Phoenix Suns: 3 Things to do with Frank Kaminsky when Ayton Returns

Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Even with Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and CJ McCollum coming together last night, none of them wore the “leading scorer” crown. Instead, it fell onto Frank Kaminsky’s head, who put together yet another phenomenal performance, helping the Phoenix Suns win their sixth straight game.

Kaminsky exploded for a career-high 31 points, three assists, and seven rebounds, going 12-18 from the field. For his past four games in which starting center Deandre Ayton sat out, he averaged 18.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 62.2 percent from the field.

Coming through time and time again this year, Kaminsky’s rise does not deserve “fluke” categorization by any means. He represents a strong contributor off the bench, able to make plays especially at the offensive end at any moment.

But despite his broadway-worthy performances, Kaminsky will eventually return back to his role as an understudy once Ayton heals up. As a former first overall pick and a catalyst behind Phoenix’s run to the NBA Finals last year, Ayton currently holds the starting center spot with an iron grip—making it impossible for Kaminsky to pull away.

With Ayton likely to come back sooner rather than later, this puts an expiration date on Kaminsky’s time in the sun.

Once Ayton does come back though, the Suns do not want just rip the floor out from under Kaminsky. They want to try and figure out a way to welcome back their star big man, while still benefitting from Kaminsky’s excellent play, and keeping JaVale McGee in the fold all the same.

But with Kaminsky’s rise coming almost as a direct byproduct of Ayton’s absence, doing so might be tricky. However, if Monty Williams utilizes Kaminsky at least one of these three ways, the Suns might just pull off this “best of both centers” arrangement.