Players in their late 20’s
Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and Klay Thompson are all 28. Of the three, Thompson is arguably the best player, but he’s not an ideal fit with Devin Booker.
Jimmy Butler could slide in at the three spot next to Booker and bring some grit to the team’s young core. He’d also be a near perfect mentor to Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges. Unfortunately, he’s not good enough to be the best player on a championship team, and at 28 he might not be a key piece by the time the Suns are ready to compete.
Kemba Walker is in a similar boat as Butler. He’d be a great fit on the Suns, and he’d make Devin Booker’s life much easier. But he’s still too old to be a good long-term option in Phoenix.
Kawhi Leonard is 27, and he’s already proven he can lead a team to a title. If the Suns could sign Leonard, they could package Jackson and Bridges in pursuit of another star and roll out a big four that could compete right away in the West. Unfortunately, Leonard seems dead set on signing in Los Angeles, and if he doesn’t end up in LA it’ll likely be because he’s staying in Toronto.
Khris Middleton is about to turn 27, and he isn’t a great fit with the Suns. While he’s definitely a better player for now, he’s extremely repetitive with Mikal Bridges, a guy they should be looking to develop, not replace. On top of that, he’s never been an All-Star, and his three point percentage took a significant dip last season, from 43.3 percent to 35.9 percent.