3 Suns who are underperforming, 4 exceeding expectations at the All-Star break

There have been a few Suns players that have outdone themselves this season, and others that have not been meeting expectations.

Devin Booker, Jusuf Nurkic, Kevin Durant, Keita Bates-Diop, Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker, Jusuf Nurkic, Kevin Durant, Keita Bates-Diop, Phoenix Suns / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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What began as a turbulent season has begun to look like a promising one for the Phoenix Suns. After trading for Kevin Durant a year ago at the trade deadline and Bradley Beal last summer, the team's depth took a big hit and many doubted whether they could have legitimate championship aspirations.

Those doubts were only magnified when the Suns began the year with injury troubles and other inconsistencies, stumbling to a below .500 record after their loss to the Mavericks on Christmas. But as we know, things have turned around in a big way since then.

Phoenix now sits at 33-22 headed into post All-Star competition, and sit at fifth in the stacked Western Conference. To this point in the season, there have been several standout performers that have gone beyond what their expectations were, while some others are falling short of what was expected of them.

Exceeding expectations: Royce O'Neale

The newest Sun and the lone acquisition for the team at the trade deadline, Royce O'Neale comes to Phoenix and looks to be provide exactly what they have been looking for: more depth at wing and a solid contributor who can make timely shots and defend at at least a solid level.

O'Neale may be a little on the older side at this point in his career, but he can be an excellent contributor for this team going forward, and he has already showcased that in just three games with the Suns so far. It is a small sample size, but Royce is knocking down 46% of his three-point shots and has been adept at defending multiple positions.

Phoenix already has plenty of scoring power. They did not need to bring in more players that can turn defenders around without doing much else. O'Neale was nearly the perfect addition they could have made, and three games in he is already showing why they made the right choice pursuing him.


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