The Phoenix Suns are unlikely to win a lot of games this season, but their future is coming more and more into focus. #TheTimeline indeed.
For the Suns to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes in the coming years on the back of this current core, their two young wing players are going to have to develop into stars.
Devin Booker and Josh Jackson, who both begin the 2017-18 season still just 20 years old, have the greatest potential to become one of the league’s best duos some day soon.
For one thing, they compliment each other remarkably well. Booker brings the skills to one day lead the league in scoring, while Jackson can become of the league’s all-around players and defenders.
Among them, they voted Devin Booker as the league’s 3rd best shooter and Josh Jackson most likely to be the best player in 5 years from this vaunted rookie class.
Jackson even received some votes as “biggest steal”, despite there only being three players taken ahead of him.
Maybe I’m the only one who found this interesting, but Devin Booker actually received some love as a future head coach in the league (as did Jared Dudley). I find it interesting that Booker was mentioned, considering he’s just 20 years old. No other player on this list is less than 94 years old in basketball years.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge also recently polled a dozen NBA GMs about who they would rather have for the next 10 years between former #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and Devin Booker. Wiggins recently signed a maximum contract coming off his rookie deal. Booker won the polling decisively, according to Aldridge.
Most that responded weaseled out of answeing and said both or either, but of those with a preference, Booker won decisively.
Said one GM: “Booker... not even close. Better scorer -- game means more to him -- stylistically fits today's game better -- can be a #1 option.”
Said another: “Booker. Never been convinced of Andrew's desire to compete. Hesitant to trust after he dropped Bill (Duffy, Wiggins’s former agent) in the manner/timing he did.”
And, a third: “Booker. More driven & passionate on a consistent basis.”
Wiggins did have some support from one GM: “Close call. Probably Wiggins because he can play and defend multiple positions.”
Throughout this season, other current Suns players will outshine Booker and Jackson on any given night.
Troy Daniels is a better pure long range shooter RIGHT NOW than Booker.
Fellow 20-year old Derrick Jones Jr. might be a better perimeter defender RIGHT NOW than Jackson.
On the whole, Eric Bledsoe and T.J. Warren are arguably better and inarguably more consistent NBA players RIGHT NOW.
Booker and Jackson have a long way to go to reach their potential. Jackson has played in his big boy Suns uniform for exactly one game. Booker is entering year three, but is still one of the league’s youngest players and needs to find a way to score more efficiently and stop giving up more points than he scores.
But if the Suns are going to one day become a perennial playoff team on the back of this current core, it’s Booker and Jackson most likely to lead that charge as the team’s best players.