1. Injuries ruin this whole thing
The Suns wouldn’t be the first team to see their title aspirations go up in smoke because of injuries, but the deck of cards they have built their roster on is precarious in all of the wrong places. Booker may be durable, but Beal has had some niggling issues.
Durant recently turned 35-years-old, and his list of previous injuries is well known. LeBron James might be a medical marvel who continues to defy Father Time, but Durant’s build means he may not be so lucky. He’s one of the 10 best players in the world, but there will come a time when his body begins to slow him down.
There’s every reason that won’t happen this year – but five years shy of his 40th birthday – it is a possibility. Especially if he spends too much time at the five. Nurkic is another who has sat out his fair share of games since back in 2019-2020, and it will be no surprise if that happens again in The Valley.
There is no doubt Ayton had to go, but Nurkic is not a durable replacement by any means. If any of their three stars plus Nurkic miss an extended period of time, it will put an end to their championship hopes before they’ve even gotten a chance to see how good they can truly be together.
On the other end of the scale, if several of their role players miss time, too much will be asked of their stars, and that will have a negative outcome. Booker can defend at an elite level, but you don’t want him spending 40 minutes in November doing that to dig out a win in Houston. The Suns knew the risks involved in building the team this way, it would be fatal to their title hopes.