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Sports Illustrated’s anonymous NBA scouts are not fans of the Suns

Phoenix Suns' Alex Len, left, Devin Booker, center, and Jared Dudley watch their teammates play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, March 23, 2017, in New York. The Nets won 126-98. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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Sports Illustrated got takes on every NBA team from anonymous NBA scouts and they were not fans of the Phoenix Suns.

I don’t see a direction for them. They added a lottery pick in Josh Jackson, but that was their entire summer. It’s like they want to be forgotten. They’re just praying that Devin Booker becomes a top five shooting guard. This is a pretty hopeless situation. . . . It’s hard to put together one single five-man lineup that gets you excited, mostly because their frontcourt is so thin. They can’t stop anyone. . . .

The concerns towards the future of the team point at Booker perhaps not being the face and future of the franchise that many in the Valley believe he is.

While Booker averaged 22 points a game in his second season in the NBA, some are lower on the 20-year-old because of his defensive shortcomings and the inability to score efficiently in his first two seasons.

Beyond that, the scouts are also hesitant to buy into the pieces around Booker, if he is indeed that No. 1 guy.

How many guys really complement Booker and can be part of the core? Jackson, I guess, but not really anyone else. Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss are both question marks after shaky rookie years. I’m not even a big Jackson fan. His defense, size and athleticism will help, but his shooting motion is a mess. . . .

Jackson, who was the player the Suns coveted in the 2017 NBA Draft, had his fair share of critics in the pre-draft process. His defense, while propelled upwards by his athleticism and motor, wasn’t seen as a top-tier skill by those critics and even after putting up decent shooting numbers at Kansas, his jumper’s form is enough of a red flag for some to claim he will never be a good shooter.

Bender and Chriss were two of the rawest prospects in their draft class and that was on full display in their rookie seasons. Chriss struggled to figure out his right spots on the floor defensively and was one of the league’s leaders in fouls while Bender looked out of place and was inconsistent offensively. Both also failed to shoot the ball well in year one, a trait both will have to improve on in the future.

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