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Phoenix Suns All-Time Starting Lineup, Bench, And Coach

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Phoenix Suns All-Time Starting Lineup, Bench, And Coach

The Phoenix Suns have been a part of the NBA as a franchise since the 1968-69 season. In those 55 seasons, the Suns have made 31 playoff appearances, won 3 Conference championships, and have never taken home an NBA championship. Despite the lack of overall success, the Suns have had many high-caliber players come through the desert. The Suns have produced 3 Rookie of the Year award winners and two different MVP award winners. From the days of Alvan Adams in 1976 to Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley, and the 1993 team up until today with Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the Suns have made their mark on NBA history.

With such a storied history, there are bound to be some omissions from our lineup here today. Let’s give out some honorable mentions. Connie Hawkins and his 4 all-star appearances were considered but fell just short. As was Alvan Adams and his incredible rookie season. Players like Jason Kidd, Dan Majerle, Dick Van Arsdale, and Walter Davis all deserve mention, too, although they fell just out of rotation.

Enough about the guys who aren’t in our lineup. Here is the All-Time Phoenix Suns starting lineup, full bench, and coach:


Guard - Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 14.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 9.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 2x MVP, 6x All-Star, 7x All-NBA Team Selections, Hall Of Fame

Steve Nash was drafted by the Suns with the 15th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. After two seasons, he was shipped off to the Dallas Mavericks for Pat Garrity and Bubba Wells. It would be when he re-joined the team in 2004 via free agency that he would make NBA History. With every passing year, Nash established himself as one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history inside of Coach Mike D’Antoni’s high-octane system. He was an All-Star in each of his first 4 seasons back with the team and led the league in assists 3 times. The cherry on top was back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006. The Suns were perennial contenders once again.

In Nash’s first MVP season in 2005, he averaged 15.5 PPG and 11.5 APG. The Suns won 62 games that season but were eliminated by the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. The following season Nash took home his second MVP award with averages of 18.8 PPG and 10.5 APG. The Suns won another 54 games and again fell short in the Western Conference Finals. One thing about Nash that goes overlooked is his offensive efficiency. Nash can be considered one of the best shooters of his era when you look at his percentages. In his 8-year stretch with the Suns, he shot 51.0% overall, 43.7 % from three, and 91.2 % from the foul line. There is no other player in Suns history that you would rather run your offense than Steve Nash.


Guard - Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 18.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 9.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 1x Most Improved Player, 3x All-Star, 5x All-NBA Team Selection

Kevin Johnson could very well be one of the most underrated players to ever grace the NBA hardwood. From the moment he stepped on the floor for the Suns, Johnson was one of the best guards in the entire league. After a short half stint in Cleveland as a rookie, Johnson was traded in the 1988 midseason to the Suns. KJ got the starting job for the following season and didn’t disappoint. He started 81 games and averaged 20.7 PPG and 12.2 APG while earning himself the Most Improved Player award. Johnson was just getting started.

The following two seasons were more of the same, as he averaged over 20.0 PPG and over 10.0 APG in each. He dealt with some injuries along the way but was still a vital piece in the 1993 run to the NBA Finals. Johnson averaged 17.8 PPG and 7.9 APG throughout the playoffs, but the Suns ultimately fell to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. In 12 seasons with Kevin Johnson, the Suns made a playoff appearance in 11 of them, including 3 trips to the Western Conference Finals and 1 trip to the NBA Finals.


Guard - Devin Booker

Devin Booker

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 23.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 3x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Team Selection

Coming off of just his 7th season in the NBA, Devin Booker has already established himself as one of the most talented players in Phoenix Suns history. He has evolved into a legitimate three-level offensive threat that can take over a game when need be. Booker’s game has improved from the moment he entered the league with Phoenix back in 2015. He averaged 22.0 PPG in his second season in 2016, and it has only gotten better from there.

Devin Booker has made 3 straight All-Star appearances since 2020 and simultaneously averaged 25.5 PPG or better. In 2021, Booker went off in his first career playoff appearance averaging 27.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 4.5 APG. His efforts helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 28 years, although they would be defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in 6 games. In 2022, Booker led the Suns to their best regular-season finish in franchise history. The Suns finished 64-18 as Booker tallied a career-high 26.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 4.8 APG. It would be foolish to leave an offensive talent such as Devin Booker out of our starting lineup.


