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Suns make key trades, draft picks ahead of upcoming season

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) gestures during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio. Booker, the high-scoring guard at the heart of Phoenix's rebuilding plans, has signed a five-year, $158 million maximum contract with the Suns. Booker, 21, tweeted a photo of himself smiling as he signed the deal Saturday night, July 7, moments before the Suns announced the deal.

AP Photo by Eric Gay

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) gestures during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio. Booker, the high-scoring guard at the heart of Phoenix's rebuilding plans, has signed a five-year, $158 million maximum contract with the Suns. Booker, 21, tweeted a photo of himself smiling as he signed the deal Saturday night, July 7, moments before the Suns announced the deal.

Rene Duran, Staff Writer

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With the 2018 NBA season up and running, the Phoenix Suns look a bit different. The Phoenix Suns were busy this offseason, making some key trades and coming away with four major picks in this year’s draft. Deandre Ayton from Arizona and Mikal Bridges from Villanova, who is fresh off a championship title, seem to be the key pillars from this years draft class. The Suns lacked, for quite a few years, a dominating presence in the paint and a ball player who can control the floor and tempo. While also bringing in some interesting additions to the roster such as two former Rockets Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson, who were part of the team that was one win away from putting out the defending champions and their intimidating roster. It’s going to be interesting this season to see these well experienced veterans gel with the young core of the Phoenix Suns.

The centerpiece to this whole build up is locked up for quite a while as the Phoenix Suns signed three year veteran Devin Booker to a five year 158 million contract extension that will kick in at the start of the 2019-2020 season. He averaged 24.9 points,4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game last season, according to USA Today. He has been a gem for the Suns the past three years, and the Suns want him to be involved in the future of this organization. Also from what Booker had to say on Twitter it looks as though he feels the same way.

He wrote, “I am humbled & honored to commit to the Suns Organization long term. I loved calling Phoenix home the last three seasons as this team & community are special to me. Thank you to the Suns for drafting me and believing in me. I look forward to the future & pursuing a title as a Sun.”

He was so young when he entered the league at only 18, but he has evolved his game in the past seasons, and he is exactly what the Suns need- ed to startup this rebuild that’s three years in the making. Most of the responsibility will be put in the hands of Coach Kokoskov by challenging his ability to maneuver his players into the best positions. Coming off a successful run with the Utah Jazz just a season ago as the assistant coach, now as the new Phoenix Suns head coach he will try to make a complete u-turn with this organization. It’s clear that the Suns are targeting a playoff spot; they have a drought of nine years and with this fanbase as special as it is, they don’t want to go

through another grueling season in the lottery. Coach Igor Kokoskov is familiar with success as he led the national Slovenian national team to a 2017 european basketball title, according to NBA.com. They also mentioned, Coach Kokoskov has been around the NBA over the past two decades as an assistant coach with a few confer- ence finals appearances and even a title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. With the Phoenix Suns only appearing twice in the finals in 50 years, Coach Kokoskov will be one of three coach- es in the last two years for Phoenix to take a crack at solving that puzzle.

The season began Oct. 17, and many Arizona natives are curious to see where this team will end up in the middle of April with the number one draft pick and a young superstar in the midst of a breakout season. The Phoenix area is in for a wild ride.

 

 

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Suns make key trades, draft picks ahead of upcoming season