Welcome back to our ongoing series previewing the members of your 2023/2024 Phoenix Suns. Let’s take a look at a new Sun:
Guard, 6’3” 200 pounds, 24-years old
Goodwin spent the last two seasons, which constitute his entire NBA career, with the Washington Wizards. He essentially spent his entire first year as a pro in the G-League after signing a two-way deal, but seemed to find his footing last year in the 62 games he played after earning a regular contract. He was able to get fairly solid minutes, but didn’t have a ton of opportunity to break through on a squad with a couple of other veteran point and combo guards in the fold.
When all was said and done last year, Goodwin posted 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in just under 18 minutes per game. He shot just under 45% from the field, at a 53% true shooting clip. Take a look at some highlights below.
Goodwin is signed through next season, though next year is a team option. He is slated to earn about $1.9 million this season and $2 million next if the Suns decide to pick it up.
Goodwin is known as a tenacious defender, which bodes well for him in the scheme of Suns Head Coach Frank Vogel, who has had good things to say about the young-ish point guard so far. He’s a strong rebounder for a guard, with good instinct for positioning and the strength to box out even bigger men.
He also did a good job taking care of the ball last season, averaging less than a single turnover per game in his 18 minutes per game, posting a very respectable 3-1 assists to turnovers ratio.
He also showcased solid finishing ability last year, shooting better than 70% within three feet of the cup. That helped keep his efficiency numbers reasonably acceptable, despite struggling to shoot from other parts of the court. He’s a willing basket attacker with a surprisingly decent array of moves, and can finish with both hands.
He’s a solid NBA-level athlete with the tools to defend both the one and two positions well.
One big thing that has held Goodwin back so far has been his shooting. He shot only 32% from downtown last season, and struggled even more than that late in the season going just 12/54 from deep over the final three months of the campaign. He is sometimes prone to very questionable shot selection, taking difficult midrange shots in traffic when there is time to look for something better. He also shoots under 80% from the line, and while that’s not altogether unusual for NBA point guards these days, it’s not a strong reason case for a coach to put a guy on the floor when the bonus is active in a close game.
One Key Factor
It remains to be seen how exactly the point guard situation will shake out for the Suns. The starting lineup looks to arguably feature no “true” point guard with Devin Booker and Goodwin’s Wizards teammate Bradley Beal (another new addition, of course) anchoring the backcourt for the Suns and their new head coach.
Goodwin could help his cause a lot by improving as a shooter this season. No matter how good a pure defender a point guard can be in the NBA, he will always have a certain ceiling if the defense can cheat too much by sagging off him when he has the ball more than 20 feet from the rim. Goodwin can’t claim to have Ricky Rubio-like court vision, so it seems likely he needs to work toward a 3&D profile to elevate his status in the league.
Goodwin will end up playing a fairly important role as a consistent bench point guard for the Suns, with the strong possibility that he emerges as being the top backup point guard as he doesn’t have any particularly intimidating competition for that role. He will win a lot of Suns fans over with his energetic, physical play, but won’t ascend to the heights of say...the best we saw from Cam Payne.
Most Suns fans will want him back next season.