The Phoenix Suns receive praise from, of all people, Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Simmons Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

As a Phoenix Suns fan, the last person I would expect to hear praise from would be the one, the only, Bill Simmons, and yet, here we are.

Bill Simmons said Tuesday on his podcast the Phoenix Suns have the best chance to reach the playoffs out of the hoard of teams fighting for the 8th seed in the West. He also said Devin Booker is an All-Star, claimed he can reach another gear, and praised Deandre Ayton’s efforts as of late.

This all sounds very bizarre coming from him because it was not too long ago that he was nearly slandering Booker for not participating in the FIBA World Cup as a member of Team USA.

Then again, the Suns did just beat his beloved Celtics, so maybe he is saying this as a way to justify that loss.

What was really surprising to Suns fans was his opinion the team has assets that could be useful moving forward. He specifically called out Tyler Johnson’s expiring contract as something that bring in another player for the Suns to continue building around.

Tyler Johnson’s contribution to this team has been minimal and the only thing that looks enticing is his expiring contract. At this point, unless the Suns could really put together a deal that ships Johnson away for a piece that we know could be valuable going forward, then it seems logical to hold onto him and use that money in free-agency.

Simmons then challenged Devin Booker to make the playoffs by saying,

“Start putting the team on your back and put up 29 a night and kick [expletive].”

This quote was puzzling because putting this team on his back is exactly what he has done all year. Sure, the team still struggled at some points, but as of late, Booker has been scoring 30 plus night in and night-out, and it has led to wins.

Simmons, Ryen Russillo, and Joe House also gave credit to Deandre Ayton and the way he has been playing lately too. They all agreed that he looks to be playing harder, while joking that his suspension relieved him of something and then joked that Ayton is actually 34-years-old, just finding that out, and playing like that.

All three of them also agreed that Devin Booker should be an NBA All-Star, and rightly so. Booker has been a top-10 player in the NBA since Christmas. Booker is not only producing at a high level, but it is resulting in wins. If this can continue and Booker can propel the Suns to the playoffs, maybe Booker will finally get the respect he deserves.

Their discussions would not have been complete, however, without bringing up the Suns’ trade up in the draft to take Mikal Bridges, when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was be picked right after him. Shai has been phenomenal this season and has his own case to be an All-Star.

As of late, however, Mikal Bridges himself has been nothing short of great. Bridges seems to have his shooting stroke back, and he continues to do a lot of the dirty work for the Suns.

The Suns have been horrible in late shot clock situations. dark. Next

All of this might just seem like banter to most, but it is nice to hear praise from someone who hasn’t exactly been the biggest Phoenix Suns supporter in the past, Bill Simmons.