The Phoenix Suns may open for individual workouts as early as May 16th. Out of all players, who will take advantage of this restricted gym access?
“Reopen” is probably the wrong word, considering the Phoenix Suns don’t have a gym to reopen. Instead, as I predicted months ago, they are going to conduct all practices and potential games at the Madhouse on McDowell.
The NBA has sent out its own rules of engagement for these voluntary workouts as states begin to open back up. Namely:
- No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time.
- No head or assistant coaches can participate.
- Group activities remain prohibited, including practices or scrimmages.
I understand. These are crazy times and everyone is going to have to take extra precautions that on the surface seem extreme. But I don’t get some of this.
Only four players allowed at one time? Okay. Extreme, but okay. But no head or assistant coaches? Really? I’m not sure if this is prohibited in order to keep numbers at the facilities down or to curb any perceived competitive advantage since not all teams will be able to open at the same time.
Regardless, if the Phoenix Suns do open on May 16, who will show up for these volunteer workouts? Players aren’t allowed to work out in public spaces so it’s this or whatever they have around their house, and I don’t really know what most players have around their house with regard to equipment, so here are some guesses.
Devin Booker will be a no-show. He’s too valuable to risk coming down with COVID-19 and his mansion in Paradise Valley (likely) has everything he needs. Normally, it is frowned upon when the star of the team skips voluntary workouts, but in this case, I don’t think the team would want him in the building. Besides, he may never have come back from Sedona with Kendall Jenner.
Even though Deandre Ayton is also a star, based on his NBA2K home footage, he may live in an apartment and thus not have access to a goal. In fact, he said he actually bought a treadmill to help stay in shape. I would guess he will be one of the first people signing up to get into Veterans’ Memorial Colosseum.
We know for sure from Instagram Kelly Oubre has a dope set up in his backyard and has been spending his quarantine time working on his game. I don’t see him making the trip to the gym.
As for the rookies, my guess is they don’t have a place to work out on their own so they’ll be there as soon as the doors open.
I’m not sure about people like Aron Baynes, but I’d say almost all of the young guys go. Many of these players are at the front office’s whim about whether they return to Phoenix next season or not so they will undoubtedly put their best effort on display to show how committed they are.
Guys like Jevon Carter, Dario Saric, Cheick Diallo, and Elie Okobo all fall into this category. Frank Kaminsky has his own backyard workout oasis, but he may be one of the players in this camp where it makes more sense for him to show his face in the team gym.
Then again, if no coaches are around, who is there to impress? Or does the fact they signed up good enough?
It will be interesting to see if the Suns publicize who attends these voluntary individual workouts. Not that I’ll hold anything against those who choose not to show up, it would just give us all something tangible to talk about in the basketball world.