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

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

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

Although not playing badly by any means, the guys on this tier still left a lot to be desired after Phoenix’s first week this season. Two players experienced some strange hot and cold streaks, while the other two just struggled to do all that much with their few opportunities.

Deandre Ayton: C+

Averaging 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game thus far feels a bit cheap for Deandre Ayton, especially with many expecting him to come out swinging after failing to earn a contract extension this summer.

Especially during Phoenix’s first two games, he looked fantastic at one point, working a crisp pick-and-roll game with Paul, and then atrocious during others, either turning it over or forcing up bad shots. His defense came and went as well. Sometimes he stood tall under the rim, and others he looked hopelessly lost with his positioning.

Hopefully this all chalks up to early-season rust rather than anything else, because it was Ayton’s consistent play during the postseason last year which took the Suns from solid team, to one able to challenge for a title.

JaVale McGee: C

JaVale McGee also looked solid during spurts, but failed to establish himself as a consistent impact player. His 5.3 rebounds and 9.0 points per game while playing under 15.0 minutes each contest certainly stands out, but more often than not, the longer Monty Williams left him out on the floor, the longer he became a liability.

Shooting more efficiently than every big man right now at 72.2 percent, but also with the team’s fifth most turnovers per 100 possessions, McGee remains something of a “mixed bag,” granting him this middle-ground grade.

Frank Kaminsky: C

Like Payton, Frank Kaminsky only played during Phoenix’s lost game vs the Trail Blazers. He made a minimal impact, not really doing anything right, nor anything wrong. “The Tank” went 1-4 from the field to finish with two points, he also snatched five rebounds, but they only came after the game was well-decided, putting an asterisk on them.

Jalen Smith: C

Jalen Smith finally earned some run time against Portland as well. He moved well up and down the court, and finished with a decent five points and one rebound. Not much else exists to say about Smith though, with him having played only 10 minutes during Phoenix’s most meaningless sequences so far this season.