The Phoenix Suns have had a turbulent start to the 2023-24 season, but it feels like they are now beginning to find their footing. The organization had to lean on the All-World level talents of Kevin Durant in the early goings, but he has gotten help recently in the form of Devin Booker.
Although limited to only three games so far – and an injury status that seems stuck at probable ahead of each game – Booker has been amazing for the Suns when he has been on the court. The third member of their “Big 3” in Bradley Beal has only played in one game this season because of a back issue, but is sure to be back out there again soon.
This Suns team isn’t so inevitable that they are going to have a player win every single individual award this season, but they do have strong candidates for each.
The only gong where they do not have any individual who can try and win some hardware is the Rookie of the Year prize. The Suns did have a second round pick this summer in Toumani Camara – who they quickly traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Deandre Ayton deal – but that award is a two horse race between Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren.
Nevertheless, the franchise has a player in each of the remaining categories that has a chance of making some noise as the season progresses. Some will fall away quickly, and really this is a year where a championship is the main goal anyway, but any award picked up along the way is always a nice bonus.
Most Valuable Player – Devin Booker
Starting with the most obvious case, although for Booker it is already on shaky ground. Not that he is incapable of winning this award, in fact Booker through three games has looked better than ever as the Suns’ point guard. He is averaging a career high 8.3 assists per game and has shot a scorching 45.5 percent from deep.
The problem is in the fact Booker has only played three times, and is currently listed as probably for the team’s next game against the Utah Jazz. The minimum requirement is to play 65 games to qualify for this award, and Booker has already missed eight games and counting. The safe bet would be on him missing some more time as the season progresses as well.
If the Suns are going to have a winner of this most coveted award though, it is surely going to be Booker. Durant has been amazing – and just as importantly available – to start the campaign, but he has stated several times already how this is Booker’s team.
Any fear of the two cancelling one another out would appear to be gone, as it is clear how much better the Suns are when Booker is on the court. They obliterated the league’s best defensive team in the Minnesota Timberwolves the last time he played. If the Suns make a charge up the standings and Booker plays and puts up career numbers, he is in the conversation.