Los Angeles Clippers: Ranking NBA teams based on who has the brightest future

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 11: Head Coach Doc Rivers and Montrezl Harrell
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 11: Head Coach Doc Rivers and Montrezl Harrell /
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Phoenix is another lucky team. They haven’t been the most successful in the draft, only knocking it out of the park once when they selected Devin Booker 13th overall in 2015. Speaking of Booker, he is special. He has caught comparisons to some of the best scoring two guards the league has seen, including Kobe Bryant himself. In 2017, Booker erupted for a 70 point game in a loss to the Celtics. That’s impressive for anyone, no matter the circumstances. Booker will be the captain of the ship in Phoenix for years to come. His offensive ability is near irreplaceable. Aside from Booker, the Suns young core consists of Josh Jackson, TJ Warren, Elfrid Payton, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and Alex Len.

Olexiy “Alex” Len is one of the many Phoenix Sun centers. He has never really taken off as the Suns’ front office had certainly hoped for. He’s been a solid 8 points 8 rebounds guy for the majority of his career. He doesn’t have the upside of many of the young centers in the league, and has clear flaws, such as his small hands that cause him to lose the ball easier than preferred.

Elfrid Payton is the newest Sun, as he was acquired on the February 8th trade deadline from the Magic for a second round pick. He is defense focused and a pass-first point guard. His shot has never been great, but they may be attributed to his incredibly long hair that hangs over his eyes. It is speculated that he may not be able to see when he shoots or that his hand hits his hair while he shoots. Either way, he has some work to do, but has been significantly better as a Sun than he was on the Magic.

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TJ Warren just had his best season scoring wise, putting up nearly 20 points per game. Warren, like many of the best young role players in the association, is a great 3-and-D guy. Warren can keep the Suns alive if Booker is having a down time.

Next up is Marquese Chriss, the high-flying Suns power forward. Chriss hasn’t progressed much in his sophomore season, as he is putting up nearly the same points and rebounds per game as his rookie year. Quese is an intriguing option for the Suns. It is unclear as if Phoenix has any plans to keep rolling with him in the future.

Along with Chriss in 2016, the Suns took a risk on the then teenager Dragan Bender from Croatia. He is a center who can stretch the floor and is a lack luster defender. Bender hasn’t started to play like a fourth overall pick, but Phoenix knew they were in for the long haul when choosing the very raw Bender.

Lastly is Josh Jackson, the fourth overall pick of the 2017 draft from Kansas. Jackson is known for his athletic ability to get to the basket and his elite perimeter defense. His shot isn’t great yet, but he’s still trying. Perhaps if he were to improve both his defense and shot, he could be a lite version of Kawhi Leonard.

With all of these young players and a high lottery pick this summer too, you think they’re a lock to be good, right? Well, no. Len, Bender, and Chriss haven’t played like top 10 picks yet. Payton is the same player he was as a rookie, and TJ Warren and Josh Jackson aren’t looking to be leaders of this team either. They only had a lot of success with Booker. Is there time for them to progress and play the way they should? Yes. They are very young and under the right development, they can turn them into a very daunting team.