The Phoenix Suns have been the talk of the league since the NBA restart. They shocked the basketball world by going 8-0 in the bubble and defeating some of the league’s top teams. The Suns have proved that they could be contenders in the coming seasons. They have a star in Devin Booker, some emerging young players like Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson, and some talented role players such as Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr. A lot of attention will be on Phoenix at the start of next season, as fans will want to see a repeat of their bubble performance.
In order to elevate their game and make a playoff push, Phoenix must take advantage of their bubble play this offseason. Phoenix could see more free agents than usual wanting to cash in on playing with Devin Booker and should give some veteran role players a listen. Furthermore, and arguably more importantly, Phoenix needs to win on draft night. They have the tenth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and should land a top talent barring a trade back. After watching the Suns throughout the season, there is only one player who I think perfectly fits their style of play and fills a need. That player is Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr.
Kira Lewis Jr is a 6’3″, 165 pound speedster who can be the point guard that Phoenix is missing. Ricky Rubio is a strong veteran presence, but he is not a point guard who could lead his team on a deep playoff run. Lewis, on the other hand, can be that guy Phoenix is looking for. Lewis averaged 18 points and 5 assists last season to go along with 1.8 steals per game. He is a scrappy player who can slash to the rim and create space for his teammates. While Rubio is passive, Lewis is aggressive and can provide Phoenix with a spark on offense using his burst and drive-by ability.
Devin Booker is the man in Phoenix, so the Suns must be careful to not draft a player who needs the ball all the time. Cole Anthony at 10 might seem like a good fit, but he will take too many shots away from Booker, which will hurt Phoenix in the long run. Lewis can create for himself, especially driving to the rim, so he will not need to be set up by another playmaker. He can come in and be the playmaker that Phoenix is missing.
The young Phoenix team performed great in transition offense all season. The player on their roster who arguably struggles the most in fast break situations is Ricky Rubio. Kira Lewis Jr, however, thrives in transition, which should be an immediate benefit for the Suns roster. Using his speed and tight handles, Lewis should transcend the Phoenix offense and make them to a top offense in the league. Imagine Lewis pushing the ball up-court with Booker and Johnson spacing the perimeter and Ayton trailing behind running to the rim. Phoenix could cash in on these fast break opportunities all the time with Lewis as their point guard.
Lewis might not be as good of a defender as Rubio, but he is still scrappy and has the potential to improve. His speed and overall pesky presence should put the pressure on the opposing ball handler which could result into some easy steals and transition looks. Lewis is a great fit for Phoenix because he brings speed and athleticism to a team whose identity is built of of young athletes. As the Suns starting point guard, Lewis will be expected to give around 10 points and 6 assists per game, which is well within the realm of possibility for a player with his talent.
In my opinion, Phoenix is a point guard away from becoming a playoff team. With no ascending point guard available in free agency, they must fill this need with the tenth pick. LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton will be off the board by ten, so Phoenix should not do much work on them. Cole Anthony, Killian Hayes, and Kira Lewis Jr are most likely the point guards who will be available, and Lewis should be the selection. He is a perfect fit alongside of Booker and Ayton and should provide scoring and playmaking for the emerging Phoenix Suns.