The Phoenix Suns have not had a premiere passing point guard since Goran Dragic and most fans of the franchised have believed that the team will improve once one is acquired. Ricky Rubio will put that theory to the test, and help decide how big of a turnaround the franchise can make.
At the end of last season, if you would have predicted that the Phoenix Suns would have acquired one of the top-passing point guards available in free agency this summer, you were proven right.
Then again, you were one of a million fans that believed such an event would occur, so there’s that.
You were also probably one of those million fans who also believed that if only the Phoenix Suns had had a decent point guard, they would actually won some games last season, thus by adding one now to an improved roster and head coach, they really should start winning more games.
Well, now with Ricky Rubio in the fold – presuming his health – we will finally see the franchise put our words where their roster is as James Jones has acquired one of the best pure passing point guards in the league, someone who is expected to set up the now plethora of knockdown 3-point shooters on the roster with open shots, and bigs like Deandre Ayton, with as many easy dunks as he can throw down (who dunked an inconspicuously low 135 times last season, 171 fewer times than the league leader, Rudy Gobert.
Rubio undoubtedly makes the Phoenix Suns a much better team.
But now the $17 million question is: by how much?
While not necessarily a “steal,” yet, Rubio was definitely acquired at a good rate.
The cool thing for Rubio is that the franchise has been so bad, it can really only go up from where they were at least season, and if they really are good now – and he makes a significant impact on that improvement – that $17 million really will feel like a steal.
As you are well aware (and have been beaten over the head by it too many times to forget), the Suns won 19 games last year in a dis-jointed system while having no point guard or power forward to speak of.
Fortunately now, at least at point guard, they now have one of the better ones in the league (arguably 10th best-ish, maybe? prior to Utah), someone who is going to look to pass far more often than he is going to look to shoot, which will open up the offense tremendously.
Obviously if he could nail 3’s at a 35.2% rate as he did two seasons ago he will be enough of a threat to be guarded a little bit more closely than last season when he dropped his long-range bombs at a far less efficient 31.1% rate (his career average is a paltry 32.2%), however, his passing alone is going to make all the difference in the world for stars Devin Booker and Ayton who were forced to rely on themselves to find points without a competent passer looking to get them open.
Exactly what fans were complaining about when watching the team’s offense suffer without a point guard for the last two seasons.
So how good can a good passing point guard make the Phoenix Suns?