Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.
Each week the Fantable — a round table of Bright Siders - give their takes on the Suns’ latest issues and news.
Fantable Questions of the Week
Q1 - According to a Real GM article, the Suns “have interest in” possibly acquiring Immanuel Quickley (Knicks), Payton Pritchard (Celtics), Davion Mitchell (Kings), Monte Morris (Wizards) and/or soon-to-be free agent Gabe Vincent (Heat). Which of these players would be your top choice if obtaining him is possible?
OldAz: Always been a fan of Monte Morris and among this group he also seems to be the best 3-pt shooter and most willing passer. He is also the oldest, so probably the most reliable to maintain those levels in a new situation. Some of the other names are younger and may have more upside (Mitchell, then Prichard would be my choices) but I would take Monte first assuming he could be acquired for a reasonable price.
Dan-Fly: I like Gabe Vincent, he’s a FA if we can afford him. He has played well with both starting and off the bench. He has decent numbers and may thrive with a bigger role on the Suns. Of coarse the offense and defense haven’t been initiated yet so I’m shooting in the dark, but he has decent size and experience.
Rod: I’m looking mostly at Monte Morris. Not great but not bad size for a PG (6’2”) but he has 6 years of NBA experience and has been a starter for over 98% of his games played (137) over the last two seasons for Denver and then Washington. He’s a good 3-point shooter (39.2% for his career), a fair distributer (5.3 APG last season and 4.0 career average) and still in his prime years (he’ll turn 28 later this month).
He’s not the heir apparent to CP3 but he looks like he could be an upgrade from Payne and/or a viable stopgap starting PG if the Suns aren’t expecting to have CP3 back this season or want to cut back on his court time if he does return.
Q2 - If the Suns were to start the 2023/24 season with CP3, Book, Durant and DA all still on the team, who currently on the roster do you think might be the best choice to be the 5th starter if they return to the team?
OldAz: From the current roster, I was a big fan of Okogie as the 5th starter and still am. They don’t need offense with that 4 but JO needs to continue working on hitting the open jumper as he will get plenty of opportunities. I would love to see JO back and see him continue to build on last years regular season. However, my first choice would actually be Bazley as he appears to be similar in makeup to JO but is bigger and likely to play a more traditional PF role. This allows KD to move over to SF and I really think that is his best position, matchup wise. We certainly don’t know if Bazley could step up into this role if given the opportunity, but given the parameters of keeping the top 4 and then adding vet minimums, this would be my first option with Okogie as plan B.
Dan-Fly: I believe Craig should be the fifth starter to begin the season, but both he and Okogie are similar players so it might be matchup specific. Also it depends on if one is hitting his threes as well but one of the two.
Rod: It might be wishful thinking but I’m hoping that TJ Warren can return to his best self after basically missing two years due to injuries and take that 5th starting slot. He’s not the defender that Okogie are Craig are but when healthy he’s always a scoring threat... and he’s not really a bad team defender. Starting the 2023/24 season with a full training camp with the Suns I think he could possibly turn into that guy (although nothing is guaranteed).
Q3 - Something new the NBA is considering is using technology to automate out-of-bounds and goaltending calls late in games and they plan to test that technology in this year’s summer league games. What’s your opinion of this idea?
OldAz: I may be old, but I am a big fan of helping officials get calls right in real time in any way possible. (Sign me up for the “eye in the sky” official that corrects obviously wrong calls without stopping the game for replay like they seem to doing in football now.) This would definitely include anything that can be easily automated with modern technology. Late game OOB and Goaltending can be hugely impactful to a game, so these would be great places to start and trial in summer league to see how seamless it can be done.
Dan-Fly: Any help from technology is welcome in my opinion. It could speed up the review of out of bounds plays if it’s done correctly. Taking the human elements, incompetence/bias etc. out of officiating in any way is a good thing. Why should a team waste their only review on a bad out of bounds call anyway.
Rod: I really like this idea. The refs can be just plain bad at times but sometimes it’s just because none of them have the best view of a given play. It won’t make it to the NBA this season but if it works at least fairly well in Summer League then they’ll probably give it a more extensive test during the G League season.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable members for all their extra effort this week!
Last Week’s poll results
Last week’s question was, “What should the Suns do with Chris Paul?”
11% - Waive him and stretch the remaining value of his contract.
57% - Waive him and re-sign him at the vet minimum.
29% - Trade him.
03% - Keep him on the team under his present contract.
A total of 757 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is...
Of the following 5 players that the Suns are rumored to have interest in, which would be your top choice to obtain?
This poll is closed
Immanuel Quickley (Knicks)
Payton Pritchard (Celtics)
Davion Mitchell (Kings)
Monte Morris (Wizards)
Gabe Vincent (Heat/FA)