Phoenix Suns trio included in ESPN’s NBA award predictions

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Again projected to be an elite team in the upper echelon of league standings, the Phoenix Suns have a number of players to keep an eye on for individual awards next season.

With most rosters practically finalized and the NBA schedule slowly beginning to be released, all eyes are now on what promises to be a tantalizing 2022-23 season.

As predictions begin to circulate around what will happen next season, an ESPN panel have divulged their thoughts on a number of topics that include the major awards.

Phoenix Suns trio Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson have each received votes in ESPN’s NBA award predictions.

"“We asked our panel to rank its top three choices for the NBA’s six major awards — with a first-place vote receiving five points, a second-place vote receiving three and a third-place vote receiving one”, ESPN said."

The 25-year-old Booker received one point for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, tied tenth alongside Lakers’ star Anthony Davis. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is predicted to win the award for a third time, finishing with 43 points ahead of Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid each on 40.

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker
Devin Booker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Bridges remains the Suns best chance of taking out an individual honour, receiving 19 votes for the Defensive Player of the Year award. That ranked fourth among the panel behind perennial candidate Rudy Gobert, versatile Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, and Antetokounmpo.

Coming into an important fourth season, Johnson could fight for a starting role ahead of veteran Jae Crowder. That didn’t stop the panel from including him in Sixth Man of the Year predictions though, with the 26-year-old receiving nine points in fifth position. Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole is an overwhelming favourite in the panel’s eyes, with Malcolm Brogdon, John Wall and Tyler Herro also finishing above Johnson.

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The Suns haven’t had a major individual player award winner since Goran Dragic won Most Improved Player in 2014. They did, however, have head coach Monty Williams win the NBA’s Coach of the Year last season.