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Suns GM kvetches on Chriss’ conditioning

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“I don’t know if he’s all the way there yet.”

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss is well on his way to being considered one of the top power forwards in the National Basketball Association. The rest of the basketball universe, if they don’t know him before, will get to know him during the 2021 NBA Finals. This much we know.

For today though, he is still a 20-year-old in his second professional season trying to capitalize on the success of his rookie campaign. It hasn’t been easy. His impact on the stat sheet can vary wildly game to game. In Wednesday’s loss to Detroit, he was on the court for nearly 23 minutes. The night before against Chicago he played 25 minutes. A week prior, at home against Milwaukee, interim head coach Jay Triano gave him 12 minutes. Sometimes he starts. Sometimes he doesn’t. That’s how it has gone so far.

On Wednesday Suns general manager Ryan McDonough joined Burns and Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports to talk about Chriss’ up and down second season, and how perhaps some of those inconsistencies could be attributed to too many pizookies at Oreganos.

“I think Marquese had a very good rookie year a year ago and showed a lot of progress throughout the year,” McDonough said. “I think this offseason, he got a little bit out of shape, and he realizes that and has recently started to get in much better shape — the weight’s come down.”

This is your reminder to bookmark this page for two years from now when Chriss demands a trade because McDonough called him fat during his sophomore season. That’s a joke. I think.

Actually McD found some kind things to say in a time when we can all afford to be a little more kind.

“You guys know he’s a phenomenal athlete with the unique ability to run the floor and block shots and finish above the rim, but to do those things, you need to be in elite condition,” McDonough said. “I don’t know if he’s all the way there yet. I think he’s getting there or most of the way there.”

Happy Holidays.