The Phoenix Suns won the game 102-98, but it was Jon Leuer who really showed the Suns he can play some basketball with 17 points and 13 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play.

All that needs to be said about this Suns vs. Kings preseason game is that Jon Leuer killed Boogie Cousins.

HALFTIME: Suns 52 Kings 53. @JLeu30 has 9 points and 7 rebounds. Oh, and this monster dunk! #SunsVsKings

— #SunsVsKings (@Suns) October 8, 2015

Here's another...

jon leuer dunked on dmc

— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) October 8, 2015

Boogie spent the rest of the half trying to punk Leuer. Literally, the Kings just isolated Boogie on offense against Leuer, and Leuer stood in there. Boogie scored, but Leuer took and held his ground. And coach Jeff Hornacek left him in there for the rest of the half, too. I like that.

Leuer finished the half with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block. But better than that were a three-ball, followed by THE DUNK.

We might not see a better dunk, in-game, against another team's star like that again this season. Archie got his last year, and now Leuer got this year's. I hope for TV fans' sake there's more than that.

Second half. FWIW

Boogie came out of halftime laughing with the Kings radio guys, asking "What was up with that?" while glancing down at the Suns bench and shaking his head. I think he had time to cool off a bit.

After being outscored 40-17 by the Sacramento starters in the first half, the Suns starters came out with a little more focus in the second half.

Bledsoe and Chandler hooked up for a great lob, but it was called off by refs because Boogie got himself under Bledsoe for the charge after the pass was released.

Rudy Gay stayed hot, making 7/8 threes by the end of the 3rd for 30 points. The Kings led by 3 at that point.

After a Jon Leuer reverse layin to bring the Suns close to the Kings, the fans rejoiced once more.


The rest of the game just happened. Check the box scores.

Final word

Cousins picked up a couple quick fouls in the third, and sat down with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 fouls in 20 minutes of play.

Jon Leuer had 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 fouls in only 19 minutes of play.



DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings is the first poster victim for Jon Leuer of the Phoenix Suns.

He stared at Boogie all the way down the floor

— Noah (@Noah_Barajas13) October 8, 2015

Power forward Markieff Morris knows he has work to do, starting with the preseason opener, to regain Suns fans' support.


The Phoenix Suns will play their first game at renamed Talking Stick Resort Arena tonight, hosting the Sacramento Kings at 7:00pm. The game will streamed live on and on radio at 98.7 FM.

Finally, basketball is back! But it's not going to be on TV, despite what you might see on the NBATV schedule.

The Phoenix Suns will officially open Talking Stick Resort Arena tonight, with the Sacramento Kings in town to kick off the Suns' 6-game preseason schedule over the next two weeks.

How to watch

The only TV coverage will be streaming live on, and that streaming only extends to 75 miles away from the arena. Otherwise, you can listen to the dulcet tones of Al McCoy on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports, and follow along on twitter and box scores.

Who is the opponent?

Why, it's the Sacramento Kings visiting the Suns! If you thought the Suns made a lot of trades and personnel moves, check out the Kings.

Head coach George Karl begins his first full season as the Kings coach with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in the lineup along with Rajon Rondo in the back court.

The rest of the team is full of question marks, and that's only if you don't count Rondo in the question mark group. Karl loves to see his teams run, yet Rondo is not a threat to score (even on the break) and Cousins prefers a slower pace, so it will be fun to watch all this unfold.

Some guys on the Kings will be fun to watch. Will Kosta Koufos, a Karl fave, end up in the starting lineup next to Boogie? Can Willy Trill Cauley-Stein - three years older than Devin Booker - earn big playing time right away for the Kings? Will Ben McLemore justify his top-7 status in the 2013 Draft?

What to watch/listen for, from the Suns

1) Will the Suns' "chemistry" experiment be evident from the tip? How much effort will the team put out tonight, given it's just a preseason game?

2) Will Devin Booker lead the team in scoring? Early preseason games are great for rookies and young players to show their stuff. However, Booker's got Archie Goodwin and Sonny Weems trying the same thing - to show they belong in the rotation. It will be interesting to see who's having the biggest impact throughout the preseason.

