Whose minutes will be most affected by depth: Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender?
If this were the 1990’s, the question would probably be which one should start. But in 2018, there’s no need for a traditional power forward. They’re typically less versatile and worse shooters than wings, so why not just put out a bigger wing or play small?
On the Phoenix Suns, the wing depth is going to mean less opportunities for fours like Bender and Chriss. I recently took a look at each player’s case for minutes, and for now I believe Chriss has the best chance to get playing time.
Chriss is, on paper, a far better defender, and he’s the superior athlete, meaning he should at the very least find a role as an energizer off the bench.
But Chriss also has his drawbacks. He shot well from three in college, but his jumper has abandoned him since he went pro. Bender, on the other hand, has shot the three ball decent, which is a pretty big plus the team hasn’t gotten from Chriss.
For both guys, being surrounded by more talented players should mean improved offensive statistics compared to last year. It’ll also be interesting to see who put in the work and made improvements this summer.
Right now, Chriss just does more things and plays with more confidence than Bender. But if better looks for Chriss doesn’t result in more makes from deep, and if Bender has sorted some things out over the offseason, Bender could be the go to guy.