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Suns upgrade Aron Baynes, Elie Okobo to questionable vs. 76ers

Aron Baynes #46 of the Phoenix Suns blocks out Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks during a free throw in the first half at Madison Square Garden on January 16, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Could the Phoenix Suns gain reinforcements on Tuesday for their penultimate game in the NBA bubble?

The team prior to facing the Philadelphia 76ers listed center Aron Baynes (right knee bone contusion) and point guard Elie Okobo (right ankle sprain) as questionable to play against the Sixers, an upgrade from their “out” statuses before a Monday win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Forward Kelly Oubre Jr. remains doubtful for Phoenix.

Baynes and Okobo arrived in the Orlando bubble later than most of their teammates and have been worked back into shape on top of earning some minor dings during practices.

While it would be surprising for Okobo to earn time as the backcourt rotation looks firm with Cam Payne and Jevon Carter playing behind Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker, Baynes’ return would give the Suns a boost behind center Deandre Ayton and alongside Dario Saric.

Phoenix faces a 76ers squad that is sitting several key players. With Ben Simmons likely out for the season with a knee injury, Philadelphia on Monday listed center Joel Embiid and shooting guard Josh Richardson as out against the Suns.

Fellow starters Al Horford and Tobias Harris are listed as questionable as of Tuesday morning.

The Suns are favored against a limited Philadelphia squad because of the absences, and should Phoenix gain enough of a cushion, the Tuesday matchup could give them even more opportunity to work the bench players into a groove with a bubble finale against the Dallas Mavericks on the horizon. That game Thursday could dictate whether the Suns can enter the play-in round of the coronavirus-altered bubble format if they take care of business against the Sixers.

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