The Phoenix Suns will play all of their preseason games in the next 10 days. They had meant to use those games to evaluate the roster and settle the regular rotation, but already the Suns will be shorthanded relative to their expectations.
All of Kelly Oubre Jr. (wrist), Mikal Bridges (knee) and rookies Jalen Lecque (ankle) and David Kramer (stress fracture in left tibia) will be out for the preseason and re-evaluated in 7-10 days.
None of the players are undergoing surgery. They will be rehabbed by the recently announced training staff led by Brady Howe, and personally overseen by Adam Loiacono (Director of Rehabilitation) as they work their way back onto the court. I guess it’s possible one or more of the players will see the final game of preseason if they heal, but the Suns aren’t taking any chances.
Oubre and Bridges have been mostly out all training camp, though they did participate in the learning/walkthrough sessions as the coaching staff rolled out their offensive and defensive schemes for the season.
I’m sad we can’t watch Lecque strut his athleticism in preseason games. Now I’ll really have to go up to Prescott Valley to watch him there when their season starts in November.
But I’m most disappointed that Oubre and Bridges — who are expected to anchor the Suns defense this season on the wing — won’t be able to acclimate to the new system until, at the soonest, right before the regular season starts.
For now, Cameron Johnson will get a lot of run at the small forward position, while Ty Jerome, Javon Carter and Elie Okobo will likely get a few more minutes on the court than they otherwise would have, as well.
Speaking of Cam Johnson...
The Suns might also start the preseason without backup center Aron Baynes, who suffered a broken nose — reportedly at the elbow of Cam Johnson on a drive to the hoop during Thursday’s scrimmage.
#Suns Aron Baynes suffered a nasal fracture in Thursday's camp practice. Procedure done Friday. Re-evaluated Sunday.— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 5, 2019
I asked Deandre Ayton that day what happened to Baynes. His nose had a red bruise/cut on it. Ayton said Baynes took an elbow from Cam Johnson on a Johnson basket.
Baynes was seen after practice on Thursday with a big, bloody cut on the side of his nose. Now he got surgery to correct the nose, and will at least be wearing one of those clear masks for a while once he’s back. Don’t expect that to slow Baynes down though. The former rugby player from down undah won’t back down from contact just because of a little pain in his nose.
The Suns will host a free open scrimmage at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Preseason starts at home on Tuesday night against Saric’s former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. We’ll be able to fire off those final and irredeemable hot takes on the Cam vs. Jarret Culver debate after Tuesday, though the only people who will see the game are those at the arena or streaming it within 50 miles of the arena (per league rules if you don’t do a full TV production).