Phoenix Suns: Grades for Each Player After First Week of 2021-22 Season

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns: Next-Highest Graded Players After First Week of 2021-22

Four players find themselves occupying this “second best” tier. They all came through with solid contributions for the Suns during this first week, but never went above and beyond like those mentioned before them.

Chris Paul: B+

Dishing out 11.7 assists per game right now, Chris Paul currently averages the second most dimes per game across the entire league. Also scoring 14.0 points per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field, CP3 looks ready to defy father time for yet another season.

But the Suns have also played god awful transition defense during their first three games. As the team’s leader and first point of attack defender, that largely falls on Paul, who needs to help Phoenix tighten things up. Also with nine turnovers already, the “Point God” has struggled where he normally excels, most notably warranting his spot outside the top tier.

Landry Shamet: B+

The Suns brought Landry Shamet onto the team to serve as a much-needed off-ball shooting threat. Moving well within the offense, averaging three attempts from deep per game, and hitting them at a 55.6 percent rate, Shamet has done exactly that.

Also hitting from the field at 53.8 percent rate, Shamet owns the team’s highest effective field goal percentage right now, embodying a lethal offensive threat. His forgettable 6.3 points per game stands as only thing keeping him from this list’s top level. Watch for him to become more aggressive if he hopes to move up.

Cameron Johnson: B

Coming off the bench, but still working effectively, Cameron Johnson continues to keep this team glued together with his versatility. Averaging 8.0 points across these first three games while shooting 46.2 percent from deep, his contributions remain heavily appreciated.

Like Shamet though, he needs to bring more aggressiveness into his game. Even as a power forward with the height to attack down low, Johnson has yet to earn a single trip to the free-throw line this year.

Elfrid Payton: B-

Elfrid Payton only appeared during Phoenix’s 29-point loss against the Trail Blazers, but even as a “garbage time” player, he performed admirably.

Filling his stat sheet across all fronts, Payton put up 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds. He also shot a solid 54.5 percent from the field, a much improved mark compared to his less inspiring 43.2 percent field goal clip from a year ago. Doing this all almost exclusively against Portland’s backup players makes these solid numbers somewhat deceiving, leaving him with a flimsy, but still positive grade.