The 4 most improved Phoenix Suns players this season

The Phoenix Suns have needed help from throughout their roster to remain competitive this season, and these four players have stepped up.
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
1 of 4

The Phoenix Suns continue to battle for a high seeding in the Western Conference, but have had to endure some rough periods throughout what has already been an eventful season. They're 1-2 since the All-Star break - and although they'll likely avoid the play-in tournament before the postseason begins - they could still get dragged back into that battle as well.

Bradley Beal is currently missing again through injury - this time to his hamstring - and it has been frustrating to see him sit out so many games. When he is playing alongside Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, this Suns outfit looks like a tough group to beat over a seven game series. It is unclear if health will ever permit fans the opportunity to see these three out on the court when it matters.

The inability of Beal to stay healthy has opened the door for other players to step up this season, and four have taken the opportunity with both hands.

As we will see, the idea of being most improved is relative to the expectations the organization would have had for these players before the season began. Much like the NBA's Most Improved Player award, this is somewhat subjective. Previous winners of the MIP gong have included Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, whereas somebody like Coby White might be more deserving.

The thinking is the same here, with the main positive being just how many Suns have outperformed the expectations placed on them before the season began. Better yet, there is still time for these guys to get even better, while the likes of Thaddeus Young and Nassir Little might be able to play their way onto this list as well.

4. Devin Booker

It might seem ridiculous for the Suns' franchise player to get the ball rolling here, but that just tells you how good Booker has been this season. At this point his offensive ability is among the best in the entire league, and you can make the case he is just a better player than Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics, despite not getting as much attention.

But this season - one of the most important in Suns' history - Booker was tasked with being the point guard for this team. This despite leading the playoffs in scoring at 33.7 points per game last season, and with a new backcourt partner in Beal to try and figure out how best to work with. Yet Booker has been so good in his new role, that the proof now exists that this team doesn't need a floor general.

It's not just that Booker is averaging a career and team high seven assists per night. It is the way in which he is doing it. They say that decision making is one of the last steps required to be a truly elite player - and more often than not - Booker is making the right decision with the ball in his hands.

He knows when to go out and get his own - which this team also needs - as proven by the 27.5 points per game he is also putting up. But just as importantly, Booker knows when to give it up to Durant and get out of the way, or when to catch a streaking Grayson Allen or Royce O'Neale for a 3-pointers while the opponent is out of position defensively and panicking. Booker has been absolutely wonderful.