How the Olympics postponement will affect the Phoenix Suns

Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images) /

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed. With multiple Phoenix Suns players expected to play in them, how does this affect the team?

After much speculation and countries like Canada and Australia bowing out individually, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been officially postponed up to a year. To be more specific, the official statement reads, “…the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.” The question we have is, how does this affect the Phoenix Suns?

There are two rostered players who represented their country in the 2019 FIBA World Cup last summer. Aron Baynes joined his fellow Boomers from Australia and made an impressive run, while Ricky Rubio led his Spanish national team to the championship and MVP honors.

Devin Booker chose not to suit up for Stars and Stripes, much to the disappointment of Bill Simmons and many other talking heads inside your television.

We don’t know what the future holds for Aron Baynes and the Phoenix Suns. Baynes is a free agent I would have to think James Jones would love to bring him back. However, after playing like a superhero much of this year, he might demand a salary more than what the Suns can justify.

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Combine his much-improved play with the dearth of free agent talent this summer and the Suns will most certainly need to shell out big bucks to keep the Aussie big man. The question will become how much are they willing to pay for a backup center?

If the Suns do bring him back, not having the Olympics will give him a much-needed break from basketball. He has dealt with a series of injuries this season and had he played competitively in back-to-back summers, his body would likely not be 100 percent by the start of the 2020-2021 season.

While this extended break will definitely help Baynes’ body recover, it will do absolute wonders for Ricky Rubio.

At times, Ricky Rubio has looked like the team’s MVP. However, there have been large stretches of games where Rubio has just looked…tired.

Having a newborn baby may have contributed to that, but you have to consider the fact that he really hasn’t had a break from competitive basketball in over a year. If the Olympics were to have gone on as scheduled and he led his Spanish team to another deep run, that would essentially give him no offseason for two years in a row and leave him nowhere near fresh to start the 2020-2021 season.

While Baynes might not be in a Suns uniform then, Rubio most certainly will be. With the team hopeful to improve upon their, ahem, step-in-the-right-direction year this season, they will need their floor general to be rested and ready to go. Canceling the Olympics does exactly that.

As for Booker, who knows if he planned on playing in the 2020 Olympics. In fact, who knows which NBA stars planned on donning the Team USA uniform. But with the Olympics postponed, it gives aging stars another year to age and young stars like Booker another year to develop and solidify themselves as household names.

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He may have had to beat a few folks out this summer, Booker will almost certainly have his choice on whether to be part of the team in 2021. Getting the opportunity to play on a winning basketball team in must-win situations can do nothing but help Booker, his confidence, and the Phoenix Suns brand.

While him playing this summer would have been great too, putting it off one year doesn’t hurt too badly.

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If the Suns take another big step forward in 2020-2021, maybe Booker is even an All-Star again, and then he helps lead Team USA to a gold medal in the 2021 Olympics, the Suns might attract the kind of talent and attention needed to return to perennial playoff team status.