Stats Show ’22-23 Suns Bench Will Provide Massive Value

Stats Show ’22-23 Suns Bench Will Provide Massive Value
By Josh Markowitz
Fact Checked by Ron Fritz

The Phoenix Suns employ one of the best starting lineups in the NBA, but their bench depth helped propel them to a league-leading 64-18 record last year as every starter except Mikal Bridges missed at least 14 games. Heading into this season, Phoenix’s reserve corps once again projects as an area of strength. 

Based on BetArizona.com research that used Basketball-Reference.com to find the cap hit of the 2022-23 Suns roster and then divided that number by each player’s total win shares from the 2021-22 NBA season, the five most cost-efficient members of the team are all set to come off the bench. 

Arizona sports betting is legal and the Suns have always been popular with the state’s bettors.

Phoenix Suns Value Chart

Position/NameCap Hit (2022-23)Win Shares (2021-22)*$/Win Share**
G Damion Lee $1,836,090 2.7 $680,033
C Bismack Biyombo $1,836,090 1.8 $1,020,050
C Jock Landale $1,563,518 1.5 $1,042,345
F Cameron Johnson $5,887,899 5.6 $1,051,411
F Torrey Craig $5,121,951 2.3 $2,226,935
F Mikal Bridges $20,100,000 8.9 $2,258,427
F Jae Crowder $10,183,800 4.3 $2,368,326
G Josh Okogie $1,836,090 0.7 $2,622,986
G Chris Paul $28,400,000 9.4 $3,021,277
G Cameron Payne $6,000,000 1.9 $3,157,895
F Dario Saric $9,240,000 2.9 $3,186,207
G Landry Shamet $9,500,000 2.6 $3,653,846
C DeAndre Ayton $30,913,750 7.3 $4,234,760
G Devin Booker $33,833,400 7.6 $4,451,763

Note – All figures rounded to nearest dollar
*Win Shares for specific players that missed significant time due to injury in 2021-22 were given an average of win shares over their last 3 seasons
**$ Per Win Share was rounded up for visual purposes

Free-Agent Signee Lee Brings Value

Offseason free-agent signee Damion Lee comes in as the singular best value of the group, as he is the only player on the team making less than $1 million per win share. Lee appeared in just eight total minutes during Golden State’s NBA Finals victory over the Boston Celtics, but he proved useful to the Warriors throughout the regular season. In 63 games last season, he averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 rebounds a game as he registered the seventh most minutes on the team.

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Analyzing The Suns Roster

Sixth man Cameron Johnson scored 12.5 points per game and finished as the fifth-best bench player in the NBA in 2021-22 by total win shares. However, the Suns will likely have to pay the sharpshooting forward significantly more than $5.9 million if they wish to keep him beyond this season, as this is the final year of his rookie contract. 

Mikal Bridges has yet to miss an NBA game in his career and was one of two players across the league to start all 82 games last season. While he finished second on the team in win shares, Bridges played over 500 minutes more than anyone else on the roster. Still, he remains an excellent value as low-usage, efficient two-way wings are a highly sought-after commodity, especially when they offer Bridges’ level of durability. 

Arizona betting apps are indicating that the Suns will be one of the favorites to win the Western Conference and reach the NBA Finals.

BetMGM Arizona has the Warriors (+300), Clippers (+325) and Suns (+450) to win the conference. The Suns are +1000 to win the NBA Finals, the sixth-best odds.

Paul Produces for Suns

Even after multiple teams traded him due to fears over how he would age at his salary level, Chris Paul continues to produce. The Point God made his 11th All-NBA team last year and led the league in assists for a fifth time. Paul also costs Phoenix almost $13 million less than when it first acquired him thanks to a contract renegotiation in 2021 that will tie him to the organization through the 2024-25 season.    

The Suns other stars, DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, finished in the bottom two spots in this exercise, but that simply reflects their max contracts and the quality contributions of the Suns’ bench. Both players ended in the top 30 in the league in total win shares, making Phoenix the only team to have four players accomplish that last season. 

On plenty of other teams, Ayton and Booker would rank in the middle of the pack value-wise, but the Suns have so much low-cost depth that no one on the roster even tops $5 million per win share. 

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Contributors

Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for BetArizona.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.

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