The current Phoenix Suns are a decent team. But they have a chance to seriously emulate the 2009-10 roster if James Jones acquired one kind of player.
The Phoenix Suns are a good team. They’re not great, but they are definitely playoff caliber, especially when Deandre Ayton makes his triumphant return – at least we all hope.
However, they are still missing something. Something big.
Yes, they need a backup point guard – in the worst way.
But when Ricky Rubio is healthy, he is good enough to help the team get through games successfully – especially when they are nailing their outside shots.
However, as I have written about in depth before, the team needs a scoring power forward more than anything else.
They need a threat at power forward every single game, someone who can pour points in far more easily than Dario Saric has been; someone who is able to take control of a game late when the defense demands it; someone who could be available for the right price.
At the moment, I cannot help but think back to the 2009-10 Phoenix Suns and not only contemplate why that team was so good, and about how close the current roster is to emulating (not matching, of course) that team.
Ricky Rubio is no Steve Nash, but while Nash was a far superior shooter to Rubio (a career 42.8% 3-point shooter to Rubio’s 32.2%), their total scoring per game is off by only about 3 points in their overall scoring averages and assists averages are each off by less than an integer of 3.
Rubio too is a distributor. Looking to pass first to the open player and score second, their games are very similar in many important ways, somewhat lessening Rubio’s inability to shoot from the outside.
Granted J-Rich was a very solid player for the franchise that season and was a tremendous pickup by then general manager Steve Kerr, but somehow replace Richardson with the current Booker and that Phoenix Suns team wins 60+ games.
What Richardson did do fairly frequently though that Booker does all the time, is score a lot of points and do so fairly efficiently. Thus, the current team is definitely improved over the 2009-10 team at shooting guard, and when considering the backcourt overall, it is actually almost a complete wash.