Phoenix Suns fans have been through a lot in the last decade alone. Forget about the fact that they twice made the NBA Finals and lost before 2013, and that they had plenty of players past their best trying to help them do so. A lot has happened since then too.
Drafting Devin Booker in 2015 is as good as it has gotten, although there was the finals run of 2021 and an extremely enjoyable Chris Paul era. These days Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal are on the team, giving fans as much optimism as ever that this is the roster that can win it all.
Looking ahead to the future however, and what is this roster going to look like in five years?
With so much emphasis on the here and now, that can be a scary thought. Booker might exist as the Suns’ superteam insurance, but he alone does not ensure that this franchise are going to be relevant as long as he is in town.
On the other hand, as long as Mat Ishbia owns the Suns, it is clear he is going to do everything it takes in order to build a winner. Much like the Miami Heat out East, Ishbia seems more interested in reloading, as opposed to full on rebuilding, when that time finally comes. Which makes trying to predict how the Suns will line up to begin the 2028-29 season a fun exercise.
Center – Deandre Ayton
Let’s begin on an optimistic note, and believe that big man Deandre Ayton is not only still on this roster, but that he is the defensive lynchpin who has been present for at least one championship win.
Long spoken about as a player the Suns have to trade, Ayton will be 30-years-old by the time the 2028-29 season begins. In theory he will be bang in the middle of his prime, and it is hoped head coach Frank Vogel (whether he is still with the team or not) will have been able to get through to the player.
It is often forgotten in the Ayton discourse, but he is actually quite good. Already a top 10 player in the league at his position, he has three years remaining on his current deal. At close to $100 million still owed to him, it is unclear what kind of money Ayton will make beyond this contract.
But if the Suns can find a number that keeps him happy, ensures they have more cap flexibility than they currently do, and even ensures Ayton remains eligible to trade, then there is little reason not to bring him back again and again. Ayton’s best days are ahead of them, and there’s no reason he can’t go on to have a Ring of Honor worthy career in The Valley.