Welcome to The Wrap-Up! Each Sunday I will dive into the top moments from the past week, highlight the upcoming games, and give you some gambling numbers. However, today, we’re gonna dive back a little further.
It’s been 76 days since the final buzzer sounded on Game 6 of the NBA Finals. If you’re like me that number feels both too high and too low. Nevertheless, it’s been a busy 11 weeks for the Suns organization.
In that time the Suns have made several roster moves. They re-signed Chris Paul, Cameron Payne, Abdel Nader, and Frank Kaminsky. Jevon Carter and the 29th pick of the 2021 NBA draft (Day’Rone Sharpe) were shipped to Brooklyn for G Landry Shamet. Free Agency contracts were signed by JaVale McGee, Chandler Hutchison, Chasson Randle, and a return of former Sun, Elfrid Payton.
Some Basketball Was Played
Following the finals, Devin Booker joined Team USA, and soon-to-be teammate JaVale McGee, in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics. Further proving his all-around game he was quickly inserted into the starting lineup for facilitating prowess and defense. The two Suns would not leave home empty-handed as Team USA defeated France 87-82 in the Gold Medal game.
That wasn’t the only time we’ve gotten to see members of the Suns play basketball. After a year off due to Covid, the NBA Summer League returned to Las Vegas. The games were what you’d expect from rookies and journeymen, very 2016-2019 Suns-esque. On the bright side, 2020 first-round pick Jalen Smith was one of 7 named to the First Team All-Summer League team. Hooray!
2021-22 Season Begins
Are you ready for some pre-season? If you missed out on the fun of Summer League, here’s your less painful second chance.
The first of four pre-season matchups came against a Pacific Division foe, the Sacramento Kings. The Suns played without 3 starters (Paul, Booker, and Crowder) in their 117-106 loss. The Kings jumped on the shorthanded Suns early and remained in control throughout.
Harrison Barnes (18 points), local Forward Marvin Bagley III (15), Buddy Hield (14), and Tyrese Haliburton (11) led the scoring charge for the Kings. Rookie guard Davion Mitchell showed the touted defense that got him drafted 9th overall hounding ball handlers and collecting 2 steals and a block.
On the Suns’ end, Landry Shamet and Jalen Smith shared the high mark at 13 points. Cameron Johnson and Elfrid Payton each collected 11 points. Javale McGee rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 of his own. Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, the lone opening day starters, played the entire first quarter and then sat the rest of the game. Bridges showed off his improved handle playing as the lead ball-handler on several possessions. Ayton was aggressive collecting 8 points in 12 minutes.
The player who stuck out the most was Shamet. Entering the league as a combo guard, Shamet has oft been used as an off-ball shooter with the 76ers, Clippers, and Nets. Monty Williams worked with him his rookie season in Philadelphia and believes there’s much the former Wichita State Point Guard has yet to show. So much, in fact, it came to the media’s attention that Williams and the Suns had attempted to acquire him for two years before finally striking a deal with Brooklyn this offseason. Much of that belief showed as Shamet was able to get to the paint creating opportunities for himself and his big men.
Ultimately there is little to hold onto from preseason game number one. The team will continue to use the last 3 games to try things out before the real games begin. Goal number one for this team will be to escape these games healthy.
Kings Ransom presented by DraftKings
With sports gambling recently becoming legalized in Arizona there’s a lot added to watching sports. In this section I will be breaking down game lines, the over/under, trends, and other bets for the game and season. With how volatile betting in pre-season can be I suggest proceeding with caution. However, I will still list the games and the initial lines for what DraftKings has set.
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Game 1 Recap
Oct 4th vs Sacramento
Kings (-1.5), Over/Under 218
The above shows the listed bets for the first pre-season game one hour before tip. The Kings were able to cover the 1.5 point spread and the Over hit as well.
Aside from betting on team outcomes, there’s also Player Prop Bets. This is where knowing your team really comes in handy. Whether it’s Booker points, Chris Paul assists, Ayton rebounds, or Bridges 3 point makes, you can profit off watching your favorite players do what they do best. There’s also the long play with futures bets.
There are many player awards you can bet on now and throughout the season. These bets take patience but have big-time rewards if you win. Several Suns are listed amongst the potential award winners you can bet on. The following are based on DraftKings odds as of Tuesday, October 5th.
– Devin Booker (+2500) meaning if you bet $100 and Booker wins MVP you would win $2500
– Chris Paul (+8000)
– Deandre Ayton (+25000)
– Mikal Bridges (+4000)
– Deandre Ayton (+4500)
– Cameron Johnson (+8000)
– Cameron Payne (+13000)
Coach of the Year
– Monty Williams (+1100)
6th Man of the Year
– Cameron Payne (+2500)
– Cameron Johnson (+3500)
Defensive Player of the Year
– Deandre Ayton (+4000)
Lead the NBA in Points per game
– Devin Booker (+3500)
Lead the NBA in Rebounds per game
– Deandre Ayton (+2500)
Lead the NBA in Assists per game
– Chris Paul (+1200)
Win the Championship
– Suns (+1700) – 7th best odds
Win the Western Conference
– Suns (+650) – 3rd best odds
Win the Pacific Division
– Suns (+220) – 2nd best odds behind LAL
To make the Playoffs
– Suns Yes (-3500) – Likely not worth a bet unless you are parlaying it with other things
– Suns (51.5) – Suns won 51 last year in 10 fewer games, just saying..
*It is not our recommendation that you lay down money, especially big money, on all of these bets. These are just some of the Suns-related bets currently available to you. When done responsibly, gambling can further increase your interest in games, especially games you wouldn’t normally care about.
If you or a loved one finds themselves struggling with a gambling issue please use the resources to help you quit. 1-800-GAMBLER or http://www.1800gambler.net offer free, confidential, and 24-hour assistance.
Follow Jordan on Twitter: @J_Kartch