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Preseason opener preview: #1 hosts #2, Ayton vs. Bagley III, Suns vs. Kings

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The top two picks in the NBA Draft square off in Phoenix at 7:00pm

NBA: Summer League-Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns host Sacramento Kings, Preseason Game #1

When: Monday, October 1

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

TV: Streaming on Suns.com

Radio: 98.7 FM


It’s finally here!

We finally get to see the Phoenix Suns playing basketball with their veterans and rookies together, taking on another NBA team to boot!

Tonight the Suns face the equally striving for relevance Sacramento Kings.

We saw most of these guys in Summer League, but both teams have been augmented with their veterans, while both teams are potentially missing their most dangerous outside shooter (with apologies to Buddy Hield).

Out/injured

Suns: Devin Booker (hand, 2-4 weeks)

Kings: Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee, 4-6 weeks)

Probable Starting Lineups

Suns

The Suns don’t have to relegate both Josh Jackson AND T.J. Warren to the bench yet, what with Devin Booker out a few more weeks.

It’s nice they can fill out their starting lineup with last year’s #4 overall pick to back up Devin Booker. At least that’s my guess.

Really, both back court positions are guesses, and frankly since it’s still preseason who knows whether Ariza and Anderson play much yet. One or both could have the flu bug by Monday night. Or just sore legs from training camp. Who knows.

We’ll find out Monday night.

Kings

The Kings, without Bogdan, aren’t quite so lucky in back-filling. They are fairly deep on the front line but without Bogdan they have to mix and match on the wing. See this recent article on our brother site, SactownRoyalty.com on the small forward position.

Expect to see lots of #2 overall pick, Marvin Bagley III as well as last year’s late first round pick, Harry Giles.

Kings fans are quite excited about both players, so we’ll probably all get to see plenty of them.

Harry Giles was one of the most talented high school players in the country, but has had a run of injuries and just now is getting healthy enough to be himself on the court again.

Key matchup

Well, of course it’s got to be Deandre Ayton against Marvin Bagley III right?

The #1 overall pick vs. the #2 overall pick.

But what’s actually going to happen is that Ayton is going to be lined up against Kosta Koufos, Harry Giles and Willie Cauley-Stein the whole night while Bagley will man the power forward position opposite the likes of Ryan Anderson, Dragan Bender, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson.

Still, that’s the matchup I’m calling anyway.

Prediction

Both teams will have highlights.

Both teams will have lowlights.

Someone will win.

Suns fans will be happy, or sad, or frustrated or... well, they’ll be Suns’ fans.