GM McDonough: Suns trying to replace production of injured Devin Booker

Dec 15, 2017, 5:55 PM
Newly-appointed Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough speaks during an NBA basketall news con...
Newly-appointed Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough speaks during an NBA basketall news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Phoenix. McDonough joins the Suns after most recently serving the past three seasons as the assistant general manager of the Boston Celtics. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns are four games into a stretch without Devin Booker that could potentially go past Christmas, and, unsurprisingly, they do not have a win.

While the Suns have worked hard and competed in all four of those games, losing by 10, three, seven and six points in those losses, they are still losses.

Something needs to change, and the easiest place to look is offense without their primary offensive option.

Most eyes went towards fourth-year forward T.J. Warren, who was averaging 18.4 points per game before Booker went down.

While he has stepped up a bit, it’s worth considering how much extra responsibility he now has as general manager Ryan McDonough notes.

“I think T.J. Warren, in particular, is carrying a heavy load,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo show.

In the four games, Warren has averaged 20.5 points and is shooting 40 percent from the field in the three more shots a game he is taking (15.5 to 18.8).

Unfortunately for him, there isn’t a clear name to step up in his place as the secondary option.

“I think we’re gonna have to find a secondary scorer to alleviate some of the burden off of T.J. and hopefully that’s a combination of guys,” McDonough said.

So far, it has been that mix, but not for a win.

Fresh off a career-high 32 points against Toronto Wednesday, Troy Daniels is averaging 15.3 points while shooting 50 percent from the field in the Booker-less stretch. Greg Monroe and Mike James are both posting 13.3 points a game and Tyler Ulis is at 10.8.

The problem isn’t necessarily there, but in 3-point shooting, a spacing issue that was already present even with Booker.

Daniels is the only player shooting above 25 percent from deep in those four games and he’s at 43.8 percent.

As a team, they are shooting 27.9 percent on threes in those four games.

With no real solution in sight, the real question is when Booker will be back.

Interim head coach Jay Triano said at practice Friday he doesn’t expect him to practice on the three-game road trip the team is on, which ends on Dec. 20 after a game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

McDonough said the hope is still sometime around Christmas.

“He’s feeling better, there’s a lot of progress that has been made around there,” he said.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) dishes off as Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) defends...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns squander opportunity against Doncic-less Mavericks

Luka Doncic's injury gave the Phoenix Suns a great opportunity at a win on Thursday but they fell apart against the Dallas Mavericks.
7 hours ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass as Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) d...
Wills Rice

Enigma of Deandre Ayton continues in Suns’ loss to Mavericks

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton played a bizarre game on Thursday night in the 99-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
7 hours ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns rebounds the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the s...
Alex Weiner

Charles Barkley criticizes Suns’ Deandre Ayton, wants to see more scoring

NBA on TNT analyst and Suns legend Charles Barkley wants to see more offensively from Phoenix center Deandre Ayton.
1 day ago
(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
Arizona Sports

Mavs star Luka Doncic exits to locker room vs. Suns, does not return in win

Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic left Thursday's game against the Phoenix Suns early after spraining his ankle.
1 day ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 during the first half of the NBA gam...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Suns to get center Deandre Ayton back vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Phoenix Suns will be getting a big boost in the lineup on Thursday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks at Footprint Center.
1 day ago
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks at C...
Associated Press

LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo named captains of 2023 NBA All-Star Game

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
1 day ago
GM McDonough: Suns trying to replace production of injured Devin Booker