Coming into the season, expectations were not high for the former lottery pick in Frank Kaminsky when he signed the two-year deal to play for the Suns. And while there has been ups and downs, Kaminsky to his credit has had solid moments.
Let’s start with Saturday’s OT loss against the San Antonio Spurs. The former Wisconsin big man put up 22-7-4 on 52% shooting in his 12th start of the year. Prior to this game, Kaminsky put up 24-5-3 while cashing in on all four of his three-point attempts.
Whether it’s the suspension of Deandre Ayton and/or injuries to Aron Baynes, the Suns called Frank Kaminsky’s number to step up in the front court. At times ,it consisted of performances against San Antonio, Memphis, Los Angeles (both teams) and other times there have been unfavorable results such as Dallas, Washington, and Denver.
On the year, Kaminsky is averaging 11 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on 44% shooting in 23 minutes a night which isn’t bad given his contract status and standing. That being said, most Suns’ fans have their gripes with Kaminsky when it comes to his defense.
Players are shooting 4% better at the rim within 6 feet when Kaminsky plays at center. In comparison to this, when Aron Baynes plays opponents, they shoot 7% worse within 6 feet. As for Cheick Diallo & Dario Saric, players shoot 3.8% and 1.6% worse respectively.
While the criticism of Kaminsky at times has been understandable by fans, people should temper their expectations of the former Charlotte Hornet. Kaminsky is useful when he comes off the bench and runs with the second unit. It was because of unfortunate circumstances to the front court where Kaminsky was asked to do a ton once thrusted in as a starter.
Once Ayton returns/eased in from suspension and Baynes is eased back in (probably soon) from injury, Kaminsky can continue to contribute a positive impact from the bench which is probably for the best.
As far as an overall assessment on the big man so far, he has played better than most fans have anticipated. There is plenty of room for improvement particularly on defense, but he’s mostly been solid on offense.
He adds some needed depth in the front court and has become a solid pickup for the Suns at this point. Let’s hope he can continue to string out more positive performances rather than negative.