Phoenix Suns Media Day is upon us — or at least it will be on Mon. Sep. 26 — and there’s no shortage of storylines that the squad’s players and staffers are sure to touch on. I’ll be one of four Bright Side staffers in attendance.
I’m still super curious to hear what players think about the Sarver fallout, as well as any specific traits they’re hoping they get in their next boss.
Closer to the court itself, it seems the biggest question facing the Suns going into the new season — who starts at the 4 between Jae Crowder and Cam Johnson? — has already been answered. In this offseason, Crowder has been the most disgruntled non-star that I can remember.
It’s coming to a head with Crowder tweeting — and quickly deleting — a message that he is skipping out on media day entirely, likely giving way to Johnson to be the full-time starting power forward.
Jae Crowder tweeted and deleted this. Doesn’t sound like he’s going to be at training camp pic.twitter.com/ztTAeh6qTo— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) September 24, 2022
Especially if Crowder is in fact a no-show, it will likely bring a crowd to Johnson’s availability, and I can already imagine some of the possible talking points:
- development in offensive self-creation
- increased volume in three-point shooting and off-ball usage (plays drawn up to run him around screens, etc.)
- holding up on the defensive end against bigger forwards
- looming contract extension talks
Speaking of possible talking points, let’s touch on some of the possibilities with some of the other guys as well.
- NBA 2K press runs as the cover athlete
- individual goals for the season; possible All-Defense campaigning after great strides in that department the past couple seasons, even got one second-team vote last season
- areas of game that are improving and being added during the offseason
- deeply embedded for two recent owner dismissals of sorts; Sterling and Sarver
- willingness to ease up on usage and minutes load
- anything he learned from Dallas series struggles
- comfort level with counters reported in James Jones interview with azcentral’s Duane Rankin
James Jones says that the contract situation between DA and the Suns is behind them, and that Ayton has been really working hard in the gym on what JJ calls “second level counters” such as: shot fake jab, to the basket spin, breaking down defenders at the top, and pick and pop. pic.twitter.com/wm1SvUHIer— of☀️ (@TheBookofPHX) September 12, 2022
- how he sees his role changing after getting paid
- mentioned as a rookie that his goal was to get a second contract; what’s the new goal?
Dario Saric, Ish Wainright, Josh Okogie:
- what were each hoping to get out of their FIBA stints with Croatia, Uganda, and Nigeria respectively?
- did they accomplish that?
- how much was the injury risk factored in to their desire to represent their national teams?
Okogie, Damion Lee, Jock Landale, Duane Washington Jr., Frank Jackson:
- what do the newcomers hope to bring to the squad and in what roles?
- a lot is made about “internal development” when it comes to the younger guys on the roster, in what ways is the coach developing as well?
- regarding in-game and in-series adjustments, what did he learn from the Dallas series?
I also put out a feeler to the Twitter-sphere hoping to gauge the questions that the fans have right now, and I got a couple interesting responses:
For any of the players: did this most previous playoff run reveal anything about their skillset that they wanted to work on? On either end of the floor?— BertoG〰️ (@B_Gonz0) September 23, 2022
Ask DA: What role in the offense do you envision this season ? The 2nd option behind Booker ?— William (@William18378078) September 23, 2022
What are some of the pressing questions that you guys want answered? Maybe yours will be answered!