Even with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, the Phoenix Suns didn’t find any friction last year and were once again one of the worst teams in the entire NBA. They added talent in Ricky Rubio via free agency and Dario Saric via a trade with the 76ers. Phoenix also returns Kelly Oubre Jr. who finally found success after spending his first few seasons in Washington. This is one of the more predictable lineups in all of the league and each of these five players should see heavy minutes. The bench many contribute but remains thin and devoid of much experienced talent.
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG||
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF||
|Power Forward PF||
Even with rookie Ty Jerome and second year guard Elie Okobo, the Suns’ point guard spot will almost certainly belong to Ricky Rubio. Jerome had a great career with Virgina and is coming off a NCAA Championship last year. While he’s a great player, Phoenix has a multitude of guards and Jerome could find himself with a lack of playing time in year one. Okobo faces a similar problem and may see fewer minutes with all the talent surrounding him. The one player who has no concern for minutes will be Ricky Rubio who’s set to earn $51 million over the course of the next three seasons. He’s a proven ball handler and even more, the experienced point guard that Phoenix needs to lead a young team.
Mikal Bridges was very effective as Phoenix’s small forward last year but currently projects as their backup shooting guard. If that’s the case, he’ll be one of the first off the bench to rack up heavy minutes. The starter at shooting guard will no doubt be Devin Booker. He’s essentially their entire offense and will once again be the first option on offense. Last year, Booker finally became more of a playmaker on offense with 6.8 assists while still leading the team with 26.6 points per game. The field goal percentage was at a career high at 46.7% and the Suns may finally have help in the rest of the offense.
The Suns had the 6th overall pick in last year’s draft but used that to trade for their starting power forward and the 11th overall pick. With that selection, they took Cameron Johnson who’s a great floor spacer and shooter while at UNC. It’s questionable why he was taken that high as Johnson didn’t even attend Draft Night. Kelly Oubre Jr. will look to build off an impressive first season with the Suns that saw him average career highs in points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks. With the projected starting spot at the SF position, look for him to receive a higher volume of shots and be another floor spacer for Booker.
The power forward position will belong to Dario Saric who was acquired with the trade of the #6 overall pick. The longtime 76ers and Timberwolves forward will be the likely candidate to collect heavy minutes at the position and could be in store for a big season. He’s an effective three point shooter who’s capable of spacing the floor and being a presence in the paint. However, the average of 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks per game aren’t exactly encouraging on the defensive side of the ball.
Even after adding Frank Kaminsky via free agency and Aron Baynes through free agency, DeAndre Ayton will undoubtedly remain the Suns’ starting center next year. Kaminsky has played off the bench his entire career and will play a similar role this year. He’ll likely be a shooting center with the ability to knock down shots beyond the arc. Baynes say starting minutes over the past two seasons but will likely be the 3rd center off the bench. Ayton was great in his rookie season and averaged a double-double at season’s end. He’s a dominant big man and will look to once again be a force in the middle of the paint.