Phoenix Suns: Buying or selling the Suns as championship contenders

Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /

Buying or selling the Phoenix Suns as a championship contender. 

Throughout the 2020-21 NBA season, the biggest surprise in the Western Conference has been the Utah Jazz who have sat atop the conference standings for what feels all season long. However, quietly, another potential surprising and unforeseen contender has arrived: the Phoenix Suns.

Entering this season, even after adding Chris Paul during the offseason, many expected the Suns to take somewhat of a step forward, but not the step forward that Phoenix has made through the first two-thirds of this season.

With roughly 20 games remaining in the regular season, the Suns have been one of the most consistently good teams in the Western Conference and currently sit as the second seed and just 2.5 games back of the Jazz.

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In fact, after an up-and-down 8-8 start to the season, the Suns have been the best team in the league. Since Jan 28, the Suns have posted a 27-6 record. It clearly took some time for this team to find its stride but once they did they haven’t looked back.

How the Phoenix Suns are getting it done

Devin Booker is having another fantastic season for the Suns, averaging 26 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Even though Paul is not having the best statistical season of his career – after all, that would be unfair to expect at the age of 35 – his impact on the team can’t be overstated. His veteran leadership has helped settle and guide this young team – both on and off the floor – and the team has picked up on his winning ways.

Paul is averaging 16 points, nine assists, and five rebounds per game this season.

After their top two, the Suns have five other players that are averaging double-figures – Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Dario Saric, and Cameron Johnson.

And the Suns are doing it on both ends of the floor. The Suns have a top 10 offense, defense, and net rating. They have a lead star and a strong supporting actor. They have a coach that seems to be making all the right calls right now en route to being one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference.

Buy or sell the Phoenix Suns’ chances at winning a championship?

It would be impossible and unfair to simply view and break down the Suns (solely) when discussing their chances at winning a championship. On paper, the Suns have been one of the best teams in the NBA for what feels like almost a full regular season sample size, but there are other factors.

One, there’s the competition.

In the Western Conference, interestingly enough, the main contenders recognized by most are the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers – and then there’s everyone else.

The Lakers and Clippers have the West’s two best duos and in the playoffs, stars are generally what wins out. Those are the two teams you have to grade the Suns against – not just against the Jazz.

The big question for the Suns revolves around whether Devin Booker and Chris Paul could compete on the same level as LeBron James and Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard and Paul George?

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If the answer to that question is yes, then perhaps the Phoenix Suns are indeed true contenders to win a championship this season. At least for me, I’d wait on that. The Suns might just be built for regular-season success. I’m selling the Suns as contenders at the moment.