Marquese Chriss joins an elite group of Suns rookies

Mar 9, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss (0) dunks over Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black (28) during the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss (0) dunks over Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black (28) during the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

This morning the NBA announced the league’s All-Rookie First and Second Teams, a list that includes one of the Suns’ 2016-17 rookies: Marquese Chriss.

Marquese Chriss was selected for the league’s All-Rookie Second Team, finishing eighth in the voting with 91 points behind first teamer’s Malcolm Brogdon (200 points), Dario Saric (200), Joel Embiid (171), Buddy Hield (154), Willy Hernangomez (128), and second teamers Jamal Murray (123), Jaylen Brown (106), and ahead of Brandon Ingram (83), and  Yogi Ferrell (63).

Tyler Ulis received 10 points and one first place vote, and Dragan Bender received one second place vote.

Chriss is the second Phoenix Suns in the last two years to be named to the league’s All-Rookie team. Devin Booker was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2015-16 with 231 points.

Chriss played in all 82 games for the Suns, the first Phoenix rookie to appear in every game since Michael Finley in 1995-96. Chriss also started in 75 games, the most by any rookie in the league this past season, and most by a Suns rook since Walter Davis started in 81 games in 1977-78.

Chriss’ 9.2 points per game was the most since Booker’s 13.8 in 2015-16, and eighth in the league among rookies. His 4.2 rebounds per game was fifth among rookies and most by a Suns rookie since Markieff Morris’ 4.4 in 2011-12. And Quese’s .85 blocks per game finished third most among rookies, and the most by a Suns rook since Amar’e  Stoudemire’s 1.1 in 2002-03.

Marquese initially began the season as most rookies do, coming off he bench, playing behind free agent acquisition and opening night starter Jared Dudley.

In the team’s opening night home loss to the Sacramento Kings, Chriss impressed immediately, coming off the bench and scoring seven points while grabbing four boards and blocking a shot. The combination of himself, Dragan Bender, and Tyler Ulis each came off the bench and helped to drag the Suns from a 21-point deficit early in the third quarter to within ten points following a Bender three and Chriss layup.

After seven games coming off the bench, Head Coach Earl Watson made the season’s first dramatic starting lineup change by flipping Dudley for the rookie – he never relinquished his starting job.

Chriss recorded his first of three double-doubles on December 13 against the New York Knicks. In the Suns’ two-point victory, Chriss scored 14 points and grabbed 12 boards, adding a blocked shot and assist. He scored over 20 points six times, including a career-high 27 versus the Milwaukee Bucks in a 25 point loss on February 4. He set his career-high in rebounds on March 1 at Portland with 13.

Chriss also led all rookies with 103 dunks, although the number ranked 16th in the league.

Check out his top-10th dunks on the season via

‘Quese joins an elite group of former Phoenix Suns rookies by making the All-Rookie Second Team. He is the franchise’s 14th member to make this list dating all the way back to the franchise’s first season. (The league introduced the All-Rookie Second Team in 1988-89.Prior to that only awarded All-Rookie members to the top-five players.)

1968-69 Gary Gregor

1973-74 Mike Bantom

1975-76 Alvin Adams (RoY)

1976-77 Ron Lee

1977-78 Walter Davis (RoY)

1987-88 Armon Gilliam

1992-93 Richard Dumas (Second Team)

1994-95 Wesley Person (Second Team)

1995-96 Michael Finley

1999-00 Shawn Marion (Second Team)

2001-02 Joe Johnson (Second Team)

2002-03 Amar’e  Stoudemire (RoY)

2015-16 Devin Booker

2016-17 Marquese Chriss (Second Team)

More from Valley of the Suns

Of that list, only three eventually went on to make the All-NBA team for the Phoenix Suns as well:

1977-78 Walter Davis (Second Team)

1978-79 Walter Davis (Second Team)

2004-05 Amar’e  Stoudemire (Second Team)

2004-05 Shawn Marion (Third Team)

2005-06 Shawn Marion (Third Team)

2006-07 Amar’e  Stoudemire

2007-08 Amar’e Stoudemire (Second Team)

2009-10 Amar’e Stoudemire (Second Team)

Hopefully this award is one of many league-wide awards for the still 20-year old. If Josh Jackson is selected as an All-Rookie next summer, it will be the second time in franchise history that the Suns have had an honoree in three-consecutive seasons, the last being Alvin Adams, Ron Lee, and Walter Davis from 1976-78.