The Phoenix Suns are 9-13 since Devin Booker went out with a left groin strain (which counts a few games before, but does not include, his attempted Christmas Day comeback, which lasted all of four minutes in a Suns loss). While they have bounced back lately as Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson returned, Phoenix still slid down to eighth in the standings.
The Suns need Booker to return - and they may get it next week, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Booker should be named an All-Star reserve Tuesday, despite all the time missed - he has been that good. Booker is averaging 27.1 points a game shooting 37% from 3 (a good 58.5 true shooting percentage) and is dishing out 5.1 assists per night. The bottom line, the Suns have outscored opponents by 5.1 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court this season and been outscored by 2.5 per 100 when he is out.
He returns to a team that needs a jolt and could get a couple - both the return of Booker to the rotation and a trade at the deadline to bring in depth. The Suns are likely to trade Jae Crowder at the deadline - the Bucks are considered the frontrunners but the Heat and Hawks are reportedly in the mix - which may not bring back what James Jones once hoped, but should give the team a little more depth.
If the Suns can get back to the team that started the season 15-6 they could make some noise in the West, but there is a lot for the Suns to clean up to get back to those days.
Here's more on the Suns
PBT Podcast: LeBron chases history, WNBA superteam and trade talk NBA Power Rankings: 76ers move into top spot with Celtics, Bucks in top three Three things to Know: Latest NBA trade rumors roundup
Devin Booker reportedly could return to Suns next week originally appeared on NBCSports.com