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. This week, free agency begins but first we’re going to discuss Jordan Goodwin and Isaiah Todd who also joined the Suns as part of the Bradley Beal trade and Toumani Camara whom the Suns selected with the 52nd pick in this year’s draft.
Fantable Questions of the Week
What’s your opinion of each of the Suns three newest players not named Bradley Beal?
1 - Jordan Goodwin (6’3”, 200-pound guard)
GuarGuar: Goodwin looks like he can be a legit backup point guard in this league. Wizards fans were very disappointed that he was a part of this trade so that’s probably a good sign! He looks like a high energy guy who can attack the basket and knock down an open 3. We need as many nba quality players as possible right now and he definitely looks like he fits.
OldAz: Certainly some talent there, although it is hard to judge based on highlights alone. For me, I will be comparing him to Cam Payne who has been up and down the last couple years. Goodwin is a little bigger, a couple years younger, and appears to be more athletic. Will want to see him increase his facilitation of others when he is on the floor and improve his shooting from distance. If he does those things well this year I think he has a shot to pass Payne in the hierarchy as the primary backup PG. getting him as a throw in to the Beal trade seems like a real coup for the Suns.
Dan-Fly: Jordan has some size and a 6”10” wingspan. He has very good defense numbers, and is a point guard a position of need. With the big three and Ayton, I don’t see them playing a traditional point guard. Vogel’s rotations are going to be trial and error at first. I think his role will be coming off the bench, but I’m happy to have him here and if any of the big three miss time they will need someone to distribute the ball. Whether it’s Payne or Jordan I don’t know.
Brrrberry: Goodwin definitely belongs in the league and we need as much youthful energy like he’ll bring as possible. Elite rebounder for his position, averaged 9rpg in his 4 year college career and 10+ his final two seasons at St. Louis. I’m sure that puts him In the 99th percentile for his position.
Offensively he’s adequate at just about everything, mechanics on his 3 ball are inconsistent, handles the ball well and likes to get all the way to the basket. Defensively is where he can make a difference with his sizeable wingspan and solid size. He likes to get after it and because of that he has the ability to carve out a role. There’ll definitely be nights here and there where he’ll contribute to winning. Solid get by the Suns as a “throw in” to the Beal trade.
Rod: Unlike the last Goodwin who wore the purple and orange, this one might be a keeper. Even though he’s only 6’3”, he’s got a 6’10” wingspan and come in with a rep as a very good defender, something that new head coach Frank Vogel appreciates. His 3-point shooting (31.9% career avg) needs work but his 2-point FG percentage is 50.6%. I think it’s very likely that he earns rotation minutes this season and might supplant Cam Payne as the backup point guard at some point.
2 - Isaiah Todd (6’10”, 220 pound forward)
GuarGuar: Isaiah Todd is definitely the guy I’m lowest on out of the new 3. Athletically he looks great but unfortunately his skill set hasn’t translated to the league yet and he looks like a bust. He really struggled in his limited time with the Wizards and in their G-League. You never know though.
OldAz: Project player at this point. I really don’t expect much other than taking up a space on the roster.
Dan-Fly: I don’t see Todd getting many minutes yet I don’t think he’s ready. However at 6’ 10” he has size and we need to get younger and more athletic so I’m hoping he develops into a decent bench player.
Brrrberry: I wouldn’t say he’s raw as they come, but he’s very raw and won’t be able to carve out a spot in the rotation, probably at any point next season. Oddly his mechanics from 3 aesthetically look better than Goodwin’s so that’s a skill he does have. Size (6’10) is ideal and above average athleticism to boot but lacking strength and ability to put the ball on the floor entirely. Defensively he’ll be a liability for a multitude of reasons, namely not strong enough to guard the C position and not mobile enough (or likely strong enough) to handle most any PF in the league that has a passable offensive game and you definitely don’t want him guarding in space out to the 3 point line.
Still super young so like with any guy whose 21 with ready made size, NBA level athleticism and the framework to shoot the 3, he’s got a chance to grow into someone that deserves minutes in the league. That’ll take him out working the crowd and I can’t speak on his wherewithal to do that. Developmental prospect practice body who’ll be relegated to towel waving duty if he’s rostered.
