Which players on the Suns roster will be a part of their regular rotation, and what will their roles be?
PG Chris Paul
SG Devin Booker
SF Mikal Bridges
PF Cameron Johnson
C Deandre Ayton
DEEP BENCH – VETERANS
DEEP BENCH – DEVELOPING YOUTH
LIKELY TO BE WAIVED
Jae Crowder has requested a trade, mainly because the team has indicated that Cam Johnson will be taking his place in the starting lineup at power forward. The move makes sense; Johnson is younger, more athletic, and a better long range shooter. While Crowder has historically been a better defender and more physical presence, Johnson has closed the gap and his improvement and potential upside merits a larger role.
If Crowder is traded, that may open up more minutes for players like Josh Okogie and Landry Shamet. Okogie is a tough defender in Crowder’s mold, while Shamet would provide scoring and playmaking in a smaller lineup.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
It will be interesting to see how Ayton responds to what occurred in the playoffs and the offseason. He was clearly ready to move on, signing an offer sheet with the Paces that he didn’t think the Suns would match. He also was a non-factor in the game 7 massacre delivered by the Mavericks and fellow 2018 draftee Luke Doncic. The Suns will need Ayton to become a greater focal point of the offense, to take some of that burden off of an aging Chris Paul.
The team really missed Dario Saric last year as he recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in the 2021 playoffs. If Saric can return to form, that will give the Suns a versatile offensive boost on the frontcourt off the bench that they didn’t have last year.