The Phoenix Suns ended the 2019-20 season on an inspiring 8-0 run. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to secure them a spot in the postseason, a milestone they’ve been trying to reach since the start of the Booker era in 2015.
With an offseason of uncertainty approaching, now might be the time for them to make a big-time move.
According to Danny Cunningham of Complex, one such move could involve the acquisition of 9x All-Star Russell Westbrook from the Houston Rockets.
The Suns were one of the best stories in Orlando after they went 8-0 in the seeding games yet failed to make the playoffs. If Phoenix was to add Westbrook to the mix, that ceiling climbs even higher. If Booker doesn’t have to do all the scoring on a regular basis, the Suns could become a dangerous team.
Between Booker’s exceptional long-distance shooting and Westbrook’s fearless attacks at the rim, the duo would make Phoenix a pretty hard team to compete with offensively, especially if 22-year-old Deandre Ayton continues his development.
For Houston, their change in leadership could lead to a major breakup of the roster. In return for Westbrook, they could acquire several talented players: Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Frank Kaminsky, and Mikal Bridges.
The Rockets can get off all of Westbrook’s bad money in just two years, instead of three, and add a couple of valuable trade pieces in the process of doing so. Kelly Oubre Jr. is a fun young player and could be an interesting add for a contender near the trade deadline should Houston choose to go that route. Ricky Rubio instantly went into Phoenix and made the Suns a better team, and while his best days might be behind him, he should be able to do that in just about any situation. Mikal Bridges is the one piece here for Houston that’s worth hanging on to for the long haul. He’s put up encouraging numbers in his first two years in Phoenix in a limited role, but could be pretty good if given the opportunity.
Obviously, many questions remain about how these teams will look come next season. The Rockets and Suns are both squads looking for legitimacy in the West — but their paths to getting there might look totally different.
It will be an interesting offseason, to say the least, especially for these two clubs.