What Does the Phoenix Suns Starting 5 Lineup Look Like?
Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen and Keita Bates-Diop have been filling in as starters during the injury absences of Beal and Booker, but these will be looked upon in hindsight as cameos when it is all said and done this season. The lineup listed below represents the Suns at full strength.
|Point Guard:||Devin Booker|
|Shooting Guard:||Bradley Beal|
|Small Forward:||Josh Okogie|
|Power Forward:||Kevin Durant|
Point Guard Devin Booker
Booker has always been a shooting guard but will be the default point guard tis season because Chris Paul was traded away in the Beal deal. A three-time All-Star who was first team All-NBA last season after averaging 27.8 points, the the eight-year veteran has spent his entire NBA career with the Suns after being the 13th overall pick in 2015.
A shooter whose range extends out to the 3-point line (he made 183 of them two seasons ago), Booker is also a capable ball distributor who averaged 6.8 assists in 2018-19 and 6.5 in 2019-20, Booker shot a career-best 49.4 percent last season when he started all 53 games that he played.
Shooting Guard Bradley Beal
He was one of the few players in the league to have a no-trade clause in his contract, and he waived it in order to get out of Washington D.C., were he had spent the first 11 seasons of his NBA career but played a total of just 45 postseason games, not making it to the second round sine 2017 and missing the playoffs entirely in four of the past five seasons.
Beal is a three-time All-Star who was the third overall pick out of Florida in the 2012 draft. He averaged a career-best 31.3 points in 2020-21 after averaging a career-high 30.5 the previous season. He played in only 40 games two seasons ago and 50 games last season.
Small Forward Josh Okogie
A native of Nigeria whose family emigrated to the United States when he was 3, Okogie spent his first four seasons with Minnesota after he was drafted 18th overall in 2018 and bounced into and out of the starting lineup during those years, just as he did last season with the Suns when he started 26 of 72 games and averaged 7.3 points and 3.5 rebounds.
A better-than-average on-the-ball defender, Okogie is viewed by opponents as the weak link in the Suns' starting five.
Power Forward Kevin Durant
One of the most talented players in the entire NBA, Durant has averaged at least 29 points in five of his 15 seasons since being drafted with the second overall pick in 2007 by the Seattle SuperSonics. Early in his career he took the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals before leaving as a free agent and winning consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards in 2017 and 2018 with the Golden State Warriors before leaving them in free agency to join the Brooklyn Nets, who traded him to Phoenix at midseason in 2022-23 when the superstar trio of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden were not performing well together. Durant is a perennial top choice for NBA MVP at sportsbooks in Arizona.
Center Jusuf Nurkic
Acquired by the Denver Nuggets along with Gary Harris in a 2014 draft night trade in which the Bulls got the draft rights to Doug McDermott, Nurkic eventually landed with Portland in 2016-17 and was a solid center for a Trail Blazers franchise that had its share of ups and downs, shooting above 50 percent in six of his seven seasons and averaged double figures in rebounds four times. The Suns acquired him shortly before the start of the season in a deal that sent longtime Suns center DeAndre Ayton to Portland but also brought Allen, Keon Johnson and Nassir Little to the Suns.
Examining the Phoenix Suns’ 2023-24 Bench
|Point Guard:||Jordan Goodwin||Saben Lee|
|Shooting Guard:||Eric Gordon||Grayson Allen||Jordan Goodwin|
|Small Forward:||Keita Bates-Diop||Nassir Little|
|Power Forward:||Yuta Watanabe||Nassir Little|
|Center:||Drew Eubanks||Chimezie Metu||Udoka Azubuike|
This depth has been tested in the early part of the season with Booker and Beal both being sidelined for long stretches, but Allen, Watanabe, Bates-Diop and Eubanks are young veterans who have had their tires kicked by numerous teams, and we would not be surprised to see owner Mat Ishbia try to flip two or three of them for a more proven and experienced veteran sometime around the trade deadline in February.
Who Is Phoenix Suns’ 6th Man?
Eric Gordon is the de facto Sixth Man for the Suns in 2023, although depending upon the opponent that may sometimes end up being Allen. Both are top notch outside shooters, and Gordon was a No. 1 option early in his career with the Clippers and Pelicans before having a similar role with the Houston Rockets over the past seven seasons. Now in is 16th season, Gordon has never failed to average double figures in points.
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Get to Know the Phoenix Suns Front Office
|General Manager||James Jones|
|Head Coach||Frank Vogel|
|Associate Head Coach||Kevin Young|
Who Is the Phoenix Suns' Head Coach?
Frank Vogel is in his first season as head coach of the Suns after Monty Williams, now with Detroit, was dismissed following the Suns postseason loss to the the Phoenix Suns in 6 games last spring. Vogel led the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2020 championship when the postseason was played in the Orlando bubble. Previously, he was head coach of Indiana and Orlando, and coached the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2014.
Who Is the Phoenix Suns’ General Manager?
James Jones is a former NBA player who spent 15 seasons as a player in the league, winning three championships with the Miami Heat (twice) and Cleveland Cavaliers (once). He was hired by the Suns in 2017 as Director of Player Personnel shortly after playing is final game for the Cavs, and he was promoted up when former general manager Ryan McDonough was fired. He shed the "interim" tag from his general manager's title in 2019.
Phoenix Suns Starting 5 FAQs
The Suns' current starting lineup is Kevin Durant, Keita Bates-Diop, Grayson Allen, Jusuf Nurkic and Eric Gordon.
Currently, Kevin Durant is averaging 29.9 points through the season's first seven games which leads all other Phoenix Suns shooters.
When fully healthy the Suns' starting 5 are Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Josh Okogie and Jusuf Nurkic.
The Suns' 6th man this year will be Eric Gordon. Gordon, who entered the NBA in 2008, is in his first season with Phoenix after playing for three different teams in 2022-23.
The best Suns players of all time include the likes of Paul Westphal, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Charles Barkley, Paul Westphal, Charlie Scott, Connie Hawkins, Gus Johnson.
Mat Ishbia, CEO and chairman of United Wholesale Mortgage, is the principal owner of the Phoenix Suns. The NBA approved the $4 billion sale to Ishbia on February 6, 2023.
Josh Bartelstein, a former executive with the Detroit Pistons, was named to this post in April 2023, just a couple months after new owner Mat Ishbia took over.
Chris Sheridan is a veteran NBA Writer who has been covering the league since 1992, with a specialty in international basketball after being credentialed for every Olympics since 1996-Atlanta. He has been writing in the sports gambling journalism space since PASPA was overturned in 2018, and age 58 he still can drain the 3-pointer and can dunk with the help of a ladder.