The hype for Summer League basketball is in full swing, and there is a palpable excitement in the building as the team prepares to make their way over to Las Vegas. Devin Booker -- the nominal veteran despite being 19 years old -- was seen buttering an onslaught of 3-pointers on one side of the court, while Tyler Ulis and a gang of other prospective NBA players were working on various elements of their game.
Booker's brother-from-another-mother, Ulis, spoke to his evolution as a vocal leader on court; a new development to his makeup.
"He talks a lot more than he did at Kentucky as a freshman, but you know, he is a vet right now for us. Even though he is in his second year in the league -- he is a vet for us because we're new to this," Ulis said. "You know, he knows what to expect, and he is leading us in the right way."
Booker's growth as a leader will only heighten the ceiling of what he can be as a player, and it is an encouraging sign that he is unafraid of taking on a leadership role -- and apparently relishing in it -- at such a tender age. Dude is younger than me, and I am only 20 years old. What an enlightening, yet scary thought.
The other interesting nugget from today's media session was the insistence on playing Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender together in Vegas. That was always the biggest question during the fallout from draft night: Did the Suns view Bender and Chriss as contemporaries or two lottery tickets to fulfill one position? It is not a surprise to hear that they are anxious to find out how the two can coexist together, but it will be interesting to see if their respective skill sets overlap.
"Marquese can play anywhere from the 5, 4, or 3; Dragan is a 3/4. So, we see them on the floor together," Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "They both have different aspects to their game ... We will play them together more than we would apart."
Unless Bender really does have enough wiggle and dribble juice to handle playing the 3, one of those two will have to bang with behemoths down low, and neither have enough girth to get by on that plan as currently constructed. But again, these two are going to be a work in progress, and patience is going to the name of the game for the fan base, coaching staff, and front office.
(I apologize in advance for the muffled sound of some parts of the video. A bunch of players were partaking in shooting drills and thus compromised the sound quality. I did my best.)
Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren:
Lastly, I leave you with this:
Sometimes it is about the little things in life.