Ex-Cats

Ex-Cats Booker, Bledsoe to start for Suns; Knight to be sixth man

Herald-Leader Staff Report

The Phoenix Suns’ five former University of Kentucky players — Archie Goodwin, left, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis — got together for a photo at the team’s media day.
The Phoenix Suns’ five former University of Kentucky players — Archie Goodwin, left, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis — got together for a photo at the team’s media day. Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns didn’t waste any time determining their starting lineup for the season.

Coach Earl Watson got that out of the way before their first preseason game Monday, announcing that former Kentucky stars Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker would be joined by T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler in their first five.

That means the Suns intend for another former Kentucky star, Brandon Knight, to be their sixth man.

“Brandon Knight is not a bench player. He’s a starter in this league,” Watson said, according to a report on the team’s website. “He’s sacrificed the most for our group. He took it like the pro he is because he understands the opportunity that we have to be special.

“Do players like coming off the bench? No, and we embrace that. That’s the inner-competitive nature that we need.”

Booker started the final 44 games of last season and earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors with averages of 13.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. Knight, who has started 315 of the 329 career games he has appeared in, went for a career-high 19.6 points per game a season ago.

“I knew at one point in my career I’d be a starter,” Booker said. “I didn’t know it’d be this soon, but I have put in that work to be one.”

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