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Suns Rank: After Booker, who is the Suns second best player?

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Bright Side readers rank the Suns players, voting today on the #2 overall player on the roster

Phoenix Suns v Detroit Pistons Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Clearly, the Phoenix Suns best player for the 2020-21 season is going to be All-Star guard Devin Booker, who established himself as a leader who can carry a winning team in his first chance at a series of meaningful games.

The Suns finished the season on an eight-game winning streak to finish just a half-game out of a playoff spot, losing out on a postseason berth at the final second of the last game on the day before the season ended. That’s the closest they’ve come to the playoffs in Booker’s career, and he’s never been better than he was during that stretch.

But who is the Suns second-best player at this moment — based mostly on the just-concluded season and possibly a little bit on each player’s expected growth and impact next season.

Would you say that’s the former top overall pick who developed into a defensive presence, or the playmaking maestro that stabilized a young team, or the Inspector Gadget defender who locked down the opponent’s best player every night, or the stylish big-shot-maker who energized the team from within?

Let’s review the case for each player, then let you decide in a poll at the bottom!

*Bright Side will run this SunsRank process for the whole Suns 2019-20 roster! So far we have:

  1. Devin Booker
  2. ...

Deandre Ayton

  • Pros: 18.2 Pts/g (3rd), 11.5 Reb/g (1st), 1.5 Blk/g (1st), one of top-5 defenders in NBA all across the floor in terms of holding players to lower shooting percentage than their season averages; despite being 7’1” cannot be played off the floor defensively because he can switch, defend one-on-one all sizes and defend the rim on help
  • Cons: offensive shot profile is poor — too many midrange, not enough shots at rim or long range; does not draw enough free throws; confidence ebbs and flows unexpectedly; strangely was better offensively as a rookie than second-year; only played 38 of 73 games due to suspension/injury
  • Bottom line: Might be the most impactful on the Suns future, good or bad. Ayton is definitely the most physically talented player on the Suns roster, and most all the NBA for that matter. Could become a top-10 NBA player because of two-way potential, but may settle for top-40 or top-30 due to lack of ‘underdog’ fire

Mikal Bridges

  • Pros: 36.1% 3PT (T-4th), 58.3% True Shooting (3rd), 1.4 Stl/G (T-1st), 0.7 Blk/g (3rd); always defends the opponent’s best offensive player; likely to make multiple All-Defense teams; is effective defensively against the game’s best offensive players; should get a lot of credit for Suns rising to 17th on defense this year
  • Cons: would never be one of the Suns best offensive players; not aggressive on offense, limited impact
  • Bottom line: makes major impact on winning because of the defensive end and ability to hit threes; could be like an Andre Iguodala who is hugely impactful defensively in the most important games

Ricky Rubio

  • Pros: 8.8 Ast/g (1st), 1.4 Stl/g (T-1st), 36.1% 3PT (T-4th), Should get most of the credit for helping Suns lead league in assists and assist-rate, and 12th best offense in league after the same core being 30th a year ago; also contributed point-of-attack defense to help team rise to 17th overall on defense; very good at catch-and-shoot threes (41%)
  • Cons: not a good shot-creator on his own, often sees defense sag off him with the ball and cannot kill them for leaving him open off the bounce
  • Bottom line: quietly had an impact on both ends for the Suns, especially in facilitating the offense. Prior to The Bubble, Ricky had the team’s best on/off numbers because the backups were so bad.

Kelly Oubre Jr.

  • Pros: 18.7 Pts/g (2nd), 6.4 Reb/g (2nd), 1.3 Stl/g (3rd), 0.7 Blk/g (2nd), 4.4 FTA/g (2nd), 3PA/g (2nd), 34.5 Min/g (2nd); was the best clutch 3P shooter on the team by far, making 48.8% on clutch threes; most exciting half-court dunker; given credit as spirit-leader among teammates and fans
  • Cons: considering all his production, had low advanced stats and overall statistical impact due to inefficient scoring and inconsistent defense
  • Bottom line: he’s the opposite of Mikal Bridges in many ways. Yet, the Suns did win a few games solely thanks to Oubre’s efforts in closing minutes, more than can be said about anyone outside on the roster Booker.

Time to vote!

*Bright Side will run this SunsRank process for the whole Suns 2019-20 roster! So far we have:

  1. Devin Booker
  2. ...

Who comes next on the list of best Suns players?

Poll

Which of these players should be ranked #2 in SunsRank, right behind Devin Booker?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Deandre Ayton
    (683 votes)
  • 8%
    Mikal Bridges
    (118 votes)
  • 33%
    Ricky Rubio
    (490 votes)
  • 11%
    Kelly Oubre Jr.
    (167 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (please specify)
    (17 votes)
1475 votes total Vote Now