NBA general managers have indicated the Phoenix Suns still have the league’s best backcourt, that despite Chris Paul and Devin Booker’s disappointing and underwhelming performance towards the end of last season’s playoffs.
Paul received 10% of the vote for the league’s best point-guard, according to the NBA’s survey of general managers. That ranked third behind Stephen Curry (72%) and Luka Doncic (14%). Booker was ranked as the best shooting-guard at 45%, ironically beating out Doncic (28%) and Curry (17%).
The Phoenix Suns may possess the league’s best backcourt, but is their roster construction cause for concern when it comes to achieving the ultimate success?
The pair’s respective rankings would suggest that general managers believe Phoenix own the NBA’s best backcourt, but what level of success can that bring the franchise moving forward?
Referring to Atlanta’s new backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons questioned a team’s championship hopes with guards as their best two players.
“Where am I going with that and what’s the success rate in the history of the league other than Steph and Klay? Where I can actually win a Finals if those are my two best guys…I keep coming back to that, I think history matters”, Simmons said.
While he was discussing Atlanta in this case, a similar mindset could be held in regard to Phoenix with Paul and Booker. The Suns went ever so close to winning the 2021 championship, but was that a rare opportunity they’re unlikely to see again?
The pair backed that up by leading a league best regular season in 2021-22, although the Suns fell in a heap once Paul and Booker faltered under mounting pressure against the Mavericks.
Whether you agree with Simmons or not, at the very least it’s an indication the franchise needs exponential growth from Booker and their other young players; forwards Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, along with skilled big man Deandre Ayton.