2. Jusuf Nurkic
Having fun yet Suns fans? The idea of center Jusuf Nurkic was – in theory – a solid one. Unlike Deandre Ayton, who the team gave up to get Nurkic, Grayson Allen (who has fit right in), Nassir Little (had a couple of moments) and Keon Johnson (already waived), Nurkic was going to be the big who fit well with their “Big 3”.
He was going to diligently run up and down the court, not see much of the ball, screen effectively, pass out of the paint and generally do everything around the stars in place. Nurkic can still do all of those things in bursts, and offensively he is capable of having the team run some plays through him in the absence of Booker and Beal.
Defensively though, it has been ugly at times for Nurkic. Although it has only been seven games, the Suns rank an impressive 10th in defensive rating (109.6). Most felt that offensively this team had a chance to be an all-time level threat, and once healthy that may end up being the case.
On the other end they were always likely to struggle, and yet their role players have stepped up admirably. With Nurkic on the court though, the Suns have a defensive rating of 112.6, which would put them in the bottom 10 teams in the league.
Nurkic has had worse seasons on that end statistically, but it still early doors and he does not look to be getting any better. Add in the fact he is injury-prone (to his credit Nurkic is yet to miss a game so far), and there’s a reason he was so readily available via trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. If the Suns made Nurkic available via trade today, who would call?