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How long will the Suns “Big Three” play together?

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most anticipated Phoenix Suns seasons is right around the corner with superstars Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal being the nucleus of the team.

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But the question is: How long will they play alongside each other?

The questions arises because of the injury history of all three players and how another “Big Three” didn’t even play 20 games together.

When Arizona State University alumni James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets two years ago, another “superteam” was formed, on paper.

That’s because Durant and Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving, alongside Harden, looked like they were the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

But, because of injuries plaguing their season together before Harden eventually was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, the trio only managed to play 16 games as a unit.

Could an injury crisis haunt Phoenix this season?

Kevin Durant

After being the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade on Feb. 9, Durant is now a Phoenix Sun.

At age 35, labeling “KD as injury prone is justifiable, however.

Being out with a right knee injury since Jan. 8, his debut for Phoenix wasn’t until almost two months later on Mar. 1 against the Charlotte Hornets.

A week later, Durant injured his left ankle in warmups before he played his first home game at Footprint Center in which he would of faced his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Mar. 8.

Yet again, on Apr. 8, he injured his ankle, even though that time was not as serious.

In total, Durant only played in 47 out of 82 possible games last year.

Since the 2020-21 season, Durant’s highest amount of appearances in a season is 55.

Achilles and ankle injuries have impacted his career the most, so seeing a healthy Durant for even 60 games this season would be a plus, but the injury history looms.

Devin Booker

Since being drafted by the Suns in 2015, Booker has yet to play a full 82 game regular season.

Knee, back, groin and hamstring injuries have been common in Booker’s career to this point.

Last season, Booker missed 21 games due to a left groin strain and he only suited up for 53 games with load management being also a factor.

To his credit, Booker has only missed less than 64 games a season once, in 2017-18 when he dealt with a left abductor strain, left hip and right hand sprain at points during that season.

Bradley Beal

Now that the Suns added Beal, he is yet another player to watch out for when it comes to injuries.

Unlike the other two, Beal has played a full season back-to-back years in 2017-19.

Since then, however, Beal hasn’t suited up for more than 60 games.

Affected by hamstring and wrist injuries, the former Washington Wizard has on played in 90 games the past two seasons.

With only 50 games where he has participated, Beal’s injury history shouldn’t be over looked either.


Even though all three of these players should be a treat to watch, the fact that the injury history is glaring should sound off warning signs.

Could they play all 82 games together? Signs say definitely not, but there will always be a tiny, tiny chance.

If they can even play 60 games together, that’s a good number that can help the Suns make a run this year, but that’s a big if.

Unlike with Brooklyn, there should be no worries with one of them asking out of Arizona, for now.

Looking at the numbers though, a realistic guess would be around the 52 game mark that the “Big Three” will be in the lineup alongside each other.

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his new X account @AlecCipollini

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