I know what the Phoenix Suns’ on court problem is

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns Devin Booker Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns have 99 problems, and owner Robert Sarver is number one. But it’s also a problem that can be overlooked if they just do one thing.

It is widely known and understood that the Phoenix Suns are a young team. Their core is very  young.

Devin Booker “should” just now by a Rookie in the NBA.

Josh Jackson “should” still be a Junior at Kansas.

Mikal Bridges “should” be a Senior at Villanova.

Deande Ayton “should” be a Sophomore at Arizona.

Dragan Bender “should” just now be a Rookie in the NBA.

Elie Okobo “should” be a Senior had he gone to an American university.

De’Anthony Melton “should” be a Junior at USC.

While we all understood – and many of us accepted and applauded – former general manager Ryan McDonough’s plan to tank for draft picks, he ran into one significant problem: he created a roster full of kids.  A roster full of players who are mostly just are not physically or mentally ready yet to play in the NBA at a high level.

This is a significant problem for a team trying to win, and it gets worse: their best player, a player that is truly  something special, is one of those kids too – Devin Booker.

If Booker had stayed four years in college, he would only now  be a rookie in the NBA – and based on his accelerated NBA development, he probably would have been the number one pick this past summer with teams climbing all over themselves to have the chance to select him.

When teams go the route that Ryan McDonough did – like the Minnesota Timberwolves – they run into a serious problem: if one or more of the team’s primary and key players are still very young, then the necessity  to add a veteran star dissipates.

The focus becomes continuing to acquire young talent with veterans sprinkled in to try and allow the core to all grow and develop together, at similar ages, throughout their early careers.

Where Minnesota went wrong is they acquired a veteran star in Jimmy Butler who has an attitude issue that overwhelmed the young core’s chemistry.

Where the Phoenix Suns have gone wrong thus far, is they have not yet acquired that veteran star who can actually lead and are stuck with a team of young core players surrounded by veterans who the young Suns do not actually have to listen to.