Alright alright alright.
Let’s dive into the fun stuff. The Phoenix Suns have constructed quite an intriguing roster from a versatility standpoint. Frank Vogel will be able to throw out a plethora of interesting lineups that will mix and match their opponents.
Last season, it was remarkable (and not in a good way) how much constant turnover there was in Phoenix’s lineups. When you factor in the injuries early in the season, plus the trade(s), along with the Durant injury, they truly didn’t have any consistent lineups that got to mesh with one another.
Phoenix only had two lineups that played at least 130 minutes together. One of them featured Mikal Bridges, who was later dealt obviously. Entering the playoffs only one group had a decent amount of run together, and it did not feature Kevin Durant.
While the lack of familiarity and health factored into the Suns’ struggles against Denver, this season figures to offer more of a fresh start on that front. Even if they make a move or two by the deadline, their “big 3” will be intact and gain reps with the role players, and that’s important.
LINEUP 1: The Best Five
Devin Booker - Bradley Beal - Eric Gordon - Kevin Durant - Deandre Ayton
This is the obvious one. I expect them to close a lot of games out with this group, though Gordon could be matchup dependent when looking at the defensive side of the ball.
The floor spacing, shot creation, and interchangeability are exciting here. This has a chance to be one of the most explosive offensive lineups in
the NBA NBA History. Yes, you read that right. History.
LINEUP 2: LIMBS!!!!
Kevin Durant - Yuta Watanabe - Bol Bol - Keita Bates-Diop - Deandre Ayton
Look. There is no telling if we will ever see this chaotic of a lineup from Vogel, but man it looks fun. Durant at the point surrounded by shooters and size makes for an electric basketball viewing experience. Unconventional, sure? But fun.
No one on the floor would be below 6’9” and the wingspans are ridiculous across the board. Also want to shout Udoka Azubuike out here with his 7’7” wingspan. He may not make the roster, but if he does let’s throw him in this lineup for fun too. Why not?
LINEUP 3: Energy + Chaos
Jordan Goodwin - Josh Okogie - Keita Bates-Diop - Bol Bol - Chimezie Metu
This lineup is for the ultimate chaos across the board. Physicality, disruption, ball pressure, size, high energy, you name it.
They’d certainly struggle to score points, but so would their opponent. Bring back the 82-80 final scores.
LINEUP 4: Spacing + Scoring
Devin Booker - Bradley Beal - Eric Gordon - Kevin Durant - Bol Bol
If Bol is going to be successful, this is the lineup he could thrive in. Yes, they are smaller (strength-wise), but the matchup problems this group could provide would spectacular if they click.
The amount of space created, gravity, and pure scoring in this group is off the charts. Bol has to shoot for the vision to work.
LINEUP 5: Bench Mob
Jordan Goodwin - Eric Gordon - Yuta Watanabe - Keita Bates-Diop - Drew Eubanks
This bench group (to me) is the most exciting five-man squad you can assemble without including any starters. It remains to be seen if one of KBD or Yuta cracks the starting rotation, but for the sake of this exercise, I’ll focus on this group and assume Okogie starts.
Goodwin and Gordon offer a nice balance of skills that complement each other well in the backcourt while providing solid size and length. Then you have a pair of long wings that can spread the floor in Yuta and Keita. Lastly, the energy of Drew Eubanks to man the five spot with what figures to be a versatile bench unit.
It’s likely that at least one of Booker, Beal, or Durant will be on the court at all times, but if they aren’t, this is the best group you can assemble.
These are just a few lineups Vogel will be able to mess around with. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of experimentation in camp, preseason, and in the early months of the season as he looks to find the most optimal lineups/rotations.
Comment below with the lineup you’re looking forward to most, Suns fans!