The Phoenix Suns received a scare during Thursday’s Summer League game against the Memphis Grizzlies, as forward Marquese Chriss went down with a left ankle injury in the second quarter. After some anxious moments, the injury was declared to be a sprain, with the team announcing that Chriss would not return to the game.
Injury Update: Marquese Chriss left ankle sprain. Will not return.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 14, 2017
Chriss is coming off of a rookie season in which he earned a spot on the NBA’s second team All-Rookie squad, averaging 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Chriss played in all 82 games for the Suns, making 75 starts, shooting 44.9 percent from the field. He’s viewed as a key building block for the Suns as the franchise looks to rebuild, alongside the likes of guard Devin Booker and 2017 first-round pick Josh Jackson.
Phoenix’s young front court is supplemented by the presence of veterans Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley, two veterans who have been entrusted with the task of helping the young players develop and get acclimated to the NBA. Chriss, Jackson, Dragan Bender and Derrick Jones Jr. are just four of the young front-court options on the roster, with Alan Williams reportedly agreeing to a new three-year deal this week.
Center Alex Len, who was extended a qualifying offer by the Suns in late June, is still on the market as a restricted free agent.
Chriss entered Thursday’s game averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest in Las Vegas. