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Saying goodbye to Marquese Chriss, a future that never became the present

Marquese Chriss had lots of highs and lows in his first two seasons, and now has been dumped like a ‘sunk cost.’

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In terms of total acquisition cost, the two players in whom Suns GM Ryan McDonough invested most of his professional capital were Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

In a complicated string of moves before and since, with assets traded upon assets, the acquisition of Chriss alone came at the cost of Isaiah Thomas, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and Bogdan Bogdanovic (not to mention Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis).

That’s a (to-be) All-Star, another pair of playoff-level starters and a second-team All-Rookie player. But I’ve already talked about that earlier this week.

And you wonder why maybe McDonough isn’t jumping toward his next “all-in” effort?

Before we entirely close the door on sunk costs, let’s say goodbye, in the spirit of a Celebration of (Suns) Life.

The best of Quese

There’s a reason McDonough wanted Chriss so badly he cashed in a ton of chips to get him.

The talent is there. Oozing out.

Last season, Chriss joined exclusive company among the youngest ever to amass 100 blocks, 100 steals and 100 three-pointers. Quese is now the third youngest ever to reach that milestone, bested only by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

One of those blocks was a game-saver.

Of the four who reached that milestone before turning 21 (Kobe Bryant was slightly older, but still under 21), Quese amassed the most blocks and shot the highest effective field goal percentage while playing only about half the minutes of the other three sure-fire Hall of Fame players.

That’s some serious versatility right there.

Chriss was named to the All-Rookie second team a year ago. In 82 games (75 starts), he had:

  • Three double-doubles
  • Four games of 10-plus rebounds
  • Six games of 20-plus points
  • Seven games of 3-plus blocks
  • 18 games of 2-plus three pointers
  • 19 games of 2-plus steals

In his second season, he regressed a bit overall but still had some really good stretches of play.

  • Five double-doubles
  • Nine games of 10-plus rebounds
  • Two games of 20-plus points
  • Eight games of 3-plus blocks
  • 12 games of 2-plus three-pointers
  • 10 games of 2-plus steals

From Dec. 20 to Jan. 5, he had a nine-game stretch averaging 11 points and seven rebounds along with 1+ of blocks/steals/assists and 37% three-point shooting.

Then he ended the season with a 10-game stretch averaging 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds along with 1+ of blocks/steals/assists (but only 20% three-point shooting).

Here are some of his best plays:

There SO MUCH potential there with Quese. We know the limitations so far, but we’ve beaten those into the ground.

Let’s say goodbye by celebrating his strengths.

Good luck, Quese!

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