Forward - Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 23.4 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 1x MVP, 4x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Team Selection, Hall Of Fame

From the instant Charles Barkley stepped foot on the court for the Phoenix Suns, his impact was felt. For a team that had made 2 trips to the Conference Finals prior to his arrival, Phoenix had hoped he would be the missing piece that could put them over the top. He nearly did his first season with the team. Barkley averaged 25.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.6 SPG. The Suns would have the league’s best record, and Barkley took home the NBA’s MVP award.

Barkley’s efforts led the Suns to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1976. In the playoffs, Barkley played 24 games and averaged 26.6 PPG and 13.6 RPG, but the Suns would be stopped in their tracks by the Bulls in the Finals. The next 3 years were filled with seasons of All-NBA team selections, All-Star appearances, and seasons of at least 21.0 PPG and 11.0 RPG. He was traded to Houston in 1996 after just 4 seasons with the Suns but still had cemented himself as the greatest power forward in Suns history.


Center - Amar’e Stoudemire

Amar'e Stoudemire

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 21.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 1x Rookie Of The Year, 5x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Team Selection

NBA fans knew Amar’e Stoudemire was going to be special fairly quickly after they drafted him with the 9th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Stoudemire went to work fast, playing in all 82 games averaging 13.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in his inaugural season. Stoudemire was off to a great start, leading the Suns to the playoffs his rookie year and even helping to steal 2 games from the San Antonio Spurs. It would be the years that followed and with the addition of Steve Nash where Amar’e would flourish into a powerhouse.

From 2004 to 2010, when he left in free agency for the Knicks, Nash and Stoudemire formed one of the most dangerous duo’s in the league. Stoudemire averaged over 23.0 PPG alongside Nash and helped to pretty much reinvent the power forward/center position while making the Suns an absolute powerhouse. Stoudemire ranks 3rd in rebounds, 5th in blocks, and 2nd in Player PER for the Suns' franchise. With Stoudemire instilled in their lineup, the Suns made the NBA playoffs seven times in his 8 years of service and twice advanced to the Western Conference Finals.


Bench


Guard - Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 15.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 9.8 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 2x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection

After the Suns went undefeated in the 2020 bubble, they knew they were just one or two pieces away from being real contenders. Enter Chris Paul. Just as he has done for the better part of his career, Paul has transformed the Suns back into a prominent franchise. In his two years with the team, he has led them to a 102-33 record in 135 regular-season games played. The Suns have also thrived in the postseason, with Paul commanding the offense. They have made 1 NBA Finals in 2021 and in 2022, were 1 game shy of a 2nd straight Western Conference Finals berth.

Paul’s impact on the Suns has not only led to team success, but as per usual, everyone around him has improved. Devin Booker had matured into a top-tier offensive threat while feeding off of Paul’s energy to elevate his playmaking as well. Mikal Bridges, Cam Payne, and Deandre Ayton have all seen their games elevate by sharing the floor with Chris Paul. At age 37, Paul has shown no signs of slowing down, coming off a season with Phoenix that saw him win the assists title and lead the Suns to 64 wins, a franchise record.


Guard - Walter Davis

Walter Davis

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 20.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 1x Rookie Of The Year, 6x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection

Walter Davis is the Phoenix Suns' all-time leader in points scored, with 15,666 total points in 11 seasons. It all started with his Rookie Of The Year campaign in 1978. Davis played in 81 games for the Suns in 1978 and averaged 24.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG. The Suns would be swept in the 1st round of the playoffs despite 25.0 PPG and 8.5 RPG from Davis. He followed up his tremendous rookie year with a stellar sophomore performance. He averaged 23.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 4.3 APG to go with 1.9 SPG. He would be named an All-Star and to the All-NBA Second Team.

On top of his scoring record for Phoenix, Davis finds himself atop the field goals made category as well in their franchise history. He also ranks 4th in assists and 3rd in steals. Davis was a volume scorer who averaged 20.0 PPG or more in 6 different seasons with the Suns. Despite some battles off the court, Davis was able to produce mightily on it and instill himself into Phoenix Sun's history, His jersey has been retired by the team, and he is a member of their Ring Of Honor as well.


Guard - Paul Westphal

Paul Westphal

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 20.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 4x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Team Selection

Paul Westphal’s arrival in Phoenix coincided perfectly with the arrival of rookie Alvan Adams. Westphal would average 20.5 PPG and 5.4 APG in 1976 during the regular season, which saw the Suns work their way to the NBA Finals. Westphal added 21.1 PPG and 5.1 APG in 19 postseason matchups. Westphal played 6 seasons in Phoenix and never averaged below 20.0 PPG and 5.0 APG in a season.

