There are several ways to interpret the Devin Booker selection in Thursday's draft. First of all, the solid fact we can drag out of this is that the wing rotation is going to be crowded. Our own Ray Hrovat covered this.
The other fact out of this selection is that the Suns are getting even younger. Booker was the youngest player in the draft and will likely replace Gerald Green's spot on the roster. Green is fading at 29 years old while Booker doesn't even turn 19 until October 30.
The Booker selection makes the team younger, but that decision to get younger was made over the course of the past year.
A year ago, at the end of the 48-win season, the Suns had to decide between two cores of age groups. Goran Dragic was 27, P.J. Tucker was 28, Channing Frye was 30, and Gerald Green was 28.
On the other end of the spectrum, Miles Plumlee was 25, The Morris twins were 24, Eric Bledsoe was 24, Alex Len was 20, and Archie Goodwin was 19.
The Suns had to decide on whether to build on the success of that veteran group and try to win now or remain patient with the rebuild.
The decision is very clear by now. They declined to re-sign Frye, Green is on his way out now, and Dragic forced the rest of this process to complete. Tucker is the lone veteran remaining, but you have to believe that he is available with the logjam on the wing.
The Suns made that young core even younger with the acquisition of Knight and they held onto their picks and drafted T.J. Warren, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and now Booker.
The consequences of these moves are evident. With Frye's veteran leadership gone there was a free-fall in the locker room and Tucker was not able to help reduce it. The Suns acquired their "future All-Star" they were so desperate for, but lost their best player by becoming too asset heavy and acquiring too much insurance in case Bledsoe and/or Dragic left.
It's one season later and the Suns have either moved backwards or have yet to move forward depending on your opinion of the last couple of moves.
The Suns are now concentrated around the future, but teams like the Timberwolves and Jazz leapfrogged them in the past year. The West is looking much weaker in the future as Bryan Gibberman outlined here, but can the Suns even put themselves in a position to take advantage of that?
That's the biggest question for this offseason and next offseason. There are a load of smaller questions that will dictate how that single question goes.
The Suns still need a true All-Star. Whether that guy is in his prime or at the tail end of it, the Suns really need a go-to guy while the youth continues to develop. That #1 option having veteran leadership would go leaps and bounds as well. Can they get that guy? More importantly, how much will they have to give up for that star? Does he have to come in a trade? Can they bring in the big-time free agent? Who is expendable to make room for the star on both the depth chart and the cap sheet?
They have to figure out what the deal is with the backcourt. With Knight reportedly re-signing and his skills more suited for being off the ball (in my opinion), is he ready to commit to being a two-guard? If Knight commits to being a two-guard and is as good as he can be, can Bledsoe clean up a couple of the point guard skills that he doesn't do so well? Can both of these guys flirt with All-Star selections for the next five years? Even if they are that good who is the backup point guard?
What if that's not the plan? What if it's still a two point guard system? Can that work consistently for the next five seasons? What if it doesn't work out in either plan? Who gets traded?
The most clunk comes with the wings. Who is going to be the go-to guy off the bench between Goodwin and Booker? Can you play them together? Is Archie finally going to be ready? When should the Suns call it quits on him? Can either of them play over Bogdanovic when he comes over in 2016? Is Bogdanovic even going to come over in 2016?
Is T.J. Warren ready to start right now? If he is does that make Marcus Morris and Tucker expendable? Even if Warren is ready, is what Tucker does valuable enough to keep him in the starting lineup? What if the big name is a small forward? Who stays and who goes?
There's still a lot of questions in the frontcourt as well. Is Keef a starting power forward? Judging by the free agent class of this year and the next year, that All-Star could come at the 4. Will Keef be okay with moving to the bench? Can Len stay healthy enough to keep improving? What exactly is his ceiling? Can he be the third-best player on a contender? If Keef and Len are the answers moving forward, where does the bench help come from?
What about the Morris twins themselves? There have been ample concerns covered here in regards to their fit on the team. Can the Suns contend with them on the team?
Those are the situations Suns fans should be monitoring over the next year and those situations will determine when this rebuild is ready to go. I think you start hitting the red button at the end of next summer. By then the Suns will have a clear indication of where they stand for the future and that will be determined by how these questions pan out.
It all starts on Wednesday.