Phoenix Suns: 3 Position Battles to Watch in 2021-22 Season

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Flooded with talent from top to bottom, the Phoenix Suns carry several options to fill several positions heading into the 2021-22 season. A good problem to have, but nonetheless one that might complicate things for the Phoenix coaching staff.

Last year, the Suns began their season the same way they ended it, with a starting five featuring Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Deandre Ayton. Each player within that lineup averaged double-digit scoring numbers, allowing themselves to become the 11th most fruitful offensive starting group. This squad actually tied the fearsome Brooklyn Nets’ starting five for first place in field goal percentage, hitting at a collective 50.9 percent clip.

For 12 games though, they went big and started either Frank Kaminsky or Torrey Craig over Crowder. Monty Williams also experimented with some “small ball” by sliding out Crowder for Cameron Johnson during three contests.

But heading into the upcoming season, Paul and Booker have a firm grasp on each starting guard position, as does Ayton at the five. No reason exists to permanently dismiss Crowder or Bridges to the bench either, at least for now.

But who comes off the bench first as a sixth, seventh, or eight man? Will anyone once again steal away some coveted starting minutes? Only some gritty and competitive position battles within the team can answer those questions, likely to take place throughout training camp and within the regular season’s first few weeks.

Of course barring any future injuries that might remove one or two player’s from the roster, these three internal competitions for rotation spots strike as very intriguing, and worth paying attention to as we move closer to tipoff.