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Suns Weekly: Breaking down the all-time Suns trade acquisitions — where do CP3, KD and Beal rank?

Formerly called Center of the Sun: Your weekly roundup of Phoenix Suns news, rumors, notes and videos from the prior week plus a preview of the week to come.

DENVER NUGGETS VS PHOENIX SUNS, NBA PLAYOFFS Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns. (Formerly called Center of the Sun)

In this issue we discuss where Chris Paul and Devin Booker rank among all time Suns greats, the team’s short history of great trade acquisitions, and a couple interesting storylines from the past week.

You all know the names of the biggest trade acquisitions in Phoenix Suns history. Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Paul Westphal and Kevin Johnson are easily four of the best 10 Phoenix Suns players of all time.

Barkley, 28 when he came to the Suns, only needed one year to become an all-time Suns icon. He was the poster boy of the greatest combination of anticipation and delivery in the franchise’s 55 year history. Chuck represented the Suns on the Dream Team, MVP stage, All-Star game and NBA Finals in 92-93 alone, and to this day wears Suns colors in national TV ads. His Suns tally is like a shooting star, here one moment gone the next: 4 years, 4 playoffs, 1 Finals, 4 All-Star, 4 All-NBA. He’s one of the Top-75 All-Time greatest NBA players and is in the Hall of Fame.

Paul Westphal, 25 when he came to the Suns, established himself as a perennial All-Star in the Valley. Westy will forever and always be one of the greatest Suns players, coaches and ambassadors in Suns franchise history. His cumulative Suns tally as a player AND head coach: 9 years, 7 playoffs, 2 Finals, 4 All-Star, 4 All-NBA, 1 Coach of the Year. RIP Westy. May you be wearing orange and purple as you look down on us with that ‘resting happy face’.

Kevin Johnson, just 21 when he came here, should count as a lifetime Sun even though he was acquired via trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Suns acquired Johnson in the middle of his rookie year after backing up All-Star Mark Price for half a season. KJ spent the rest of his career in the Valley and orchestrated the best continuous run of good-to-great in franchise history. His Suns tally: 12 years, 11 playoffs (10 straight + one out-of-retirement appearance), 1 Finals, 3 All-Star, 5 All-NBA. 1 Most-improved.

Jason Kidd, 23 when he came to the Suns, spent 4.5 of his stellar 20-year career in the Valley. He was great in a Suns uniform, but unlike Chuck few people associate Jason Kidd with the Suns these days. After leaving the Suns under a cloud of domestic violence accusations, Kidd went to two Finals with the Nets and a won championship with Dallas. Still, his Suns tally: 4.5 years, 5 playoffs, 3 All-Star, 4 All-Defense, 4 All-NBA. He’s Top-75 All-Time NBA and in the Hall of Fame.

That’s it. Four great trade acquisitions in 55 years, qualified by multiple All-Star appearances in a Suns uniform after being acquired. Anyone would rank them among the top 10 greatest Suns of all time.

Chris Paul was a great trade acquisition, but at what point do we consider adding Paul to the list of greatest Suns players of all time? He did a lot in three years — 1 Finals, 2 All-Star, 2 All-NBA — but three years is just not a lot of time. Remains to be seen whether Kevin Durant or Bradley Beal will ever be listed among the greatest Suns of all time too.

All three of Paul (10x All-Star pre-Phx), Durant (15x All-Star pre-Phx) and Beal (3x All-Star pre-Phx) are among the most accomplished players ever acquired by the franchise. But will they reach new heights in Suns uniforms AND stay here in the Valley long enough to become Valley icons? Probably not.

This is Devin Booker’s team. Those guys are here to help Book try to become the greatest Sun of all time.

Quotes of the Week

Bradley Beal did an interview a while ago that released this week. See it covered here.


Instagram — Booker and Jordan laughing over something, on Instagram

Hot Ones /YouTube — Steph Curry says growing up he modeled his game after Steve Nash and Reggie Miller, on a recent Hot Ones episode

Good Bright Side reads you probably missed

Each week I’ll highlight some Bright Side articles that didn’t get as many eyeballs as they should have. It’s worth your time to give these a look before they’re lost in the ether forever.


No activity in the past week. Lots of offseason podcasts are zeroing in on the evils of these top-heavy rosters that don’t have room for mid-level salaries, but that’s the way the NBA is trending now. The game’s greatest players have become power brokers.

And here’s the bottom line.

The Suns are now just a hair over the second apron if you only count the guaranteed money (i.e. only $300k of Goodwin and none of Ish Wainright).

Goodwin and Wainright would cost the Suns more than $13 million in salary and luxury tax charges if guaranteed, so don’t expect the Suns make any final decisions on those guys until they absolutely have to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ish released before the season starts, and replaced (or re-signed) by a two-way that doesn’t count on luxury tax bills.

Important Future Dates

Second week of August: NBA schedule released.

August 31: Last day for teams to waive players and apply the stretch provision to their 2023-24 salaries.

September 5: Last day for teams to issue required tenders to unsigned second-round picks; those players become free agents on September 6 if not tendered.

Late September: (specific dates TBA) Training camps open.

October 24: 2023-24 NBA season begins.

This week’s poll

Should Chris Paul (3 years, 2 All-Star, 1 Finals) go down as one of the greatest Phoenix Suns players of all time? And where would Devin Booker (8 years, 1 Finals, 3 All-Star) rank, if he Suns career ended today?

Here’s a recent, if a little dated, Top-25 once put together by Bleacher Report.

  1. Steve Nash
  2. Charles Barkley
  3. Kevin Johnson
  4. Shawn Marion
  5. Amare Stoudemire
  6. Walter Davis
  7. Paul Westphal
  8. Jason Kidd
  9. Tom Chambers
  10. Jeff Hornacek
  11. Alvan Adams
  12. Larry Nance
  13. Dick Van Arsdale
  14. Dan Majerle
  15. Connie Hawkins
  16. Dennis Johnson
  17. Mark West
  18. Paul Silas
  19. Gar Heard
  20. Charlie Scott
  21. Truck Robinson
  22. Raja Bell
  23. Maurice Lucas
  24. Joe Johnson
  25. Cliff Robinson

Paul’s three years in the Valley might not make him Top 10 in team history, but should he beat out guys further down the list? Is Chris Paul’s Suns legacy — 1 Finals, 3 playoff appearances — good enough to rank him ahead of the likes of Dennis Johnson, Mark West, or Paul Silas? How about Gar Heard or Truck Robinson or Raja Bell?


Where does CP3 rank among all-time Suns?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    8-15 range
    (176 votes)
  • 30%
    16-20 range
    (91 votes)
  • 10%
    Outside top 20
    (31 votes)
298 votes total Vote Now

And while we’re here: how about Devin Booker (8 years, 1 Finals, 3 All-Star, 1 All-NBA)? I know we all talk about Book eventually being the greatest Sun of all time, but what about right now? Does he beat out Amare (8 years, 5 All-Star, 4 All-NBA) or the Matrix (8 years, 4 All-Star, 2 All-NBA) yet?


Where does Devin Booker rank right NOW, among all-time Phoenix Suns?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Inside the Top 5, edging out at least one of Matrix, STAT, KJ or Chuck
    (213 votes)
  • 29%
    6-10 range
    (95 votes)
  • 4%
    Not quite Top 10 yet, but he will eventually get there
    (16 votes)
324 votes total Vote Now

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