4. Wing defense
A major reason for the Suns’ dismal season was that they couldn’t defend anybody out on the perimeter. Phoenix had the 28th-best defensive rating in basketball at 112.2 points per 100 possessions. The Suns also surrendered more points that any team in basketball at 113.3 per game.
Phoenix can hold its own in rim protection. Frankly, it should with the amount of investment it has made in the frontcourt. Where the Suns defense leaks like a sieve is out on the wing. Phoenix may have only allowed the 12th fewest 3-point attempts last season, but 38.2 percent of them went in. That was the worst 3-point defense in the league.
So it’s easy to connect the dots and see why Phoenix was dreadful defensively. The opposition didn’t heave 3-pointers on the Suns, but knew that it could make them more often than not. It’s particularly troubling that the Suns were so lousy in wing defense. Doesn’t youth and athleticism usually translate to being at least serviceable defensively?
The problem is that Booker may not ever become an exceptional defensive player. His focus is to put that ball through the hoop on offense. Booker would have needed to average 30 points a game for the Suns to even have a chance in most games this season. It’s understandable that he can’t carry the burdensome workload defensively.
It would be advantageous for the Suns to draft a two-way player in round one this summer. If the kid’s better coming into the league defensively than on offense, it would make the Suns a more balanced team. Tony Allen, Andre Roberson and Thabo Sefolosha could be targets to help with wing defense. One of them could help the Suns be more balanced on that end of the floor.