Westphal had won an NBA championship prior to joining the Suns as a member of the Boston Celtics. It would be in Phoenix, where he would offensively peak. Following his 1975-76 season, Westphal kept scoring in bunches for the Suns. He finished 6th in the NBA in scoring when he averaged 25.2 PPG. He finished 7th in the NBA in scoring the following season with an average of 24.0 PPG. Westphal currently ranks 9th in Suns history in points and 7th in assists.


Forward - Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion

Championships: 0

Career Stats (with Suns): 18.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.9 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 4x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection

Shawn Marion could very well be another player who spent his prime with the Suns that is historically underrated. Marion was a two-way star for the Suns that spent the first 9 seasons of his career with the team. Much of his prime gets overshadowed by the fact that he played alongside Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, but without Marion, the Suns are not quite as successful. It was Marion who provided Suns teams who were less than average defensively with the boost they needed on that end of the floor. It was Marion who took on the challenge of going toe-to-toe with the opposing team’s best players every night.

Shawn Marion’s impact is evidenced by his rank amongst other all-time Phoenix greats. Marion ranks 3rd all-time in field goals made, 4th in three-pointers made, 2nd in rebounds, 2nd in steals, 3rd in blocks, and 4th in points for the Suns. His best season came in 2005-06 when he made the All-NBA Third Team, and the Suns went to the Western Conference Finals. He averaged 21.8 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.7 BPG. Among other stats that validate Marion’s spot here on the bench is that he ranks 1st all-time in Suns history with 93.2 total win shares. He will be a nice boost off the bench for our lineup.


Forward - Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers

Career Stats (with Suns): 20.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Achievements (with Suns): 3x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection

Although Tom Chambers was an All-Star and All-Star Game MVP with the Seattle SuperSonics, Tom Chambers definitely peaked as a member of the Phoenix Suns. In his first two seasons in the desert, Chambers could be argued as a Top 10 player in basketball as he was named to the All-NBA Second Team both years. In 1989, his first season with the Suns, Chambers averaged 25.7 PPG and 8.4 RPG and earned his first All-NBA team selection.

Chambers had the best season of his entire career in 1990 in both the regular season and the playoffs. In the 1990 regular season, Chambers averaged 27.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG, earning the Suns a playoff berth. Chambers stepped it up from there into the playoffs. He averaged 22.0 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 16 playoff games, with Phoenix losing in the Western Conference Finals to the Portland Trail Blazers. In his 5 seasons with Phoenix, the team made the playoffs all 5 years, with two trips to the Conference Finals and one trip to the Finals in 1993 when Chambers was past his prime. Chambers’ 5-year stretch earns him a spot on our bench.


Coach - Paul Westphal

Paul Westphal

No disrespect intended to current reigning Coach Of The Year, Monty William, but Westphal is our guy. Westphal knew how to do one thing, whether he was a player or a coach, and that was to win. In his 1st full season as head coach, much like Williams, Westphal led the Suns to the NBA Finals but lost in 6 games. The team made the playoffs every season of Westphal’s tenure and made one trip to the Finals. He accumulated a 191-88 record in 4 seasons as coach. For reference, Monty Williams has a record of 149-78 in 3 seasons. He will pass him eventually, but for now, the whistle is Westphal’s.


What Would The Phoenix Suns All-Time Team Look Like Together On The Court?

There is no denying the pure talent that oozes from the Phoenix Suns lineup from top to bottom. Offensively and defensively, they are about as complete as any all-time team that we have built. Offensively, they have it all. Perimeter shooting and scoring is set with Booker, Nash and Johnson handling the load as well as the playmaking being some of the best in the world. On the interior are two warriors ready to do battle. Barkley and Stoudemire are two great finishers and effective without the ball. The pick-and-roll offense should be extremely effective. We can’t forget the playmakers coming off of the bench for the Suns as well in Paul, Marion, and Hawkins.

Defensively, the interior is a dogfight with Barkley, Stoudemire, Davis, and Chambers as our frontcourt. The weakness somewhat lies in the perimeter with Nash and Booker the outliers. However, this is where the bench comes in. Shawn Marion and Chris Paul will provide a big boost to the perimeter defense off the bench, shoring up any issues that may arise. All in all, this team has some serious two-way talent that should be able to compete against any lineup in front of them. With a mind like Paul Westphal at the helm on the court and sidelines, anything is possible. 

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