As the Phoenix Suns prepare to enter training camp in the coming weeks, fans must be overly satisfied with the job their front office has done this offseason. But even with a star-studded trio featuring Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal, having contributing players off the bench will be equally as important if Phoenix wants to contend for this year’s NBA title. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report is urging the Suns to look at signing former Golden State Warriors big man JaMychal Green.
“Even with a seemingly random off year in 2021-22, JaMychal Green has hit 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts over the last five seasons. Take out the Denver Nuggets campaign, and that mark climbs to 39.3,” Buckley writes.
“That’s an excellent mark for someone who can play either the 4 or as a small-ball 5, and his ability to drag opposing bigs away from the rim could come in handy for a Phoenix Suns team loaded with one-on-one scoring.”
Buckley: Green Could ‘Benefit’ Suns Star Trio
Green could be the perfect reserve in the Suns’ offense. He has the size and rebounding skills of a big man yet can shoot at a more efficient clip than most guards in the league. The Suns’ star trio of Beal, Durant, and Booker, who all have reputations as high-volume scorers, will see a myriad of defenses thrown at them throughout the season, and Green could feast on open looks.
His ability to space the floor will also create more room on offense for the Suns’ stars to operate. Defenses will already be spread thin trying to cover Beal, Durant, and Booker. Buckley believes the Suns’ star trio could all benefit from his addition.
“Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal could all benefit from facing up against an open paint, which is what Green’s shooting could provide,” Buckley added.
“The 33-year-old wouldn’t take a ton of minutes from Deandre Ayton and would probably be behind Drew Eubanks on the depth chart too, but he brings an element neither of those bigger centers do.”
Yuta Watanabe Predicted to ‘Surprise’ Suns
Acquiring Beal just months after trading for Durant at the deadline in February was enough to garner Suns’ general manager James Jones Executive of the Year consideration. But he has also surrounded his stars with above-average role players this season. One of those players is former Brooklyn Net, Yuta Watanabe, who Buckley believes will be a “surprise” for the Suns in 2024.
“Watanabe has orchestrated some fun, high-energy moments in the past, but this season could be different. He just might surface as the fifth-best player on a title-chasing team,” Buckley writes.
“Now, being the fifth-best player may not sound like much but remember to consider the caliber of the quartet in front of him. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are full-fledged superstars. Bradley Beal is a three-time All-Star with two 30-point-per-night seasons under his belt. Deandre Ayton is a former No. 1 pick who has basically averaged a 17-point double-double in his career. There is zero shame in trailing that foursome.”
Watanabe was not a household name heading into last season. But amid a season of chaos for the Nets franchise, he was one of their more consistent players.
The Nets sharpshooter had a breakout season in 2023, where he shot a scorching 44% from beyond the arc, elevating himself as one of the top marksmen in the NBA. Buckley believes he has the potential to sneak his way into the Suns’ starting lineup.
“Watanabe may not project to be Phoenix’s fifth-best player right now, but he could play his way into that status while simultaneously locking up starting and closing roles,” Buckley added.
“He is a fearless, frenetic, and versatile defender who may have mastered the art of corner-three shooting (a blistering 51.4 percent last season). Those are two of the most important traits a modern role-playing wing can have.”