The Phoenix Suns need to choose a backup point guard. Based on skillset and Summer League play, Shaquille Harrison is their best option.
After Monday night’s win over the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns are now a perfect 3-0 in the Summer League. Many players have performed well and improved their standing on the roster to get to this point. Perhaps no player has outperformed expectations more than Shaquille Harrison. This strong performance should parlay into him earning the backup point guard spot on the Phoenix Suns.
Summer League is a time for overreactions galore. Everyone is vulnerable to making a take that is just too hot. But after three summer league games, there’s plenty of reason to have confidence in Shaquille Harrison’s ability to be the Phoenix Suns backup point guard next season. And given the extreme amount of youth on this Phoenix Suns roster, his only competition for the position Elie Okobo, who’s playing with him in the Summer League.
Although Okobo stole the spotlight in the first game, Harrison has quietly had a better performance in every game. Overall, Harrison has far outscored Okobo, posting 10.3 per game to Okobo’s 3.0. Harrison’s also shot better from the field than Okobo. He leads the team at 2.7 steals per game and is top five in all of Summer League with 6.7 assists per game. But his biggest impacts on the court have been his on ball defense and elite speed and athleticism.
Harrison had a good run with Phoenix at the end of last season. He would pick on defense for a full 94 feet and hustles all over. The real questions were his ability to run a team and his outside shot. So far, based on numbers and offensive flow, Harrison has looked significantly better than Okobo at running the offense. Although he hasn’t improved his outside shot significantly, he does enough other things for it to not be a major problem.
Barring a trade, the Phoenix Suns will go into training camp with a group of point guards including Harrison, Okobo, and likely starter Brandon Knight. One dark horse candidate is Isaiah Canaan, who is older and has a similar skill set to the other guards. But of the backup options, Harrison has performed the best recently, and he brings unique skills.