For the 10th consecutive season, ESPN has compiled its list of the top 100 players headed into the new campaign, and they’ve included three names from the most intriguing team in the NBA, your Phoenix Suns.
Two Suns ranked in the top 20, and top honors go to Chris Paul who put together a resurgent season in Oklahoma City, before arriving to Phoenix via trade last month. Here’s what the basketball nerds at ESPN had to say about our Suns.
15. Chris Paul
Previous rank: 32
2020-21 projected RPM: 3.6
Swing skill: Paul’s leadership is legendary, and now he’s headed to Phoenix to try to lift the young Suns into serious playoff contention in the Western Conference. After two first-round picks and two pick swaps were attached to his deal to facilitate a trade to Oklahoma City, Paul quieted the critics by leading the Thunder to the playoffs with an All-NBA Second Team performance. Can he do it again in Phoenix?
17. Devin Booker
Previous rank: 30
2020-21 projected RPM: 2.6
One thing to watch for: All-NBA honors are the next milestone for Booker, who made his first All-Star Game as a replacement and was even better in Phoenix’s 8-0 run in the seeding games (30.5 ppg, 6.0 apg, one game-winning shot). To reach the top 15 of these rankings, Booker will need to show his game translates to the postseason, an opportunity he should get with Chris Paul joining him in the backcourt.
52. Deandre Ayton
Previous rank: 66
2020-21 projected RPM: 1.3
One big question: Ayton had a fabulous offseason. The Suns acquired Chris Paul — offensive efficiency in a can — and that means Ayton gets to team up with a playmaker bound to get him clean looks near the rim. Now can Ayton become a dominant rim-runner in pick-and-roll actions with CP3? If he can, the Suns are going to be a problem.
ESPN’s list is littered with former Suns. Players ranked 100-51 can be found here, 50-11 can be found here. We’ve not yet learned who will be included in the top ten. We’re going to assume there are no more Suns to be included.