The Phoenix Suns have gotten off to a good start in the 2023-24 NBA season, with a win against the Golden State Warriors. Devin Booker was the superstar of the night. He put up 32 points and 8 assists on the board with ease. Kevin Durant contributed with 13 assists and 18 points as well. But the interesting point is that they aren’t even at full strength right now.
With his new threads 🔥
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 25, 2023
Matt Ishbia managed to pull off an exceptional deal with the Washington Wizards in the summer to acquire Bradley Beal in a trade. They sent Landry Shamet and Chris Paul the other way. The Wizards dealt with the Warriors to acquire Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins, and a few draft picks.
The common opinion among the NBA world was that the Suns gambled big on Beal, giving up plenty of future draft assets. But it looks like Matt Ishbia is taking no chances this year, and is aiming to have a shot at the Larry O’Brien right away. But it looks like his gamble hasn’t paid off so far, with Beal sitting on the sidelines.
The same has been the case for Devin Booker. The young star has been struggling to stay fit, which could affect the Suns badly in the coming months. The AZ-based team has been resting both Beal and Booker, a decision that has gone viral after a recent NBA rule change.
For some context, Adam Silver and the Association revealed that NBA teams will not be allowed to rest more than one star player for a game. The Association will determine the ‘star’ title given to players on whether they have made it to All-NBA or NBA All-Star teams in any of the three prior seasons.
Suns head coach Frank Vogel recently spoke about this. He mentioned that the NBA had not contacted the franchise regarding the matter, and reiterated that they were injured. It is unlikely that the Suns face the consequences, considering they aren’t resting the players by choice, but due to unfortunate injuries.
When will Devin Booker and Bradley Beal return?
Vogel also provided Suns fans with an update on Booker and Beal’s injuries. He said to reporters, “They are working really hard with the medical team.” Vogel did not provide an accurate timeline, but said that the star players will work to get back “As soon as possible.”
Phoenix Suns coach Frank Vogel said Devin Booker (ankle) and Bradley Beal (back) are working hard to get back, didn’t offer a timetable on their return.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 29, 2023
In their absence, Durant has been leading the team in style. He was the star of the night when the Suns faced the Utah Jazz. The big three looked promising in preseason, and it will be interesting to see how they perform this year.
They surely have enough firepower to contend for the title, but will face some tough competition against the likes of LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets. Booker and Beal’s early return will play a pivotal role in the Suns’ aim to build some early-season momentum.