After the 2018 NBA Draft and reviewing the Phoenix Suns’ current roster, the power forward spot appears to have a hole. Former top-10 picks Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss have underperformed in their two NBA seasons and it might be a good idea to get a veteran to start in between Deandre Ayton and Josh Jackson.
Phoenix Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough has been saying he wants to add more veterans this summer and there is a clear reason why. The Suns are incredibly young and just added four more draft picks to their team last week – although I only expect the top three rookies of Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Elie Okobo to be on the active roster with the 59th pick George King to be on a two-way contract.
With Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Ayton, Bridges, Chriss, and Bender all currently under 22-years-of-age, veterans are clearly needed. The only true veterans on this team are center Tyson Chandler (35) and Jared Dudley (32). They are both entering the last year of their contracts as well.
Typically, free agency is not the way to win in professional sports, the NBA is no different. Occasionally, teams will overpay players that are in there prime now only to have them vegin to break down a couple of years into a big four-year contract. Suddenly that same contract looks awful. Free agency can, however, be a great way to find a solid role player as long as it is the right player and you can get him on a decent contract.
The Suns are in a good position going forward with their young core set. This summer and next appear to be the best time to go out and get quality free agents before the first of their heavy extensions going on the books.
Devin Booker will sign an extension this offseason or head into restricted free agency next summer where the Suns are expected to pay him a ton of money – likely a max level contract. Hopefully, Josh Jackson and Deandre Ayton play their way into future max contracts down the line as well, when eligible.
Here are five players who, for a number of reasons, could fit the timeline and help develop the young Suns while also helping Phoenix win games and climb up the tough Western Conference.