Eric Gordon signing shows the Suns have become a destination, finally

The NBA bubble was three years ago. But it was there we saw the Phoenix Suns become a coveted team. 

The Suns went 8-0 in the bubble and looked like the best team there, even though they did not make the NBA playoffs. Devin Booker hit a fade-away shot over multiple Los Angeles Clippers players and laid on the floor. It was like what anybody who watched basketball could do with the Suns: Just watch, and be amazed. 

Since then, Phoenix has reached the NBA Finals, set a franchise record for wins in a regular season and acquired arguably the best player to ever suit up for an Arizona sports team, Kevin Durant. The Suns did not get past the Western Conference semifinals this season but looked like they could have if guard Chris Paul were healthy. 

Now under a new ownership group and coaching staff, the Suns are looking for their first-ever championship. And they have an identity and pieces to do it. 

Phoenix’s contract situations were limited since they have Booker, Durant, new guard Bradley Beal and center Deandre Ayton under max contracts. But the Suns signed key players to minimum deals, showing Phoenix is the place a lot of free agents want to be. 

Phoenix might not be done yet, but its signing of free agent guard Eric Gordon is indicative of how much the team’s perception has grown. Gordon, a former Sixth Man of the Year, reportedly chose the Suns over other contenders, including the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks. He also could have went back to the Houston Rockets and played for more money. 

But Gordon, and other free agents in this class, saw what the Suns are doing. Booker is 26 years old and is entering the prime of his career. Players want to be around for it. 

Many who watched the Suns in the last decade saw what we saw: a team in poverty. The Suns had an owner who did not want to spend, Robert Sarver, with a player who was clearly worth spending around, Booker. 

Phoenix’s star player stayed patient. And good for him. He has the team he had been looking for. 

The Suns felt Gordon would have given them a good role a decade ago. Now, he is arguably the most important bench piece for a team that will have championship expectations.

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