Paul Coro, of the Arizona Republic, has stated his case on who might complete the Phoenix Suns roster this season. Although Ike Diogu certainly has the Arizona State population supporting him, Coro believes that it is point guard Diante Garrett and Luke Zeller who will be pegged to join an NBA roster.
The evidence for Coro's case is last night's game against Golden State, which saw both Garrett and Zeller play over Diogu and Solomon Jones, and the financial reasoning of signing two rookies instead of six-year veterans:
In the Suns' 107-92 preseason loss at Golden State, Zeller and Garrett and all of the contract-guaranteed Suns played while Diogu and Jones did not. Zeller's battle against Diogu and Jones for a big-man spot might seem like a separate battle from Garrett's quest to convince the Suns to keep four point guards. However, the cost of keeping two rookies for a season ($947,208) is less than $100,000 more than the cost to pay only Diogu or Jones, each a six-year pro, for the season ($854,389, the Suns' portion of a veteran-minimum $1,069, 509 salary with a league offset).
Personally, as a current Sun Devil myself, I would love to see Ike Diogu get the spot. I think I can go through some boxes in my garage back home and find an "I Like Ike" shirt from his days at ASU. Coro, however, makes a very compelling case for Zeller and Garrett. As stated in Coro's piece, Zeller gives the Suns a post with an outside presence and Garrett is a 6-foot-5 point guard with speed and a tenacious attitude.
It shouldn't be long until the team unveils the final roster. The Suns finish out the preseason Friday against the Nuggets and this game will hopefully give us a better understanding as to who will make an NBA roster this season.