The addition of Ricky Rubio has been a controversial one among Phoenix Suns fans, but here’s a look at some realistic expectations for the team’s free agency pickup.
For the last two years, pundits from within and outside the valley have bashed the Phoenix Suns for not having a point guard, for lacking veterans who aren’t already over the hill and for a shortage of legitimate NBA talent on the roster.
The Suns went out and finally signed a player who checks all three boxes, and everyone’s still a critic. Go figure.
To be fair, no franchise has earned less benefit of the doubt over the last few years than the Suns. They’ve missed the playoffs nine straight years, have won an average of 21.8 games over the last four seasons, have cycled through to their fifth coach and second general manager since Devin Booker entered the league, and oh yeah, once put defecating goats in their GM’s office.
The Phoenix Suns needed a point guard. They needed to get better in 2019-20, and at least approach 30 wins to make sure Devin Booker feels like this group is actually making progress. And yes, they were always going to have to overpay on the free agency market to convince a real NBA point guard to join one of the most miserable situations in basketball.
These are all undeniable facts. So as much as a three-year, $51 million agreement feels like an overpay for a league-average point guard, it’s a necessary one, and certainly not an egregious one either. Bashing the Suns’ every move has become commonplace, and most of the time it’s warranted, but in this case, it’s simply a case of piling on without taking the time to properly analyze his potential fit or impact.
Bearing all that in mind, it’s time to take a look at five reasonable expectations — good and bad — for the incoming Ricky Rubio and what his tenure with the Phoenix Suns might actually look like, without the burden of the “LOL Suns” overreaction.