As the Phoenix Suns attempt to build around a young intriguing core, they’ve also done their best to fend off various injuries this season. On Tuesday, the Suns welcome another young team to town in the Sacramento Kings and will do so with star guard Devin Booker potentially on the sidelines.
While the Suns have stumbled out to a 9-32 record to start the year, the Kings currently sit at 20-20 and right on the fringe of the Western Conference playoff picture. Phoenix is attempting to snap a tough stretch in this game also, as they’ve dropped six straight and eight of the past nine. Doing so without Booker would be a tall task, especially against a Sacramento team who just ended their own four-game losing skid.
Let’s take a look at the Suns roster and starting lineup against the Kings while also evaluating the latest on Booker’s injury.
Suns Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Kings
*Notates expected starter
C: DeAndre Ayton*, Richaun Holmes
PF: Josh Jackson*, Dragan Bender, Ryan Anderson
SF: TJ Warren*, Kelly Oubre
SG: Mikal Bridges*, Jamal Crawford, Troy Daniels
PG: De’Anthony Melton*, Elie Okobo
The Suns lose an obvious scoring punch with Booker potentially being out of the lineup. Josh Jackson is the top candidate to replace him and has been hit-or-miss throughout the season while averaging 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
After Booker left last game early, Jackson totaled 32 minutes while scoring 22 points with six rebounds and four assists. Veteran guard Jamal Crawford also played 23 minutes off the bench and tacked on 16 points on 6-10 shooting.
If Booker is sidelined, the bulk of the heavy lifting on the offensive end would likely fall on rookie center DeAndre Ayton and forward TJ Warren. Ayton has been impressive this year, averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds while scoring 16 or more points in 10 of the last 12 games. Warren’s scoring ability has also been on full display, as he’s averaged 18.6 points per game and has shot 50 percent from the field over 35 games.
Latest on Devin Booker Injury
The outlook on Booker’s status against the Kings isn’t great and as Gerald Bourguet of Hoops Habit pointed out, the guard is currently listed as doubtful with back spasms. To piggyback off that, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic revealed that Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said there’s a good chance Booker will sit out. He also pointed out that Jackson would indeed start if that’s the case.
Booker played just 12 minutes on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets, scoring seven points with three assists prior to leaving the game. On the year, he’s averaged 24.8 points, 6.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.
The good news is that Booker’s injury isn’t serious and it doesn’t appear as though it will hold him out for an extended period.