Welcome to “Inside the Suns,” your weekly in-depth analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.
Each week, the Fantable – a roundtable of Bright Siders – gives their take on the latest Suns issues and news. This week free agency begins, but first we’ll discuss Jordan Goodwin and Isaiah Todd who also joined the Suns in the Bradley Beal trade and Toumani Camara who the Suns selected with the 52nd pick in this year’s draft.
Fancy questions of the week
What is your opinion on each of the three new Suns players not named Bradley Beal?
1 – Jordan Goodwin (6’3”, 200-pound guard)
GuarGuar: Goodwin looks like he could be a legitimate backup point guard in this league. Wizards fans were very disappointed that he was part of this trade, that’s probably a good sign! He looks like a high energy guy who can attack the basket and knock down an open 3. We need as many quality NBA players as possible right now and he definitely looks like he fits the bill.
Elder Az: There’s certainly talent there, although it’s hard to judge based on highlights alone. For me, I would compare him to Cam Payne who has had his ups and downs in recent years. Goodwin is a little taller, a few years younger and looks more athletic. Will want to see him increase his facilitation towards others while on the floor and improve his shooting from distance. If he does these things well this year, I think he has a chance to overtake Payne in the pecking order as the primary backup. getting him in the Beal trade seems like a real coup for the Suns.
Dan-Fly: Jordan has some height and a wingspan of 6″10″. He has very good numbers on defense and is a playmaker in a needed position. With the big three and Ayton, I don’t see them playing a traditional point guard. Vogel’s rotations are going to be trial and error at first. I think his role will come from the bench, but I’m happy to have him here and if one of the big three misses time they’ll need someone to distribute the ball. Whether it’s Payne or Jordan, I don’t know.
Brrrberry: Goodwin definitely has a place in the league and we need as much youthful energy as possible. Elite rebounder for his position, averaging 9+ in his 4-year college career and 10+ in his final two seasons in St. Louis. I’m sure that puts him in the 99th percentile for his position.
Offensively, he’s adequate in just about everything, his 3 ball mechanics are inconsistent, he handles the ball well and likes to get to the basket. Defensively, this is where he can make a difference with his considerable wingspan and solid size. He likes to lash out and because of that, he has the ability to carve out a role for himself. There will definitely be nights here and there where he helps win. Solid obtained by the Suns as a “touch” to the Beal trade.
Stem: Unlike the last Goodwin who wore purple and orange, this one could be a keeper. Although he is only 6’3″, he has a 6’10” wingspan and has a reputation as a very good defender, which new head coach Frank Vogel appreciates. His 3-point shooting (career average 31.9%) needs work but his 2-point FG percentage is 50.6%. I think it’s very likely that he earns rotation minutes this season and could supplant Cam Payne as the backup point guard at some point.
2 – Isaiah Todd (6’10”, 220 lbs forward)
GuarGuar: Isaiah Todd is definitely the guy I’m lowest on among the 3 newbies. Athletically he looks great but unfortunately his skills haven’t translated to the league yet and he looks like a bust. He really struggled during his limited time with the Wizards and in their G-League. But we never know.
Elder Az: Actor of the project at this stage. I really don’t expect much other than taking a spot on the roster.
Dan-Fly: I don’t see Todd getting many minutes, but I don’t think he’s ready. However, at 6′ 10″, he has size and we need to get younger and more athletic, so I hope he develops into a good bench player.
Brrrberry: I wouldn’t say he’s raw as he goes, but he’s very raw and won’t be able to crack a spot in the rotation, probably at any point next season. Oddly, his 3 mechanics are aesthetically better than Goodwin’s, so it’s a skill he possesses. Height (6’10) is ideal and above average athleticism, but he lacks strength and ability to fully put the ball on the ground. Defensively, he will be a liability for a multitude of reasons, namely not strong enough to guard the C position and not mobile enough (or probably strong enough) to handle most PFs in the league who have a passable offensive game and you don’t ‘certainly don’t have one. I don’t want him guarding in space all the way to the 3-point line.
