The 2023-24 NBA season hasn’t even begun yet, and already the Phoenix Suns are dealing with injury concerns. Thankfully not of the long-term variety, but with Devin Booker nursing a sore toe ahead of a daunting two-game trip to start the season, it is not ideal.
Monday’s media availability after practice added more concern for the Suns, with Bradley Beal explaining he had felt a “little tweak” in his back. Beal was quick to stoke any arising panic in The Valley, by explaining he has felt better in the last two days.
But these small injuries before a ball has even been bounced show the league just how precarious the Suns’ situation is.
Although they went out and got as much depth as possible this summer, this franchise is only as good as their three best players. To have two of them already possibly missing what is the first game of the season, is a big concern for head coach Frank Vogel.
Even more so when you consider that 35-year-old Kevin Durant is the only one of the three who is currently not listed as being injured in any kind of way or under a minute’s restriction. Which is brilliant for Durant, but concerning for the Suns if he is leading the way in the health category. It would also throw a major spanner in what the team’s ideal starting five should be.
The Suns brought in Beal as a 30-year-old with a less extensive injury history to pair with Booker – who it is hoped will have an MVP level season – during the regular season. Having both possibly miss the Golden State Warriors game to open the season, one which they will desperately want to win, is not good news.
Even if both do manage to suit up, the Suns then travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. From there, 80 more games stand between themselves and the best position they can possibly get for a postseason run. Injury hiccups before the race has even started was not part of the plan.
If Jusuf Nurkic, a big who actually does have a bad injury history, was to go down at any point soon, we could be looking at disaster before we even reach December. Head coach Frank Vogel won’t want to push his star trio, but he will have to trust them if they say they are good to play as well. A worrying development for the Suns after what has been an excellent offseason for them.