Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.
First up, the Fantable — a round table of Bright Siders who give their takes on the Suns latest issues and news.
Fantable Questions of the Week
Q1 - Should the Suns offer Bismack Biyombo a rest of the year contract once his 10-day is up?
Author’s note: This question was asked before the Suns signed Biyombo to a rest of the year contract.
Sun-Arc: The old saying that “winning cures everything” is really true. One of the Suns past issues was not attracting good players, particularly players willing to take a discount to be on a winning team. Now we have a couple of those players. “Biz” is the latest. He fits so very, very well with the team we really need to sign him for the rest of the season. What a GREAT insurance policy for when Ayton and/or Javale get in foul trouble. And also a wonderful match-up piece to use against small-ball line ups. Yes- keep him.
SouthernSun: Absolutely they should, and they did! He is a great option to have, particularly considering the uncertainty of covid and how banged up the Suns center rotation was in the Finals last season.
Rod: I wanted the Suns to do so and, as everyone already knows, they did sign him to a rest of the season deal yesterday. It’s a very good move, especially now when you never know when players might miss time due to H&S protocols. Even in normal times, foul trouble often rears it’s ugly head and having an experienced backup like Bismack ready to step in if needed is a big plus. And you can never have too many quality vets on your team.
Q2 - Frank Kaminsky has missed 23 straight games due to his knee injury and only played in 9 of the previous 13 games. If the Suns sign Biyombo to a rest of the year contract, is there still a place for Frank on the Suns’ roster?
Sun-Arc: Even if keeping Biyombo, I think there is still a place for Frank. I would keep him over Nader, for instance- though we still need another 3&D wing too. Depends on how the roster works out, but having four centers, two of which can play PF (Frank & Biyombo) in a pinch, is not a bad thing to have for the playoffs. That other wing may be more valuable, depending on who it is. IF that wing is Covington, Thad, or Eric Gordon Kaminsky could be used in the trade. So either way I would not throw him to the wayside.
SouthernSun: There is definitely still a place on the Suns roster for an eventually healthy Frank. He and Biyombo are completely different players, despite both being best used at Center. Frank is a shooter, Biyombo is a defender and rebounder. They’d be put in at different moments when different skillsets are called for.
Rod: I like Frank a lot but circumstances could arise where the Suns need to open up a roster spot, the number of bigs they have on the roster could make him the odd man out. Since Frank has veto power over trades this season, that might mean waiving him. If his knee heals up on schedule (he’s listed as out until Jan. 10), keeping him might be the better option but if he’s going to miss even more time due to that injury then I could see the Suns possibly waiving him to make room on the roster for someone who is physically able to play.
Q3 - Did the Suns make a mistake in declining Jalen Smith’s 3rd year option?
Sun-Arc: In hindsight, yes, the Suns made a mistake in declining Smith’s option. Keeping that option open would make Jalen a bit more tradable, or as a low-cost big for next season. That seems clear. Though at the time I totally understood and agreed with the move.
SouthernSun: No, I don’t think so. He was making a sizable amount of money for someone who hadn’t proven much at that point. I’m pretty sure he will be traded by the deadline. Hopefully the Suns can package him with Dario and a pick or two and get somebody who will be useful down the stretch and in the playoffs. Jalen certainly won’t be getting any playoff minutes if the guys ahead of him are healthy.
Rod: Maybe. If I had more knowledge of Jones’ reasons and future plans I would be more likely to lean toward a yes or no answer here. Stix has looked pretty damned good lately but as a center and Jones didn’t draft him to play the 5. With DA and JaVale returning from H&S protocols (and the addition of Biyombo), Stix will likely not get a lot of minutes at the 5 again unless one or both are out again. I really want to see him playing extended minutes at the 4 spot before making this call... and it’s possible that we will see that as the season goes on with so many 5s on the roster. In some ways, declining his option hurts his trade value but I’m pretty sure that at least a few teams would rather have him on the team and then try to convince him to re-sign with them rather than just make a bid for him in free agency.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable members - GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SouthernSun and Alex S. - for all their extra effort every week! (GuarGuar and Alex S did not participate this week.)
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Last Week’s Poll Results
Last week’s poll was “How do you rank Kevin Young’s coaching during Monty’s absence?”
10.0% - A.
31.3% - B.
43.3% - C.
13.3% - D.
02.0% - F.
A total of 150 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is...
Would you prefer the NBA to...
This poll is closed
Continue playing games even using lots of replacement players.
Postpone games when multiple players are out due to H&S protocols.