The Phoenix Suns restocked with a new star guard and several impactful free agent signings. Let’s hash out Frank Vogel’s rotation.
The Phoenix Suns have been the most aggressive maneuverers in the NBA since Mat Ishbia purchased the team last season. First it was the Kevin Durant trade at the deadline; then came the Bradley Beal trade before draft night.
In the span of a few months, Ishbia and company have completely reshaped the roster around Devin Booker. The goal for Phoenix is, obviously, to bring a championship to the Valley. The Suns were close in 2021 but have fallen increasingly short over the last couple years. Now, there are no more excuses.
Durant and Booker are bonafide top-10 NBA players. Despite a complete absence of depth outside the starting five, Phoenix was the only team to steal more than one game from the Nuggets in the playoffs. With Beal joining the mix and an impressive crop of minimum-contract free agents in tow, the Suns are better positioned than ever to reach the mountaintop.
With Frank Vogel taking over the reins from Monty Williams, how will the new-look Suns rotation shake out?
Phoenix Suns starting point guard: Bradley Beal
The distinction between Bradley Beal and Devin Booker as “point guard” versus “shooting guard” is ultimately unimportant. It’s 2023 — every decent team has multiple ball-handlers who can set the table and create from scratch.
That said, Beal appears to be the nominal starting point guard ahead of camp. That makes sense given his more extensive history as his team’s lead ball-handler. The Wizards have deployed other “point guards” next to Beal since the John Wall trade, but let’s be real — Monte Morris was not the Wizards’ primary creator.
Beal has made real strides over the last few years when it comes to playmaking for teammates. He’s comfortable dishing out of pick-and-rolls and he should develop fast chemistry with Deandre Ayton, who improved drastically as a roll man and lob threat under the tutelage of the now-departed Chris Paul.
Last season wasn’t Beal’s best from a statistical standpoint, but he still averaged 23.2 points and 5.4 assists on .506/.365/.842 splits. That’s good enough for undisputed top-50 status and frankly, he could look even better with all the defensive attention his running mates will receive in Phoenix. How diligently Beal commits to the defensive end could determine his ceiling with the Suns.
Primary backup point guard: Jordan Goodwin
Jordan Goodwin broke out in a big way for the Wizards last season. He appeared in 62 contests (seven starts) and averaged 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 17.8 minutes per game. Where Goodwin really shined, however, was the defensive end. He’s legitimately one of the best guard stoppers in the NBA right now.
The Suns swindling him away from Washington as part of the Beal trade was an underrated move. He’s going to get regular minutes in the backcourt and he should win over a defensive-minded coach like Vogel.