PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 14: Dragan Bender #35 and Marquese Chriss #0 of the Phoenix Suns react during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on October 14, 2016 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
What he brings: A chance for Bender and Chriss
The acquisition of Trevor Ariza shows that Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough hasn’t given up on Bender and Chriss.
Ariza can play power forward but can be overwhelmed by bigger guys. Because of this, Bender and Chriss will still have a chance to get some playing time.
Although both guys have looked like bust early in their careers, they have both shown flashes of being good players. Now that Igor Kokoskov is in town, they deserve to be given one last chance with a head coach who is renowned for finding offensive systems that work for all his players.
Both Bender and Chriss should markedly improve now that there is a solid system around them. If Chriss can add a legitimate 3-point shot and Bender can attack the basket with a fearless fire, both players add lots more value to the roster overall.
At the moment they are both still fighting to keep their jobs both in Phoenix and potentially in the league as a whole, and signing Ariza – versus trading for someone like Kevin Love – will continue to give them a chance to play.
Bender will probably get the majority of these minutes to give Ayton space down low while still having size.