Devin Booker has now missed three consecutive games with a wrist contusion, and the Phoenix Suns have lost all of them. In short, they need him back.
The Phoenix Suns have been riddled with a horrid string of luck this season. Through 27 games, they have yet to play a single one with the full complement of their roster.
The first game of the season was the closest they came to it, but they were without Ty Jerome, who presumably had won the backup point guard role following his preseason play. Since then, between suspensions, back spasms, calf strains, hip pain, and wrist contusions, the Suns have been without key players for multiple stretches of games.
The latest player to get sidelined is the guy the Suns have been without 25 games already. Deandre Ayton has been ruled out for Friday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of course he has. The big man only made it through three quarters in his first game back before rolling his ankle and is now unable to compete once again.
However, after careful analysis and earnest contemplation; after hours of film study and metric review, it seems to me the player the Suns need back the most is, and this might surprise you so wait for it:
Yes, Devin Booker. The man who leads the Suns in scoring and is the face of the franchise, I’ve determined, is a key to the team’s success and they need him back as soon as possible.
Sarcasm aside, I’m obviously not advocating the Phoenix Suns to bring back their max-contract star sooner than his injury allows, especially if it puts him at risk of slowing the healing process, or worse, causing further damage.
However, even though it is only December, this is a crucial stretch for the Phoenix Suns. They currently are riding a 4-game skid and this upcoming month will play a huge role in whether or not James Jones will view this team to be a buyer or seller before the February 6 trade deadline.
Ideally, the Suns will be buyers and trade Tyler Johnson‘s expiring contract for something worthwhile, like a scoring power forward and/or a viable veteran backup point guard. However, if the Suns embark upon an extended losing streak fueled by injuries and bad luck, Jones may not be as inclined to make any deals that could help the team this year.
In order to have a shot mounting a climb back up the Western Conference standings, Devin Booker needs to play. Here is what he said earlier about this status:
It looks like we won’t know Book’s status until after his pregame workout, but for the sake of starting a win streak, the Suns hope he will be available.
The tail end of December features a plethora of difficult games, including contests against the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers (not to mention the Kings and the Trail Blazers, both of whom the Suns suffered recent losses).
They need all the help they can get to not fall too much further below 0.500, and ideally, that help will come from their best player.