• The Phoenix Suns are surprisingly lacking in the backcourt after upgrading in the frontcourt this past offseason
  • Both Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet are going through slumps that the Suns cannot afford once the postseason starts
  • Getting a player via trade or buyout may not be an option due to their roster construction

The Phoenix Suns are off to their best start in years this season and are poised to contend for the Western Conference Championship again, but their lack of depth in the backcourt may prevent a repeat of last year’s Cinderella season.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley believes that the Suns' reserve guards are just not enough to propel them when it matters most.

“With [Devin] Booker and Chris Paul comprising one of the best backcourt tandems in the Association, it's not like the Suns will ever lean too heavily on their understudies. But when the subs are needed—like they are now with Booker still ailing (hamstring)—it would help if their production was more reliable,” Buckley wrote.

Parallel to the Golden State Warriors’ situation of lacking a reliable presence in the paint, the Suns have been struggling to replace a fraction of what Devin Booker has been producing.

Guys like Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder have stepped up admirably in his absence, but they are forwards that are better off being used in catch-and-shoot situations rather than iso-ball.

They need an automatic scoring machine to carry them through the grind of the playoffs en route to the title.

Chris Paul is 37 years old at this point and while he is the epitome of consistency, someone has to be ready to take his place when worse comes to worst.

Buckley noted that both reserve guards Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet are shooting at less than 40% from the field this season, at 38.1% and 36.% respectively.

Payne’s 38.1% is a massive drop-off from the 48.4 percent he averaged last season and will need to reach those heights once again if the Suns are shooting for the moon again this year.

Third-stringer Elfrid Payton is more of a defense-oriented, playmaking point guard rather than a scorer so some things need to change between now and June.

The Suns have been linked to making a trade for Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis, but it can be argued that they are already extremely loaded in the frontcourt already.

Exploring the buyout market may be a solid option for a half-year rental of a potent scoring option in the backcourt, but there may be a scarcity there.

Trades may be out of the option since this roster has been well-constructed during the offseason.

The next logical step for the Suns faithful is to hope and pray that both Payne and Shamet wake up from their slump sooner rather than later.