PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Igor Kokoskov clouds PG position by relying on play-makers

Oct 15, 2018, 9:18 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2018, 10:32 am

Phoenix Suns coach Igor Kokoskov signals to his team during the first half of an NBA preseason bask...

Phoenix Suns coach Igor Kokoskov signals to his team during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

The Phoenix Suns will head into the 2018-19 regular season without a starting-caliber point guard leading the team, but first-year head coach Igor Kokoskov is willing to work around the issue.

Former Suns general manager Ryan McDonough reportedly pursued a point guard in a trade, but to no avail. With McDonough now fired, vice president of basketball operations James Jones took over as interim general manager and reportedly made his first move on Monday by signing 38-year-old combo guard Jamal Crawford to a veterans minimum deal.

Crawford has not been used much at point guard due to his ability to score at a high level. He has only been a primary starter in five of his 18 seasons played in the NBA.

So what is Kokoskov’s approach at the lacking position?

“We don’t have one guy that we designate as the starting point guard and we’re trying to turn it into a strength of this team,” Kokoskov said in an interview on Monday.

The Suns currently have three point guards on the depth chart with Isaiah Canaan, De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo in rotation. Kokoskov will look to get the ball to his better and more proven players.

“There’s a couple of guys who can take that role,” Kokoskov  said. “We also know that guys like [Deandre] Ayton, [Devin] Booker and a couple other vets are going to take the role when it comes to the play-making, somebody who can make a play for other people on the court.”

“So that doesn’t mean necessarily it’s going to be point guard.”

Kokoskov said he would rotate 21-year-old Booker in at point guard but will be cautious in his approach not to exert too much of Booker’s energy defending the premier point guards of the Western Conference.

“We ask him to do so much and he’s accepting the challenge,” Kokoskov said.  “I don’t want to waste our best offensive weapon to guard point guards necessarily. He’s going to score for us, he’s going to defend obviously.

“He’s going to play some stretches, some games and we’re going to try also to incorporate other guys who can help us at the point guard position.”

Starting with Wednesday’s opener against the Dallas Mavericks, there could be lineup changes throughout the season as the front office continues its search for a productive point guard.

The Suns will have to work with what they have as of now, and take the upcoming season “one game at a time,” said Kokoskov.

“I know that we’re going to be prepared. We’re going to play hard and we’re going to try to win every single game, whoever we play.”

Phoenix Suns

Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix Suns brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during t...

Kellan Olson

Bradley Beal leads big-time Suns response in ugly win vs. Kings

For as much as the last two games looked like the Suns calling it a day on the 2023-24 season, they had at least one more fight left in them.

14 minutes ago

Devin Booker #1 and head coach Frank Vogel of the Phoenix Suns...

Arizona Sports

NBA playoff standings: Suns can still avoid play-in with 1 game left

Where are the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference standings? They're fighting for playoff positioning and hoping to avoid the play-in.

58 minutes ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Something feels very different with Devin Booker and the Suns

On the latest Bickley Blast, Dan Bickley asks if a Devin Booker trade request is in the near future.

14 hours ago

(L-R) Ish Wainright #12, Isaiah Thomas #4, Drew Eubanks #14 and David Roddy #21 of the Phoenix Suns...

Damon Allred

Isaiah Thomas: ‘The world knows how scary’ Phoenix Suns can be in playoffs

Isaiah Thomas joined Burns & Gambo on Thursday to talk about the final week of the regular season and the fight for postseason positioning.

1 day ago

Karl-Anthony Towns posts up Kevin Durant...

Damon Allred

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns expected to make return before regular season finale vs. Suns

Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns is on track to return from a torn meniscus on Friday when the Wolves match up against the Atlanta Hawks.

1 day ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Can a Phoenix Suns playoff run can force this team to reconcile its issues?

Despite the bad vibes surrounding the Phoenix Suns, Dan Bickley debates if an NBA playoff run can be the determining factor in what makes or breaks this team's underlying issues.

2 days ago

Suns’ Igor Kokoskov clouds PG position by relying on play-makers