2. The front office is all in on Jusuf Nurkic
On the other side of the Ayton coin, it felt like everybody when asked about Nurkic was beyond enthusiastic to have him on this team. The worrying thing here is that at times it felt like it might be too much of a sell by whoever was speaking about his recent arrival.
There is no doubt that on paper, Nurkic is a better fit than Ayton for this group. Offensively he is a better screener, passer and more willing cutter, and knows his place in the pecking order. He will be feeding off scraps, but thankfully has a polished enough offensive game to be able to make do with what little shots he gets.
Defensively it is another story, and although the big Bosnian certainly puts himself about, an elite big like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid will cook him often. Most worryingly of all is Nurkic’s injury history, with the 29-year-old having been hobbled in some form since before the NBA’s Bubble. General Manager James Jones had this to say about the player at media day;
"His skill-set compliments our best guys, and he is ready to win."
While coach Vogel cited his defensive rebounding abilities, as well as his passing, as key factors in how he is going to help the Suns win. Perhaps most importantly of all, Nurkic himself said all of the right things about where he now finds himself, adding;
"He (Vogel) loves to put his bigs in great situations. I’m most excited about the defensive system… I will definitely do whatever he and the coaching staff ask of me (on that end)."