2. Toumani Camara
Toumani Camara was the Suns’ second round pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He showed glimpses of the player he can be at Summer League – being a disruptive force defensively and a player who appeared comfortable to take the ball in transition after creating havoc for opponents.
In theory then he is everything this group needs. Somebody who loves defending, will slide in next to elite scorers easily and who at 23-years-old is already older than Franz Wagner of the Orlando Magic for example. A player who will be entering his third season in 2023-24, and who recently won a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup.
Why then is Camara going to struggle for game time? Put simply, the margin for error is small here. Camara will be given some minutes at the start of the season as head coach Frank Vogel looks to see what he is working with. But quite quickly he is also likely to spend some time down in the G League.
The Suns will need to amass wins early, and coach Vogel is going to go with veterans like Gordon and Watanabe to help get that done. Camara can certainly learn a lot from Gordon for the future, but he’s also in direct competition for minutes with Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop.
Okogie was the fifth starter at times for the Suns last season, while Bates-Diop is an underrated pickup. He was playing some borderline elite defensive basketball while with the San Antonio Spurs, and Camara is going to struggle to dislodge any of these players for meaningful minutes. His only path to consistent game time will be injuries to others.