For the first time since 2005, the Phoenix Suns are back in a playoff race. In past years, it was always easy to see who would be snagging one of those 8 spots for good but this year is different. With Torrey Craig coming out of retirement and playing like he never left (averaging 17 points per game), Phoenix has their eyes set on that elusive spot #8

The “torrey craig championship ring” is a piece of jewelry that was designed for the Suns’ player, Torrey Craig. The ring has three diamonds in the middle, and two on each side. It is also inscribed with his number “14.”

The Suns' Championship Puzzle Looks Complete With Torrey Craig Back in Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns have the feel of one of the most formidable NBA championship candidates, but they aren’t spoken about as much as big-market clubs like the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. Their understated attitude at the Feb. 10 trade deadline only adds to the league’s greatest team’s unexpectedly humble demeanor. Even yet, the Suns’ signings should go a long way toward entirely completing out the team, particularly in terms of experienced swingman Torrey Craig.

Phoenix acquired Craig from the Milwaukee Bucks before the 2021 deadline, only to lose in the NBA Finals against Craig’s old club. Craig will get another shot with the Suns after Phoenix acquired Jalen Smith and a potential second-round selection in exchange for Craig.

The Suns have turned to the 31-year-old once again to offer wing depth and frontcourt minutes. Craig is capable of doing exactly that, and he’s the kind of two-way bench player who may seal Phoenix’s championship chances.

Before the NBA trade deadline, the Suns needed assistance on the wings.

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Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson provide a formidable set of wings for the Suns. In that location, they needed to consolidate their group.

Bridges has shown that his summer contract deal was well worth it by playing outstanding defense and providing the Suns with a capable off-ball cutter and floor-spacer. Johnson has improved dramatically in his third season, reaching career-highs in scoring (11.9 points per game) and rebounds (4.2 rebounds per game) while shooting a fantastic 43.1 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also been a fairly capable defender.

Outside of those two, though, Phoenix is bare-bones.

Jae Crowder is usually used as an undersized 4-man for the Suns. Landry Shamet is out with an injury and is more of a two-guard. Dario Saric will miss the rest of the season. Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, and Bismack Biyombo, the team’s other frontcourt players, are more typical centers.

Phoenix entered the trade deadline as the NBA’s most well-balanced club. The Suns just needed to fine-tune their roster and acquire crucial bench players who could play substantial minutes when needed.

Torrey Craig is an excellent choice in this sense.

Torrey Craig shines in his first film.

Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig shoots a layup during an NBA game against the Orlando Magic

Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig shoots a layup during an NBA game against the Orlando Magic The Phoenix Suns’ Torrey Craig #0 shoots over the Orlando Magic’s Mo Bamba #5 and Terrence Ross #31 during a game on Feb. 12, 2022 | Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Craig seemed to be relishing his return to the desert this weekend.

Craig recorded 14 points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals in his return to the Suns on Feb. 12 in a rout of the Orlando Magic. He shot 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, and had a plus-minus of +21 for the game. Craig’s stat line encapsulates everything he performs on the court.

On the other end, the South Carolinian can play in a 3-and-D position while providing a long and athletic defensive playmaker. He can finish at the basket or find corner shooters off drives, and he can run the floor in transition. Craig swiped a defensive board on one such play against the Magic and, with Orlando’s transition defense not set, sped right by Robin Lopez and went coast-to-coast for an easy layup.

Craig did had the advantage of playing against the Magic, who had the NBA’s second-worst record. Still, he’s a player who can pick up the tempo, knock down open shots, and go up against the greatest wing scorers on the other side.

A more experienced wing scorer like Eric Gordon might have helped Phoenix, but it wasn’t required. Craig is the icing on the cake for a Suns team that has all it takes to win the championship this season.

The Suns are the obvious favorites to win the championship.

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The Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks all seem to be serious candidates for the NBA title. However, it’s difficult to rank any of those teams ahead of the Suns as championship contenders.

Phoenix has the third-best offensive and defensive ratings in the league. It has the highest net rating in the NBA. The Suns are second in terms of overall field goal percentage and sixth in terms of three-point shooting. In terms of rebounding and assists, they are among the top five teams. Phoenix also hands the ball over about 15 times per game, ranking sixth in the league in turnovers.

The Suns might have made a bid for a talent like Domantas Sabonis, who is currently with the Sacramento Kings. If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it, as the adage goes.

Phoenix had already established themselves as a title contender. Craig is the glue that holds it all together. He and the Suns will try to seal the deal this time.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

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The “suns nba” is a team that has been struggling to find success in recent years. The Suns’ championship puzzle looks complete with Torrey Craig back in Phoenix.

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