3) Will Archie Goodwin make his impact? This preseason is Archie's best chance of his career to earn a regular spot in the Suns rotation. If he can't beat out a euro guy and an 18-year old, Archie might not be the star we all hoped he'd be.

4) Will Alex Len show improvement? Len was a bit of a disappointment against the lesser competition in Summer League. He rebounded well because he was the biggest dude on the court, but his offense was still a mushy mess. I wonder what kind of impact Tyson Chandler has had on Alex to this point.

5) Will Markieff Morris take the floor? He sat out the scrimmage last Saturday, but did sign autographs and otherwise has acted like his normal self, according to reports. It's in his best interest to play great to up his trade value, but I do wonder if he will continue to have his quiet sit-out with a "hip strain".

What are you going to watch, Suns fans?

Rumors will circulate all season, including the one being mongered out of Detroit right now. But the only real question is when will Markieff Morris make his 2015-16 Suns debut.

These rumors are going to come up now and then. And if Markieff Morris plays well this season, the rumors will come up more often than not, no matter what Morris says publicly.

In 2013-14, the rumors were that the rebuilding Suns wanted to trade Goran Dragic. Even as the Suns streaked into playoff position, media dropped "educated guesses" in chats and tweets that the Suns would trade Dragic by the deadline. That never happened. The Suns had no intention to trade Dragic during that season.

In the summer of 2014, rumors had the Suns shopping restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, yet the Suns held firm and eventually signed Bledsoe to a very fair deal. He now looks like a long-term fixture in the valley.

In 2014-15, the rumors surrounded Isaiah Thomas. Media said Thomas had only been signed as insurance against the loss of Eric Bledsoe in free agency. While that was only partially true, the Suns were in fact talking trade of Thomas all season and finally pulled the trigger on deadline day while the Suns were still in contention for a playoff spot.

This year appears to be the year of Markieff Morris rumors. Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press says the Detroit Pistons are "monitoring" the situation.

ICYMI from earlier chat @freep: #Pistons monitoring situation with Markieff Morris in Phoenix. #Suns

— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 6, 2015

Gather #Suns aren't interested, but could change on Dec. 15 - the date most FA from off-season eligible to traded. #Pistons

— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 6, 2015

Also gather the asking price is steep for Markieff Morris currently. #Suns #Pistons

— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 6, 2015

Don't really count as as a scoop unless it happens. Just educated rumor mongering, lol.

— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) October 6, 2015

Let's put all this into context. Media guys who like to spread "interest" rumors are those with a connection or two in the front office of the team, but usually that connection is a tangental person. Sometimes, that connection is a person who overhears things and passes interesting things on to excited media.

What you need to know, as fans, is that the only big difference between a Vincent Ellis or Juda LaCava or John Gambadoro and you is that those guys have friends who hear things. But otherwise, it's not really any different. People talk. They develop "group think". They get excited over rumors, even if the rumor is spotty. They text each other. And they only hear about 2% of all the conversations that actually happen.

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Win a pair of great Suns tickets!

I guarantee the Suns have considered trading Dragic, then Bledsoe, then Thomas just as was rumored. But I also guarantee that the Suns have considered trading every single player on the roster. Proof of that is the turnover on the team. Only 7 rotation players return from last season. The only players still in a Suns uniform from the day GM Ryan McDonough was hired are P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris.

I will also tell you that maybe only 5% of discussed deals are consummated. And that's even the deals that have players identified as going in both directions.

All thirty NBA teams are "monitoring" the Markieff Morris situation. If the Suns are willing to dump him for a 2019 second round pick, they'd all love to pick up the phone.

The Suns would love to trade Markieff if it brings back an All-Star. If some team is willing to trade them an All-Star, the Suns will most definitely pick up the phone.

Reality sits somewhere in the middle, and the "monitoring" likely won't turn into anything definitive until January or February.

Really, the only open question is when will Morris make his 2015-16 debut. He sat out the fan fest/scrimmage on Saturday with a sore hip.

Will he play tonight in the preseason opener against the Kings?

Stay tuned.

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