With injuries mounting, Suns deep bench getting tested

I don’t know what 21-year old big man Jalen Smith did to deserve this, but he appears to be so far out of the Phoenix Suns rotation that recent two-way signee Ish Wainright got minutes over him on Thursday night against Detroit.

Nothing against Ish, whose shoulders look like they were drawn by the late great Stan Lee for a superhero comic, but Wainright is an undersized big and career journeyman while Jalen Smith is a prototype young big that desperately needs seasoning.

Yet Monty Williams favors predictability over potential. Ish must appear more unlikely to do anything bad for the team. How else to explain it?

Ish played four minutes against the Pistons on Thursday night, at one point dishing an assist to Cameron Johnson for a slam, after scoring his first NBA points a few games ago.

Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Suns have suffered some injuries lately, losing four of their trusted rotation players in Devin Booker (hamstring strain, out about two weeks), Abdel Nader (knee soreness, out indefinitely), Frank Kaminsky (stress reaction, out indefinitely) and Dario Saric (ACL recovery, out until at least April).

Those injuries leave them only 8 deep in the regular rotation, and Monty Williams needs 9-10 on a nightly basis.

Enter Elfrid Payton, a veteran point guard who can’t and won’t shoot, and Ish Wainright, an undersized power forward who really doesn’t shoot either.

Behind them, all that’s left…

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David King

David King

SB Nation - Bright Side Of The Sun

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