After a chaotic NBA season, free agency is about to begin and give us even more drama. All around the NBA, teams look to improve themselves and take advantage of the opening that lies on top of the NBA. The Suns also look to improve itself and dig out of the crevasse that it has found itself for the last five years.
While many teams have spent the last few years clearing cap space to go after a max level player, Phoenix hasn’t been able to do so, only having about $14 million in available cap space. That means every move they make will be crucial to improve the team. The Suns have relied on either Devin Booker playing point guard or a bevy of players who just didn’t get the job done. Tyler Johnson played well, but he isn’t a long term answer.
This summer, the Suns top priority has to be landing a top point guard and there’s a lot of them on the market. It’s just that a lot of them seem to be looking at other places besides Phoenix. Kyrie Irving seems to be heading Brooklyn or New York, Kemba Walker is most likely heading to Boston, D’Angelo Russell is reportedly interested in returning to Los Angeles and those are just the All-Stars.
Russell has been rumored to join the Suns for a while as he and Booker have a great relationship. Russell would be a great addition to the Suns but there have been conflicting reports that say the Suns aren’t looking to sign him. If Russell does want to play in Phoenix, the Suns should do all it can to sign him. However, there’s a good chance that won’t happen so the Suns have to be prepared for that situation. There’s plenty of options available for the Suns if it fails to sign Russell from vets like Ricky Rubio to young guys like Malcom Brogdon.
However, the one point guard the Suns should really think about signing is Patrick Beverley.
Beverley isn’t an All-Star, he isn’t a top tier point guard and he’s never averaged more than 13 points a game in a season but what he does bring is grit and toughness. We’ve all seen the videos of Beverley getting into it with the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and others. He’s a high energy, high motor guard that prioritizes defense above all else. Beverley is tough as nails and is as fierce a competitor as you can be. Those are qualities any team should want, especially a team that’s extremely young and needs a veteran voice in the locker room.
While Beverley isn’t a high-volume scorer or averaging 10 assists a game, he is a solid, starting-caliber point guard in the NBA. Nothing to get overly excited about but someone who you know what you’re going to get every game. He understands his role and isn’t going to deviate from that. Beverley’s offensive game will probably stay the same, which means he isn’t going to be taking the ball out of Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr. or Deandre Ayton’s hands.
Now, Beverley isn’t better than Russell. Booker’s best friend may not be the same aggressive, defensive pest as Beverley but he’s a better offensive threat all across the board, whether it’s passing, shooting, scoring, etc. Russell has also continued to grow each year he’s been in the league. The Suns should do whatever it takes to snatch Russell, but, if he goes elsewhere, Beverley should be their Plan B.