ATTENTION SUNS FANS: We still need to be patient!

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Pheonix Suns fans are obviously excited with the way the team played down the stretch and the hope for the future, but we still need to be patient.

What us as fans just saw from the Phoenix Suns in the bubble was indeed amazing, and something to grow on, but Suns fans should do the exact opposite of what they want to do right now and that is, be patient.

What many are too naive to see is the fact that next year the Western Conference will only get more challenging with the Golden State Warriors coming back fully healthy and with a top-5 draft pick. Luka and the Mavs will have matured, the Nuggets will be entering their peak, both Los Angeles squads will continue their greatness, and the Pelicans will hopefully have gotten to Zion. The fact of the matter is, there is really no place to go.

With the Suns still being one of the youngest teams in the league and already have an established star, there really is no place to go but up. Devin Booker will be playing at or around the level he was playing in the bubble all year next year. Deandre Ayton still has a lot of work to do, but we have seen flashes of what he is capable of. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson seem to be growing together. Mikal is already a top-15 defender in the NBA and with his improved jump shot and ability to play-make he could be another budding star, while Cameron Johnson has Klay Thompson written all over him.

Obviously, that would be an ideal turnout for his game, but he showcased all the facets of his game in the bubble, and it will be something to grow on. These are just four players that will have an immense impact for the Suns moving forward.

Even with the Suns making a jump into a team that is going to be competing for the playoffs every year, it will still be a very very difficult journey. With the competition level of the West, the Suns will be playing contenders almost every night, and it can not be expected that they play every game like they did in the bubble. All this brings me to my point: Be smart. Be patient.

Be smart. James Jones and Monty Williams should be very excited about where this team is headed, however, they have to remain smart in this process. There are going to be many hurdles for them to jump over, most importantly, what to do with Kelly Oubre, drafting well, finding Ricky Rubio’s replacement, a back-up plan if Ayton’s game does not reach the level we need, and finally and most importantly keeping Devin Booker happy.

Kelly Oubre is massive for the culture of the Phoenix Suns, however he is coming up on another contract, and with the play of Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges, James Jones is going to have to think long and hard about what to do. Keeping him as a player that can ignite the second unit and apply some much energy to such a young and fun team is the dream situation.

The next two go hand-in-hand. Drafting well is a key to success for every team in the NBA but especially for the Suns who have a bad recent history of drafting. In this next draft or in the next two free agent periods the Suns have to be looking for a point guard that is going to come in and have an immediate impact. Ricky Rubio, love him or hate him has been what this team has needed, someone who can facilitate to his playmakers, as well as a  capable scorer, and a leader. Replacing him is going to be a challenge. There are many options, but finding the right option is going to be the tricky part.

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Deandre Ayton has had his fair share of questionable decisions in his early NBA career. There is no doubting his raw capability, but it is often said that the best ability is availability, and if he was not suspended for 25 games early in the season the Suns might still be playing basketball. I am nowhere near giving up on Ayton, but if things go south with his decision making and skill on the court there will have to be a conversation of what to do, and Jones and Williams will again have to approach that instance in the right way.

Devin Booker is the star of this franchise and doing what makes him happy while having the team’s best interest is what matters. He is the nucleus that has been with the team the longest and it should be in the team’s interest to have him here until he retires. Surrounding him with players that have his same determination and will is extremely important, and recently it seems as though Jones has done that with the likes of Jevon Carter, Kelly Oubre, Bridges, and more. Making him happy has to be at the forefront of every conversation Jones and Williams have moving forward.

Be Patient.

It seems as though us fans and the organization have been saying to be patient for 10 years now. We finally have a decent team and I am still saying be patient. I understand how that will not sit well with most people. However, it is the smartest thing to do. Devin Booker and the rest of this Suns team has yet to reach its prime. While the heavyweights of the West begin to age or fall apart, the Suns will grow together and when the time is right establish themselves as one of the top-4 teams in the West and finally contend for a championship.

How long do we have to be patient?

The answer is not set in stone, but if the Suns are smart and grow as they should, in 3 years the Suns will be a top-5 in the West. The Lakers with Lebron seem as though they can not manage another three years of this. The Clippers with Kawhi Leonard really have zero young talent with them, and how viable is it that Paul George and Kawhi will stick together for that long? The Rockets are an early exit away from completely jumping ship. The Thunder seem sturdy but how good will they be when Chris Paul hangs them up? The Jazz have seemed to be in the exact same spot for the past 5 years, and there is no more growth to be had. The Blazers and Damian Lillard are a great story, but play zero defense and the question is how far and how long can Dame take them?

The teams that  the Suns should be worried about in three years starts with the Denver Nuggets. Michael Porter Jr. is a problem, Nikola Jokic will still be making flashy passes and hitting fade-away jump shots, and the two big wildcards for them are Jamal Murray and Bol Bol.

Next, The Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic, if not already, will be a top-5 player in the league and it seems as though him and Kristaps Porzingis are starting to really play well with one another. The last two teams I believe the Suns will be better than just because of the unpredictability involved with them are the New Orleans Pelicans and The Memphis Grizzlies.

The Pelicans have Zion Williamson and many other young players around him, but the question marks surrounding Zion lead me to believe the Suns will be able to pass them on their way towards the top of the West. Lastly, the Grizzlies have an exceptional young point guard in Ja Morant, but they recently showed their own untimely inconsistency. That will improve, yes, but their growth vastly depends on the growth of Ja, and while they will be good in the future, I trust the Suns more than I trust the Grizzlies.

The Phoenix Suns have waited so long to be good again, and it is frustrating to continue to be patient until their chance at a title, but there is a saying, “good things come to those who wait.”

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