Phoenix Suns: Even short term success is about young stars

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns made some veteran additions this summer, but their short term success depends more on the play of their young stars.

The Phoenix Suns are presumed to be in win-now mode this season, based on the acquisition of veteran role players this summer and the comments of owner Robert Sarver. But the success of the team will have much more to do with the performance of the young core.

Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson are both good players. They’re also both established in the league, and we know exactly what to expect from them this season. They won’t be what turns a league worst team into a respectable unit. So if the Suns are to become that, it will be because of the contributions of their young guys, namely Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

If this group of young Phoenix Suns is all we hope they can be, Ariza and Anderson will be major tools at their disposal to help them succeed. But if the young guys don’t have it, the only difference between this year and last year will be the team now has two more disgruntled veterans.

Booker and Ayton both have All-Star potential. Booker played at an All-Star level last year and has a good chance to be one this year. Ayton likely won’t be an All-Star this year because of the combination of frontcourt depth in the West and the fact he’s a rookie. But the first pick looked sensational in the preseason, and it’s reasonable to hope for an All-Star level effort, even if he isn’t one right away.

Coincidentally, of all the lottery picks on the roster, Booker and Ayton are the only ones starting. Ariza and Ayton, two recent aditions, are taking starting spots that could go to Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, T.J. Warren, and Dragan Bender. Is it a question of confidence in their fits or abilities? Only the distribution of regular season playing time can answer that question.

Next. Phoenix Suns: Ryan McDonough’s three worst moves. dark

The Phoenix Suns want to win now, and the newly added veterans definitely help with that. But while these role players are often at the forefront of the discussion about why the Suns will improve, it really comes down to Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton playing at a high level.