Rod: It’s hard to get a read on Todd but there’s certainly a reason why he’s spent most of his first two years in the league playing on the Wizards’ G League team... and that’s not encouraging. In the Wizard’s final game of 2023, he actually got the start in a meaningless game against Houston and played 45 minutes but only managed to score 7 points on 2 of 14 shooting (plus 2 made FTs) and went 1 of 7 from 3. He did grab 12 rebounds though which isn’t nothing, even against one of last season’s cellar dwellers.
If he sticks with the Suns past training camp, I expect he will be one of if not the guy sitting at the farthest end of the bench though.
3 - Toumani Camara (6’8”, 220 pound forward)
GuarGuar: Camara is the first NBA player that went to my dad’s high school so him and his friends are really excited and I’ve heard all about him. He’s got great size and is a high motor guy who can really attack the glass well. He projects like a Torrey Craig type if things go well. Hes an excellent defender and was All-defense this past college season. He shot ok from 3 but at a very low volume last year.
The hope is that summer league and training camp can get this guy some good reps so that he isn’t a complete zero on offense. If he turns into any type of role player on a title team, that’s a home run for the #52 pick.
OldAz: It is hard for any rookie to step in and make an impact on an NBA team, especially teams with championship aspirations. On bad teams, they will get plenty of court time and plenty of leash to make mistakes but that should not be the case here and it will be very hard for a late 2nd round pick to provide much of any impact on this year’s team. That being said, Camara looks like a well rounded player with versatility and a defensive mindset. If he can carve out a role where he gets 5-6 minutes a game later in the year (Similar to the Ish Wainright role from previous seasons) that would be an awesome first year showing for the young man. I am hoping he shows that he belongs on the court with other NBA players.
Dan-Fly: Camara is intriguing and I have hopes, he is a fast learner but he’s a rookie and I don’t see him getting minutes away from the Vets. He definitely is athletic and plays hard his defense will probably be first to develop. But at first he’ll be a deep bench warmer.
Brrrberry: You see the dynamic in football (especially pre-NIL) where 3rd-7th rounders turn into absolute studs once they hit the league. I’ve always attributed that to players finally being put in a position where their full time job is football, and they don’t have to be spread thin between working, school and sport. It’s less of a thing in basketball but still apt. Camara looks like a guy that has all the tools to be able to turn into a player that exceeds expectations, and his draft slot.
I think the chances of him playing any role come playoff time are very slim but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play meaningful minutes throughout the season depending on how we round out the rest of the roster, injuries etc. His ambidexterity is beyond impressive being that he can windmill with his off the dribble in game with his off hand. He’s also got a nice touch near the basket finishing with both hands. If he can upgrade get stronger, upgrade his handle and improve his catch and shoot 3, he’ll be a piece. Seems to be intelligent and level headed so I think he’ll have a strong work ethic. I’m looking forward to watching him develop.
Rod: Even though he has a 7’1” wingspan, at 6”8” I’m unsure whether he’ll play best as a SF or PF in the NBA but he looks like a good prospect, especially for a late second round draft pick. At 23, he’s already older than Todd who technically has 2 yrs of NBA experience but he fits the mold of what James Jones generally looks for in a rookie. Solid skills, lots of college experience and a very good attitude. I’m looking forward to seeing how well he performs for the Suns during the Summer League games (starting July 8 vs Milwaukee) at Las Vegas.
Whether he will have a role other than far-end bench warmer with the Suns this season will depend on how well he adapts to the NBA and whether his defensive skills translate. Vogel loves defense and may grow to love this guy but I doubt he will be more than deep bench depth this season. He might even wind up on a two-way contract which would leave the Suns with another open roster spot for a vet minimum player who would be more likely to be able to contribute right away.
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, “The return for DA in a trade will likely be...”
31.0% - Underwhelming.
59.5% - Fair but not great.
09.5% - Great!
A total of 410 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is...
Do you believe that Frank Vogel might be able to work some coaching ‘magic’ to get a significantly higher level of play from Deandre Ayton this season?
This poll is closed