Still super young, so like any guy at 21 with ready-made size, NBA-level athleticism and the frame to shoot the 3, he has a chance to become someone who deserves minutes in the league. This will require him to work with the crowd and I can’t speak to his means of doing that. Training corps of developmental prospects who will be relegated to towel-waving duty if rostered.
Stem: It’s hard to understand Todd, but there’s definitely a reason he spent most of his first two years in the league playing on the Wizards’ G League team…and it’s not not encouraging. In the Wizard’s final game of 2023, he actually started in a meaningless game against Houston and played 45 minutes, but only managed to score 7 points on 2 of 14 shooting (plus 2 FT made) and went 1 of 7 from 3. He still grabbed 12 rebounds, which is no small feat, even against a cellar dweller from last season.
If he stays with the Suns after training camp, I expect him to be one of, if not the guy sitting on the far end of the bench.
3 – Toumani Camara (6’8″, 220 lbs forward)
GuarGuar: Camara is the first NBA player to go to my dad’s high school, so he and his friends are really excited and I’ve heard all about him. He has great size and is a high-motor guy who can attack the glass really well. He projects like a Torrey Craig type if things go well. He is an excellent defender and was All-defense last college season. He shot well from 3 but at very low volume last year.
The hope is that summer league and training camp can give this guy some good reps so he doesn’t completely suck on offense. If he becomes any type of role player on a title team, it’s a home run for the No. 52 pick.
Elder Az: It’s difficult for any rookie to step in and make an impact on an NBA team, especially teams with championship aspirations. On bad teams they will have a lot of time on the field and a lot of freedom to make mistakes, but that shouldn’t be the case here and it will be very difficult for a late 2nd round pick to have a big impact on this year’s team. That being said, Camara looks like a complete, versatile and defensive player. If he can carve out a role where he gets 5-6 minutes per game later in the year (similar to Ish Wainright’s role in previous seasons), it would be a superb first year for the young man. I hope he shows that he belongs on the court with the other NBA players.
Dan-Fly: Camara is intriguing and I have hope, he learns quickly but he is a rookie and I don’t see him moving away from the veterans. He’s definitely athletic and plays hard, his defense will probably be the first to develop. But at first he will be a deep bench warmer.
Brrrberry: You see the dynamics of football (especially pre-NIL) where 3rd-7th round players turn into absolute studs once they hit the league. I’ve always attributed this to players finally being put in a position where their full-time job is football, and where they don’t need to be spread out between work, school and sports. This is less common in basketball but still relevant. Camara looks like a guy who has all the tools to become a player who exceeds expectations and his draft spot.
I think the chances of him playing a role in the playoffs are very slim, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play significant minutes throughout the season depending on how we complete the rest of the roster. team, injuries, etc. His ambidexterity is beyond. impressive being that he can do a windmill with his dribble out of play with his off-hand. He also has a nice touch near the basket finishing with both hands. If he can improve, get stronger, improve his handle and improve his catching and shooting 3s, he will be a piece. He seems to be smart and level-headed, so I think he will have a strong work ethic. I can’t wait to see him evolve.
Stem: Even though he has a wingspan of 7’1″, to 6″8″, I don’t know if he will play better as a SF or PF in the NBA, but he seems like a good prospect, especially for a pick end of second round. . At 23, he’s already older than Todd who technically has 2 years of NBA experience but he fits the mold of what James Jones typically looks for in a rookie. Solid skills, lots of skill “College experience and a great attitude. I can’t wait to see how well he performs for the Suns in the Summer League games (starting July 8 against Milwaukee) in Las Vegas.
Whether he has a role other than bench warmer with the Suns this season will depend on his ability to adapt to the NBA and his defensive skills. Vogel likes defense and might like this guy, but I doubt he’ll be more than bench depth this season. He could even end up on a two-way contract, which would leave the Suns with another open roster spot for a minimum veteran player who would be more likely to be able to contribute immediately.
As always, a big thank you to our Fantable members for all their extra efforts this week!
Last week’s poll results
Last week’s question was: “The return for DA in a transaction will likely be…”
31.0% – Disappointing.
59.5% – Passable but not great.
09.5% – Great!
A total of 410 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is…