NBA analyst reveals why Phoenix Suns have bleak future, could be forced into Devin Booker trade

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns went all-in with a core of Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker with the hope of winning their first championship in franchise history. While Phoenix’s contention window hasn’t necessarily closed, the team’s future is quite bleak.

Trades have reshaped the Suns roster in recent years. In February 2023, Phoenix traded Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and four unprotected first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) to the Brooklyn Nets for Durant.

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  • Phoenix Suns future draft picks: 2028 2nd (Boston), 2031 1st (Phoenix Suns), 2031 2nd (Phoenix Suns)

It was a sizable gamble, given Durant’s age and the loss of both depth and Suns future draft picks. However, Phoenix believed it would become the best team in the Western Conference. A year later, following playoff disappointments, the Suns made another blockbuster deal.

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Phoenix traded six second-round picks (2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2030) along with pick swaps (2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030) to the Wizards for Beal. The Suns made the trade despite Beal’s deal being widely viewed as one of the worst NBA contracts.

  • Bradley Beal contract: $50.203 million salary (2024-’25), $53.666 million salary (2025-’26), $57.128 million player option in 2026

After suffering a first-round playoff sweep in the first year of the Booker, Durant and Beal core there were NBA trade rumors hinting at changes being made. While nothing is happening this summer, Phoenix could be forced into deals before long.

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As covered in-depth by John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Suns have positioned themselves where they will likely have to trade Durant and Booker to get out of the situation they created.

“Ask the other 29 GMs— 26 of them would trade their whole team for our whole team and our draft picks and everything as is. The house is not on fire. We’re in great position. It’s not hard to fix. It’s not like we’re like, ‘Hey, we don’t have enough talent to win a championship.’ We have enough talent to win a championship.”

Phoeni Suns governor Mat Ishbia on the roster following the 2024 first-round playoff exit

Phoenix has the most expensive roster in the NBA next season, even before making any other moves to improve the roster. Even worse is that Phoenix is on the hook for $213.04 million in committed salaries for the 2025-’26 season, which is totaled across just eight players.

Under the new NBA CBA, Phoenix’s draft picks in 2032 and 2033 are frozen because the team is well over the second apron. To make matters worse, per Hollinger, the Suns draft pick in 2032 will be moved to the end of Round 1 if the team isn’t under the second apron in 2026.

The Suns will still be competing for a championship this upcoming season, hoping their core gels together. If Phoenix falls short and suffers another first-round playoff exit, there will likely be a lot of NBA trade rumors about a firesale.

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