REB, 1.0 BLK, and 1.4 STL while shooting 45.3% from the field. Oubre now gives the Suns another promising offensive piece in the starting lineup alongside Devin Booker. 

EXPECT BIG YEARS FROM MULTIPLE PIECES

There's a number of pieces here with this young Suns team that I am buying stock in this year. The first one is Mikal Bridges, who had a "disappointing" rookie season, but it didn't come as much of a surprise to me. I'm extremely high on Bridges as a basketball player, but I didn't expect him to make a huge impact in his rookie season. Bridges has been the first to say that he "stunk" in his first season. It won't surprise me to see him take a big leap forward in his second year. Bridges ceiling is a high IQ 3 and D player with the potential to develop some versatility to his offensive game. I could see Mikal hitting it off with new Head Coach Monty Williams as well. 

The draft selection of North Carolina shooting threat Cameron Johnson at 11th overall was a shock to the NBA world, but the Suns felt confident in not taking any chances of moving back and missing out on his ability. Johnson was one of our favorite "sleepers" here in this years NBA Draft Class, and he can shoot the lights out. He should have plenty of motivation to prove his worth of being the 11th overall selection in this years class. The Suns need someone who can space the floor and get hot in a hurry besides Devin Booker, and Johnson might just be a perfect spark off of the bench in his rookie year. 

I'm a fan of the Dario Saric acquisition and I think it could become a very nice move for this Phoenix Suns roster. Saric is offensively skilled and should provide a great amount of stability off the bench for this team. 

RICKY RUBIO WILL BE JUST FINE

While it's not the "sexiest" signing of all-time, it almost seemed as if this one was predictable. The Suns have been needing a Point Guard for as long as we can remember. It's been one of the most obvious storylines in the NBA over the last several years, and the Suns have tried to fill the need with multiple stopgaps that just simply haven't worked. Rubio will provide some stability for this team, and he's going to be a fine option to get teammates in the best position to succeed. Rookie Ty Jerome should do a great job of providing a spark off the bench and would be smart to pick the mind of Rubio during the process. 

OVERALL

It's time for the Suns to show us something. The excuses are running out, and you could argue this is the most promising core of young talent this franchise has had in recent years. As well as a strong coaching staff that should have the Suns ready to roll. If the Suns can get a number of immediate impacts from their young core as well as the depth off of the bench, they should find themselves on the upward trend. But it's all going to depend on if this young team finally buys into the process. 

PG
SG
SF
PF
C
Ricky Rubio Devin Booker Kelly Oubre Jr Mikal Bridges

Deandre Ayton

Ty Jerome Tyler Johnson Cameron Johnson Dario Saric Aaron Baynes
Elie Okobo     Frank Kaminsky Cheick Diallo
Jevon Carter        

Monty Williams should be just the man to get this team finally moving forward. 

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