While Ricky Rubio has been great, the Phoenix Suns will need to find someone to be their point guard of the future.
As we all found out this past week, the NBA will return and the Phoenix Suns will be among those to resume their season! There are games to be played and we will be sure to look into their schedule and all of the possibilities that can play out over the coming weeks.
Even so, it is never too early to look ahead, and with the Suns having played 65 games up to this point, there is a large enough sample size to use as a resource in combing through three potential question marks for this coming offseason. Here is one of them.
Where is the next Suns’ point guard?
In the 2019 offseason, the Suns were able to sign their first true point guard they’ve had since the Goran Dragic/Eric Bledsoe days in Ricky Rubio. Rubio has had a very solid season for Phoenix with 13 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 8.9 assists a contest on 41 percent shooting from the field, 35 percent shooting from the 3-point line, and 85 percent on free throws.
He has also given the Suns a steady presence, showing just how important it is to have even a competent floor general on the floor for a basketball team to reach anything close to its fullest potential (no offense to Isaiah Canaan).
However, Rubio is already 29 years old season, and he will be 32 by the time his contract expires. Being 32 years old is by no means the end of a basketball career, but it is clear that long term Rubio will not be cemented as the Suns starting point guard. Unfortunately, as it currently stands between Ty Jerome, Jevon Carter, and Elie Okobo, it is difficult to see the next great Suns floor general. Ok fine, so there’s a hole there. How can Phoenix fill it?
Who could fill the long term void at point guard for the Phoenix Suns?
We can more than likely rule out the solution coming from free agency. Fred VanVleet is intriguing and definitely looks ready to run his own team after learning under the great Kyle Lowry, but he seems unlikely to move from a great situation in Toronto, and after him, the pickings are pretty slim.
A Goran Dragic return is extremely unlikely. Ditto for an Isaiah Thomas reunion. D.J. Augustin, Rajon Rondo and Jeff Teague are more stopgaps than anything else, and to be frank they are rather poor ones at this stage of their careers. Kris Dunn….no. Just no.
So again, it looks as though the Suns must look toward the draft for the lead guard that they seek. Fortunately, this draft does have quite a few potential laden guards. From LaMelo Ball to Tyrese Haliburton; from Cole Anthony (1st UNC player in the last 20 years to begin a season with 3 straight 20 PT games) to Killian Hayes (for my money the best creator in this class).
Any of these guards can have the luxury of attempting to contribute immediately while also learning under a master teacher in Rubio to even further enhance their abilities. The blueprint is relatively simple.
Rubio could continue to teach and groom one of the young guards to be his successor while still playing at a high level with this core for the remainder of his prime. At the conclusion of his peak, he could either gracefully transition to a bench role or move on, with the new point guard taking his place and sliding right in. The draft could be the perfect place to mine for this much-needed talent.