Phoenix Suns young core ranked highly among rival teams

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Most believe that it’s make or break time for the Phoenix Suns heading into this season. Much of that is owed to their disappointing playoff campaign last season, with Chris Paul’s age also factoring into that perspective.

But beyond Paul who’s set to enter his 18th season in the league, the Suns age demographic lends itself to a bright future. As much as Phoenix want to take advantage of this window, it’s a period that could easily expand to more sustained success.

The Phoenix Suns are listed fifth in a recent ranking focusing on the NBA’s best young cores going into the 2022-23 season.

The ranking was undertaken by Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro, with young cores determined by a multitude of various criterias. Phoenix is ranked fifth overall and third among teams who have made the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

The Suns designated young core includes Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, with all bar the latter signed up to the franchise on long-term contracts.

"“Regardless, all four members of this quartet are pre-prime or in-their-prime players, with All-NBA potential for both Booker and Ayton. Phoenix remains well positioned to contend through much of the 2020s despite Chris Paul’s advanced age”, Shapiro wrote."

Phoenix Suns Key Players
Cameron Johnson, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Led by exciting young superstar Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies topped the list of the league’s best young cores. They were followed by the Boston Celtics who, like the Suns, already have experience in the NBA Finals.

The New Orleans Pelicans ranked third as excitement grows on what Zion Williamson can add to a team that pushed the Suns in the first-round of the playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves were listed fourth armed with the duo of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Next. Damion Lee must re-ignite shooting to be a part of Phoenix Suns rotation. dark

Perhaps this latest ranking may adjust public perspective on the Suns, even if it remains important that they utilize Paul’s remaining time as a high-calibre NBA player.