For a franchise that has only made it to the NBA Finals three times in their history, the Phoenix Suns have a great list of all-time players.
The list is so deep that Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd, and 4-time All-Star, Tom Chambers, did not make the final eight. Here are the top eight Phoenix Suns players of All-Time. In making this list, it takes into account both personal achievements, statistics and their contribution to team success.
8. Walter Davis:
Not everyone would guess this but Walter Davis is the Suns’ all-time leading scorer with 15,666 points during his 10 seasons with the team. Davis’ resume includes six all-star appearances, two All-NBA selections and the 1978-79 Rookie of the Year. Davis’ stat line during his tenure includes 20.5, 4.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
Although the Suns were never great with Davis, his pure ability to score the ball is why he makes the list over other players. Not only did he average 20+ points during his time, but he also did it efficiently shooting 52% from the field. The fact that he did this in his first couple of seasons in the league makes this even more impressive. During his first year with Alvin Adams and Paul Westphal on the team(later to be seen) he led the Suns in scoring averaging 24 points.
- Shawn Marion:
During his time with Phoenix, Marion was the defensive anchor for a Suns team that found themselves competing for the West multiple years in the early 2000s. There is some surprise that Marion never made an all-defensive team. Every night, he would guard the best offensive player which contributed greatly to those Sun’s team’s success. He averaged nearly two steals and 1.3 blocks a night.
Offensively, Marion was known for his unorthodox jump shot. However, during his time in Phoenix, Marion produced for his team. He averaged 18.6 points and 10 rebounds. It’s surprising to look at Marion’s offensive numbers. Most fans don’t regard Marion as a serious scoring threat, however, the numbers tell a different story. What a two-way player the Suns had.
- Paul Westphal:
Here’s the first Hall of Famer on our list. Westphal was traded to Phoenix from Boston after the 1974-1975 season. He would end up being the best player on a Suns team who surprised many NBA fans and made it to the NBA Finals in 1976, a run which included an upset victory over the reigning champion Golden State Warriors During that playoff run, he averaged 21.1 points on over 50% from the field. Although they lost, Westphal sparked a run that pushed him into the NBA history books.
With the Suns, Westphal averaged 22.5 points and 5.6 rebounds on 51.8% shooting. How Westphal lived offensively during his time was through his mid-range game. During the 70s where the mid-range was super important, he was great off the dribble hitting those 15-18 feet jumpers. This plus his acrobatic drives to the hoop made him fun to watch and a dynamic scorer.
- Devin Booker:
First off, there should be no claim about how this is an example of recency bias. Booker has been the man for the Phoenix Suns these last several years. Since his rookie season, Booker has averaged 23 points and 4.6 assists.
Due to their NBA Finals run, Booker’s ability to score was shown to a national audience for the first time. This was the first year Booker’s had the ability to play off the ball with success due to the addition of Chris Paul. When Booker is off the ball, there’s more room for him to work and extra space in the mid-range, an area Booker thrives in.
This was seen throughout the NBA playoffs where Booker was a huge reason why the Suns made an incredible run. Throughout the playoffs, Booker averaged 27.3 points per game, which makes it even more impressive due to all the games Paul missed. Booker’s ability to score the ball throughout his career without any help really jumps him up the list. Showing what he can do now that he has players around him, especially at the age of 24, shows he’s only reached the tip of the iceberg of his potential.
- Amar’e Stodumire:
During his Suns tenure, there was no secret that Amar’e Stoudemire was a dominant offensive player. Alongside Shawn Marion and Steve Nash, they formed a trio that put up a lot of points during their time. He was a fantastic post player and played the pick and roll to perfection. He punished defenders in the paint with his physicality.
During his eight seasons with the Suns, Stoudemire averaged 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds. He also averaged 1.4 blocks per game on the defensive side as well. His resume includes six All-Star appearances and five All-NBA teams. He also was the Rookie of the Year in 2003. Overall, Stoudemire was one of the more dominant players at the Power Forward/Center position in his era.
3. Kevin Johnson:
The former mayor of Sacramento used to be a highlight reel. Johnson was known for his explosiveness and finishing around the rim. One of the most famous highlights during the 90s Suns era of basketball was when Johnson dunked on Hakeem Olajuwon during the 1994 playoffs. It really seemed like he could rise and fly to the rim.
During his career, the majority of it with the Suns, he averaged 17.9 points and 9.1 assists. He was a great sidekick and second best player on the Barkley Suns that made it all the way to the 1993 NBA Finals.
- Steve Nash:
For the majority of fans, Nash might be the most iconic Phoenix Sun. Nash’s style of play led Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less offense to consistent success. Nash during his tenure with the Suns was a 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA and 2x MVP. He averaged 16.3 points and 10.9 assists. However, his most impressive feat was averaging the 50-40-90 mark throughout his years on the team.
What made Nash an all-time great during his run was his playmaking ability. He would sometimes make passes that not only his defenders did not expect, but his teammates sometimes as well. He did such a great job of getting into the paint and finding his teammates with style. He ended up leading the league in assists five out of the eight seasons he played for the Suns.
- Charles Barkley:
Barkley’s run in Phoenix puts him in the number one position on this list. In his four short seasons with the Suns, he averaged 23.4 points, 11.5 rebounds on 50.1% from the field. He was a 4x All-Star, a 4x All-NBA selection and the 1993 MVP. On top of that, Barkley represented the Suns on the greatest basketball team ever assembled, the Dream Team of the 1992 Olympics.
In that same season, in just his first year, Barkley led the Suns to the NBA Finals. This was the first time the franchise reached the Finals since 1976.
Barkley’s style of play consisted of pure dominance. He would snag rebounds and defend on one side of the court while being the leading scorer and main option on the other side. He was the definition of a star player and one of the great players during the rugged and tough 90s era.
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