But the current Phoenix Suns still have one major deficiency
Where the current team has a serious leg up over the 2019-10 roster is at small forward featuring Kelly Oubre.
Grant Hill was a solid player on the defensive end by this point in his career, but was not going to go out and drop 30 points.
Hill’s overall game was very helpful to the team’s success, but Oubre’s current ability to be a second solid scorer to Booker is a profound help.
We’ll obviously see when Deandre Ayton returns what kind of development his game has taken not only over the offseason but now the two month break that he received due to his suspension, but unless he takes a bigtime step forward in his game, he cannot be counted on in such a way.
Either way, if nothing else he is a better player than who the franchise ran out at center that year, except in those lineups in which Stoudemire played at center.
Speaking of Stoudemire, where the current team has a serious deficit is at power forward.
This season, Dario Saric has been a tremendous disappointment with his inability to shoot 3’s at the level that he had been the past few seasons, and his inability to have breakout scoring games when the team needs it the most (he has only even reached double-digit scoring in ten out of 20 games so far this season, and scored 20+ points just once).
This lack of scoring from his is currently killing this team, making it much more difficult to win games with a balanced offense.
In 2009-10, Stoudemire was still a scoring force.
Granted his game wouldn’t totally suit the current NBA unless he added an outside shot that he never developed in his pro career, but being able to score when called upon regardless of where he was on the court, as well as take over games with his scoring when his other good scoring teammates (Nash and Richardson in particular) could not, was the key to that team making their final playoff run.
The only talent James Jones can find today is of those players who are in the league today and available to be had at a cost he can afford.
Yet there is no doubt that adding that third scoring piece to the roster (along with Booker and Oubre) would play huge dividends right away.
Yes, we all hope that that player can be Deandre Ayton.
But let’s consider something else: while the current Phoenix Suns have six players averaging in double-figures this season (seven if you include Ayton’s 18.0 from opening night) compared to the 2009-10 team’s five players who averaged in double-digit scoring, Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky‘s scoring is sure to drop upon Ayton’s return as their minutes evaporate.
Sure, they have both had some good games this season, but neither are true scorers and thus their ability to score in double-digits currently can mainly be attributed to extra minutes while the real starting center has been out.