A New Dawn for The Phoenix Suns


Asher Taghizadeh, Sports Editor


“I’d like the superteam to come to me,” Suns Superstar Devin Booker said in the midst of the Suns’ horrendous 2018 season where they only won 21 games.
And, with 14 hours left before the trade deadline, on February 9, the superteam arrived.
With the arrival of Chris Paul a few years ago, and Kevin Durant now, a fabled superteam has made their way to Booker.
This was an essential move for the Suns if they hoped to be competitive in the post season this year.
The trade sent Durant, a superstar with three years left in his contract, and Former Sun TJ Warren to Phoenix for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and essentially five first round draft picks.
Pairing Durant with Booker, Paul, and Deandre Ayton reopens the championship window while also creating the most feared team in the league.
Before the trade, Booker was the main option, but, with an aging Paul and an inconsistent Ayton as a second option, teams could frequently double, blitz, and trap Booker with positive results.
With Durant, though, defending Booker like this will create easy scoring opportunities for one of the most prolific scorers of all time in Durant.
Pairing two of the best scorers in the NBA, Booker and Durant, with one of the smartest players in the NBA, Paul, is what will unlock this pairing.
Throughout his storied career, Paul has always had god-like court vision as seen with the lob city Clippers or the fearsome tandem of Paul and James Harden in Houston.
Paul will now be able to divert an even larger amount of his play to playmaking while reserving his tough elbow jumper and newly automatic three point shot for critical moments in games.
Ayton, this season, has been one of the most inconsistent players in the NBA showing glimpses of stardom followed by horrendous performances.
After the trade, though, Ayton will be the third option on offense allowing him to be a mismatch killer in pick and roll while focusing more of his efforts on the defensive end.
While the deal is tremendous on the court, it shines as a marker for the new organizational era of Suns basketball.
A mere two days before the trade was official, Billionaire Mortgage Lender Mat Ishbia’s purchase of the Suns was made official, marking the end of the nightmare that was Controversial Former Owner Robert Sarver.
Sarver, known across the league as a miserly owner, rarely paid luxury tax: a fee instituted by the NBA when a team takes on excess salary, usually for another superstar or max player.
Ishbia quickly rewrote the narrative of the Suns being a cheap team as the Durant trade incurred an additional 40 million in luxury tax fees.
This ownership move was the last piece needed to springboard Phoenix to an extremely appealing destination for free agents.
With the constant warm weather, reasonable taxes, and now an owner committed to winning, Phoenix will finally be a destination capable of building superteams to the likes of what The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors have done.
This, crazily, is already being seen with the Suns adding High-Flying Guard Terrence Ross who was recently bought out by the Orlando Magic.
This move constitutes something that The Suns have rarely accomplished: presenting themselves as the best destination for buyout candidates among contenders.
The moves established the Suns as one of the most fearsome teams in the league as they begin their push for the coveted NBA championship.