2018 No. 1 overall draft pick center Deandre Ayton was suspended for 25 games on Friday for testing positive for a banned substance. While that is a bummer for the Phoenix Suns and Ayton and also fans of exciting, young players who also have NBA League Pass subscriptions...it has already proven to be a boon for former Wisconsin Badgers legend Frank Kaminsky.
Kaminsky, a former first round pick himself, signed with the Suns this offseason after four mostly nondescript years with the Charlotte Hornets. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a talented, frustrated player needs. So far this season, which is admittedly only three games old for Kaminsky and the Suns, the desert is treating Big Daddy Fupps well.
In the two games that Ayton has missed due to his suspension, Kaminsky has 19 and 18 points and has played 33 and 29 minutes respectively. He is averaging 15.3 ppg, 7.7 rbg and 3.0 apg, which would be career-highs in every category by a considerable amount, so far this season.
Frank the Tank’s 2019-20 Season
|W vs. Clippers||29||18||7-13||53.8||8||6|
|L vs. Nuggets||33||19||4-12||33.3||11||1|
|W vs. Kings||19||9||4-7||57.1||4||2|
He’s only shooting 3-of-13 from beyond the arc, but he’s getting to the free throw line often (13-of-15 on the season) and is rebounding misses at a higher percentage than at any other point of his career. If he can get into an effective pick and roll relationship with Devin Booker or Ricky Rubio...hoo baby the Suns could be lethal on offense.
Monty Williams on Frank Kaminsky: “The numbers say it all, but for me it’s all about his mindset.” Says he wants to explore a 2-man game with him and Booker— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) October 27, 2019
Kaminsky has always had the skill set to succeed in the modern NBA on offense. He’s 7-feet tall and he can pull his defender away from the basket and stroke a three. He and Dario Saric could provide a different look than Ayton normally would and if Kaminsky is able to keep passing well, it will be hard to take him off the floor even when Ayton’s suspension is over.
Another big factor was the playmaking from our bigs.— Suns Video Breakdown (@SunsVideo) October 27, 2019
Frank Kaminsky & Dario Saric did a great job of opening up the floor w/their passing. Their vision & decision-making led to many scoring opportunities that helped us tonight.
I put this vid together from tonight's game: #Suns pic.twitter.com/GOn3RkPATn
If Kaminsky can get his defense up to an average level, so far this year he has neither blocked a shot nor stolen a ball, he could be one of the best signings of the offseason if you take into account his contract.
As the only Wisconsin Badgers alumnus currently plying his trade in the NBA, we will continue to have coverage of how his season is going. Later this week, Kevin will have an update on how the Overseas Badgers are doing so far this year.