Kelly Oubre Jr. undergoes knee surgery

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee today.

Here’s the Arizona Republic:

Oubre had last season cut short with a hand injury that underwent surgery and kept him out Phoenix’s last 11 games. That came after he scored what was then a career-high 32 points in a road win against New Orleans in his hometown.

Oubre signed a two-year, $30-million deal in the offseason.

The Suns will re-evaluate his health status in four weeks. But the NBA regular season ends a few weeks after that, and barring a miracle, the Suns (24-37) won’t be making the playoffs this year. So don’t be surprised if Oubre doesn’t return until next season.

The Suns have been led in scoring this season by Devin Booker at 26.0 points per game, followed by Deandre Ayton at 19.2 PPG, then Oubre at 18.7 PPG.

Suns lose again, now to Warriors

The Suns got off to a good start this NBA season. Then things started going downhill. Very downhill. We’re talking about a really long hill. Here’s the Arizona Republic:

Marquese Chriss followed up a missed shot with an emphatic dunk in the fourth quarter, stared into the stands – and there was no reaction.

That’s how lifeless the Phoenix Suns were.

Facing the worst team in the Western Conference that had only eight available players, Phoenix lost embarrassing fashion, 115-99, before 16,395 fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The Suns (24-37) cleared the bench with 1:42 left to a half empty arena that housed perhaps Phoenix’s worst loss of the season.

The Suns shot 40%, gave up 17 points off 20 turnovers and blew an 18-point lead in losing a third straight game, all at home, at the halfway mark of a six-game homestand.

In the win, Eric Paschall scored 25 points off the bench, starting guard Damion Lee had 20 points, five rebounds, eight assists and no turnovers, and Andrew Wiggins shot just 6 of 20 but still filled the stat-sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. The Warriors had 30 assists on their 41 made field goals.

The Suns are now 24-37 this season, which is the third-worst record in the Western conference.

Devin Booker wins NBA Cares Community Assist award for November, 2019

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has received the November NBA Cares Community Assist Award. This in recognition of his efforts to impact the lives of local children and families through his Devin Booker Starting Five initiative.

The award recognizes a player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.

Booker created the Devin Booker Starting Five to further his commitment to the Phoenix community, pledging $500,000 annually to five different youth-serving nonprofits in Arizona, and a total of $2.5 million over the course of five years. In November, he announced Special Olympics Arizona, Ability 360, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UMOM New Day Centers and Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center as members of the Starting Five. Booker invited the organizations to Talking Stick Resort Arena to surprise each of them with an initial $100,000 donation. The funding will allow the organizations to address critical areas of need, including the construction and refurbishment of facilities, expansion of family services, improved patient support and investments in research.

Devin Booker returns, but Suns fall to Thunder

The Suns got their star back, but fell to a fellow mid-level Western conference squad. Here’s Arizona Sports reporting:

The Phoenix Suns got Devin Booker back on Friday after his three-game absence due to a right forearm contusion.

That was great news, even better considering the Suns are in the middle of a four-game losing streak and received a blow on Tuesday when Deandre Ayton sprained his ankle in his first game back from a 25-game suspension.

A strong bounce-back game from Booker could represent the team’s own.

Instead, Phoenix’s defensive shortcomings came back to bite them once again and Oklahoma City beat them 126-108.

The Thunder are now 14-14, the Suns 11-17.

Phoenix was a stronger team earlier in the season, but have fallen back down to Earth — yet they should remain competitive. It’ll be interesting to see how they do in the coming weeks now that Deandre Ayton, coming off a 25-game suspension that has mostly erased his season so far, is back in the mix.

Suns center Deandre Ayton out with ankle sprain

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton recently returned from a 25-game suspension, played well, but is now out with an ankle sprain.

Here’s the Arizona Republic:

The Suns haven’t had their full roster healthy all season. That unfortunate trend will continue as Deandre Ayton is ruled out Friday’s game at Oklahoma City with a right ankle sprain he suffered in the second half of his return game from a 25-game suspension Tuesday at the Los Angeles Clippers…

The Suns (11-16) have also been without Devin Booker their last three games because of a right forearm contusion. Booker is listed as questionable for Friday’s game.

It’s unclear how big a deal that sprain is. Hopefully it’s minor. The team hasn’t released an official statement yet.

Suns center Deandre Ayton returns from suspension

The Phoenix Suns have their young center back, as Deandre Ayton returned to action yesterday. Here’s Arizona Sports reporting:

In his first time speaking to the media since being suspended 25 games, Deandre Ayton commented on testing positive for a diuretic.

“I know what I did,” he said to the assembled media before Tuesday night’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, his return game. “It was the biggest mistake, and unintentional mistake that happened in my life and it’s just something to learn from and just build from it. It’s a mistake and everybody makes mistakes.

“It’s just how you bounce back. I think that’s what everybody is waiting for. I already did my time so I’m here.”

Ayton returned on a night in which the Suns faced a tough task — a visit to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. And although Ayton’s shot was a bit off, he put up nice numbers: 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Despite this, the Clippers, who had three scorers put up 20 or more points, came away with a 120-99 win.

Still, getting Ayton back is a win for Phoenix.

The next Suns game is Friday on the road against the Thunder.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

A post shared by Phoenix Suns (@suns) on

Struggling Suns close to getting Aron Baynes back in action

The Suns were an early-season surprise, but have racked up more losses than wins lately and are now 8-9 for the season.

But there’s reason to think they could change direction soon.

Per the Arizona Republic, “Suns center Aron Baynes is listed as probable for Friday’s game against the Mavericks after missing five games with a hip injury. The Suns are 1-4 without Baynes, who had been starting for Ayton, plays great position defense, makes defensive calls is averaging career highs in points (14.5), rebounds (5.6), assists (3.1) and 3-point shooting (44.2%).”

A note on Suns center Deandre Ayton

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

A post shared by Deandre Ayton (@deandreayton) on

After a strong start to the new NBA season, the Phoenix Suns have a modest record of 8-8. They’ve been playing without second-year center Deandre Ayton, who has been serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive on a drug test.

Arizona Spots has an update: “General manager James Jones joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday and provided some clarity as to Ayton’s situation 15 games into his suspension. “We’ve been focused on a transition for him since the initial suspension,” he said. “So every day, there’s a plan to keep his conditioning level up, his skill level up. And as we get closer to the games, coach will start to reintegrate him in our pregame routine, our practice routine, our practice plan, so it’ll work itself out.””

It’ll be interesting to see how the Suns rotation changes when Ayton returns. Center Aron Baynes, who in his NBA career has been a supporting cast role player more than a star, has played quite well in Ayton’s absence. But Ayton is considered a long-term building block. A potential franchise foundation. It will be an interesting minutes distribution test for head coach Monty Williams.

No Paul George for Thunder tonight vs Suns

At 9 p.m. tonight, the OKC Thunder face the Suns in Phoenix. But they’ll be doing so without not just one of their best players, but one of the league’s best players so far this season. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

For the first time this season, the Thunder will be without Paul George.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan announced Friday morning that George would miss tonight’s game against the Suns with a right quad contusion. Donovan was uncertain of when George sustained the injury, but said it was an ailment George has been playing with for some time.

George is having a fantastic season, and was especially excellent in December games.

The Suns have one of the league’s worst records, but Devin Booker recently returned from injury and during almost all games played in his return the team has looked far better. Phoenix has won five of their last seven games.

Suns waive Austin Rivers

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Austin Rivers.

Rivers was acquired by the Suns from Washington in a trade that was completed just yesterday.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 16 players.

There have been conflicting reports suggesting that Rivers’ next stop could be with the Grizzlies, but nothing is confirmed.