Phoenix Suns' surprise player of the 2023-24 regular season

The Phoenix Suns needed help from all areas to make it to the playoffs this season, and this individual was undoubtedly their surprise player.
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Closing the campaign strong, the Phoenix Suns had a fun 2023-24 NBA season. No one was certain where the Suns would finish in the standings, which turned their season even more interesting. But they managed to secure the sixth spot at the finale and are playoff-bound.

There have been some players who have proven their worth this season. Two of the stars in their team lived up to the expectations set before them. Additionally, a few role players have done more than enough in the team's bid to make the postseason. 

One of the players who stood out was Jusuf Nurkic, who dominated the glass throughout the entire season. It's refreshing to have a center be assertive on the glass. Although there are a few cons in his game, his rebounding makes up for it. Another player who made an impact is Royce O'Neale.

After getting traded to the Suns, he showed versatility on both ends. The team benefitted from trading for O'Neale, as he's a reliable shooter from beyond the arc. Additionally, the forward is an intelligent defender, capable of covering most positions on the floor.

However, there's one who surprised fans and stood out among the rest -- Grayson Allen.

Allen's first season with the Suns astonished everyone, even those who didn't think much about him.

Frankly, when the Suns acquired Allen, I didn't have much expectations from him. The wing player had a reputation for being a dirty player early in his career, which stemmed from his four-year stay with Duke University. As he entered the NBA, the narrative around him was solely based on his defensive tactics in college. But he's strayed away from that type of role and is now a reliable role player.

Before getting traded, Allen played two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a decent starter for the Bucks and averaged double-digits in scoring. Fans were also aware that he could shoot threes pretty well.

His first game with the Suns wasn't impressive, as he didn't have a point and only had four rebounds and two assists. Understandably, he struggled since it was his first time playing for Frank Vogel's system. He started to pick up his game in the third game of the season, as he had 17 points. Allen followed it up with back-to-back games with more than 15 points. 

The guard shot 12-19 during that span from deep and started the trend of his efficient three-point season. Throughout the season, Allen had multiple games where he helped lead the Suns to victory. His shooting was his valuable asset offensively, and he didn't disappoint. With his shooting, the 6-foot-4 guard finished with 25 games where he scored at least 15 points.

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Additionally, Allen led the entire league with his consistency from beyond the arc. He shot 46.1 percent from beyond the arc, which is a massive improvement from his final year with the Bucks as he made 39.9 percent.

The Suns have seen what he can do on the floor and chose to give him a new deal. Allen recently signed a four-year, $70 million contract extension to stay in Phoenix. Shortly after signing the new deal, Allen expressed his desire to stay and play for the organization.

""I love being in Phoenix and believe in what we can achieve here. Thank you to Mat Ishbia and the organization for embracing me. I’m excited to make a long-term commitment to remain in this community and continue building with this team.""

Grayson Allen

As the team prepares for the playoffs, they look to him to help the stars in their quest to contend for the title. Many believe Allen is the Suns' x-factor in their first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. With his ability to be a threat from beyond the arc, considering him as the team's x-factor doesn't seem far-fetched.