The transformation of the Phoenix Suns has been a steady one since drafting current franchise cornerstone Devin Booker back in 2015. The organization having gone from a laughing stock through Booker’s first few years in the league, to 8-0 darlings in the NBA’s Bubble of 2020.
The additions of Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and later Bradley Beal have completely changed the fortunes of the franchise, and that is thanks in large part to the new ownership of Mat Ishbia. The Suns are for real, and they are among the favorites to win a championship next season, no matter what Charles Barkley says.
Looking back on all of the players Booker has shared a court with however, and there have been some truly awful players to suit up for the Suns.
So bad in fact that we’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the six worst starters to play on a team featuring Booker since being drafted. The criteria to be included landing on a minimum of 20 games played. Elfird Payton (19 games started in 2017-18) lucky not to find himself on this list of Suns flops then.
6. Marquese Chriss
Beginning with the best of the worst, which is still hardly a great place to be, we have Marquese Chriss. In defence of the forward, he started a whopping 75 games in 2016-17 as a rookie and it was — mostly fine. 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds wasn’t much, but the Suns weren’t either.
Chriss was only 19-years-old, and the team went 24-58 to finish bottom of the Western Conference. Booker was still trying to find himself, and the next best player on the roster was either Eric Bledsoe or an ageing Tyson Chandler. Bigger players like Chriss take time to develop, and he was as young and raw as could be.
Chriss got another 72 games and 49 starts the following season, but the Suns had seen enough. They didn’t think the time required to put into him would be worth it. They’ve been proven mostly right. Chriss makes this list because he didn’t pan out as an eighth overall pick. He nearly escapes however, as he’s still only 26-years-old and teams keep on taking a chance on his potential.