Suns’ superteam could include another bold move in NBA Draft

Jun 21, 2023, 5:29 PM

Kevin Durant #35 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game Two of the ...

Kevin Durant #35 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 18, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Clippers 123-109. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

On the eve of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Suns are eagerly attempting to trade the only No. 1 overall pick they’ve ever had.

The irony is sad. The lesson is simple:

In the cutthroat world of professional basketball, you can’t trust kids because they’re not yet men.

The Suns are clearly doubling down on the importance of now, along with the perils and pitfalls of youth. They have traded most of their future draft picks for Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, and if the attempts at a super team fail, the rebuild will be grotesque and painful.

But the Suns are not wrong in their approach. They are trusting in Devin Booker, who has seemingly willed his own super team to Phoenix, a fate he prophesized in 2018.

We have all seen how the addition of Durant has liberated Booker, giving him the room and the freedom to finally breathe on a basketball court. Now Booker has two elite players in his midst. And everything about the Suns offense will run through him, as it should.

That would’ve never happened if Chris Paul was still in town, calling the shots.

Booker is also proof of how random the NBA Draft can be. He was the 13th overall selection in 2015, a reserve who came off the bench in his only year at the University of Kentucky, a sixth man with a polished jump-shot and not much else.

Now, Booker is ascending fast, chasing a legacy he defines as “legendary.” Aside from former general manager Ryan McDonough – an underrated figure famously forced to clean his office of goat droppings from the previous owner – very few experts saw this coming. And if Booker has come this far, what and who is going to stop him now?

Booker still hasn’t spoken publicly since the embarrassment of a second consecutive lopsided elimination loss at home. But owner Mat Ishbia was smart to pay through the nose to retain associate coach Kevin Young, rewarding one of Booker’s confidants on the team. And there don’t seem to be any signs of stress entering another new era of Suns basketball. That’s good news.

The Suns are also trusting in Durant, who loves the Valley and wants to make this pit stop work for everyone involved. He wants to atone for his inexplicable playoff drought, aware that doubters and skeptics are everywhere. They are Durant’s fuel, a player who recently posted: “Hate drives me. Too much love will kill you.”

Finally, whatever problems the omnipresent shadow of Isiah Thomas presented former head coach Monty Williams, a source says Durant and Booker very much enjoy Thomas’ Hall of Fame presence and input. Game recognizes game, and all that.

In the end, the Suns are banking on winning an NBA title in an era that legislates against super teams. They are hoping the addition of Beal will make them the hot new trend, a team built on three stars who can attack the rim, bludgeon you from the midrange, and deliver a barrage of three-point shots on demand. New head coach Frank Vogel can figure out the rest.

The Suns are taking a Shakespearean approach, aware that the NBA doesn’t celebrate supporting actors, bit players, and great benches. To the contrary, the NBA takes a knee and bows down to its greatest players. It always has and always will.

So, who do you pick in a 3-on-3 tournament between the Suns and the Nuggets?

Me, too.

Dan Bickley


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Arizona Diamondbacks must set the tone in MLB wild card Game 1 vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The Arizona Diamondbacks return to the postseason for the first time since 2017. Dan Bickley breaks down why the first wild card game against the Brewers in Milwaukee is a critical moment for Arizona’s playoff push. Video: Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports Photos: Getty Images

7 hours ago

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and General Manager Mike Hazen celebrate in the Chase Fi...

Dan Bickley

GM Hazen, manager Lovullo can enjoy mutual catharsis following D-backs winning season

With one always battling for his job and the other who supported his wife while she was battling cancer, the great season must be catharsis.

1 day ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Why Arizona fans should be optimistic after weekend of Cardinals, Diamondbacks losses

It was a weekend of losses for sports teams across the Valley, including Team U.S.A. in the Ryder Cup, but Dan Bickley explains why Arizona sports fans should be optimistic heading into a new week. Video: Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports Presented By

1 day ago

Jonathan Gannon runs off the field...

Dan Bickley

Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals earning respect even in defeat

For a guy with one victory as an NFL head coach, Jonathan Gannon is enjoying a lengthy honeymoon in Arizona. He deserves it.

2 days ago

Joshua Dobbs #9 of the Arizona Cardinals on the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys  at State ...

Dan Bickley

Have Arizona Cardinals found hidden treasure in QB Josh Dobbs?

The early results from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs have been a revelation and is making the new regime look good.

5 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: It was time for the Phoenix Suns to move on from Deandre Ayton

With sights set on winning an NBA championship, Dan Bickley explains how the Damian Lillard trade including the Portland Trail Blazers and Milwaukee Bucks showed it was time for the Phoenix Suns to move on from Deandre Ayton. Video: Felisa Cárdenas/Arizona Sports

5 days ago

Suns’ superteam could include another bold move in NBA Draft