Just like that and we’re a little over two weeks away from the Phoenix Suns‘ first preseason game. The franchise opens their campaign at home on October 2, facing the Adelaide 36ers from Australia’s NBL.

They then meet the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas on October 6, before a clash with the Nuggets in Denver on October 10. The Suns will finally return home for their final preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on October 12.

The definitive meaning of preseason games is hard to gauge. It’s a period where coaches are experimenting with different game styles, unit combinations, and generally getting a feel of where each player sits going into the regular season.

Looking to rebound from a disappointing finish to their 2021-22 season, there’ll be multiple aspects to monitor during the Phoenix Suns’ preseason.

When it comes to the Suns core players, the preseason is about getting some run in the legs. However, given the general youth of players like Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, there’ll be some interest on whether they’ve returned with added tools to their skillset.

If you’re a role player who’s spot in the Suns rotation may be in question, then that’s cause for trying to impress as much as possible during training camp and preseason. With that in mind, let’s focus on three aspects to monitor during training camp and preseason.

1. Starting power-forward role

While four of the Suns five starters are locked into place, there’s much conjecture on the identity of the fifth player. Jae Crowder is the Suns incumbent power-forward, yet most believe it should now be Cameron Johnson’s role as he enters his fourth season in the league.

Of the Suns five preseason games, you’d expect them to roll out their prospective starting lineup at least twice. This, along with the form of both players, should give us a reasonable indication of who will start. There’s also a genuine chance the Suns come out prior and announce who the starter will be during training camp.

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Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Wing rotation battle

Outside of Johnson and Crowder, Phoenix have a number of wings who are yet to completely bed their role within the rotation. There’s Landry Shamet and Damion Lee who are fighting for minutes as a backup to Booker at shooting-guard, while the likes of Torrey Craig, Josh Okogie and Ish Wainright could be battling for a spot as the defensive-minded wing.

3. Backup big hierarchy

Behind Ayton, the Suns big man department remains slightly up in the air. With Javale McGee leaving to the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, it looks like Bismack Biyombo’s spot to lose as we sit here currently. Jock Landale has youth on his side and could stake a claim, with Dario Saric also an option depending if the franchise views him as a power-forward or center.

While these questions remain for now, Suns fans may be hoping that some of them may be answered prior, especially if James Jones was to swing a major trade that would shake up the roster ahead of training camp.

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