2018-2019 Phoenix Suns Preview: They Should Be Better, But The Playoffs May Be A Stretch

10.05.18 2 weeks ago

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2017-18 Record: 21-61 (15th in West)

Players Added: Ryan Anderson (trade with HOU), Trevor Ariza (free agency), Darrell Arthur (trade with BKN), Deandre Ayton (draft), Mikal Bridges (draft), Richaun Holmes (trade with PHI), George King (draft), De’Anthony Melton (trade with HOU), Elie Okobo (draft)

Players Lost: Marquese Chriss (trade with HOU), Jared Dudley (trade with BKN), Brandon Knight (trade with HOU), Alex Len (free agency), Elfrid Payton (free agency), Tyler Ulis (waivers), Alan Williams (waivers)

Projected Team MVP: Devin Booker

As a result of hand surgery in September, it is possible that Devin Booker won’t be on the floor when the Suns begin the regular season. However, this is still an easy decision.

Booker is, far and away, the best player on the roster in Phoenix and the Suns are a rare of example of a team in the league’s bottom tier that has a clear-cut No. 1 option. Prior to the 2017-18 season, Booker struggled to please the analytical community in that his raw scoring numbers were impressive, but they came with pedestrian efficiency and high usage. Then, the former Kentucky guard enjoyed a full-fledged breakout last season, posting a 56.1 percent true shooting with 31 percent usage and, in short, performing at a star-level rate on the offensive end of the floor.

There are still questions about Booker’s ability to be the best player on a playoff team, especially due to his defensive limitations at this juncture. Still, the Suns have the benefit of a legitimately effective lead scorer entering his age-22 season and that isn’t a bad place to start when constructing the rest of a rebuilding project.

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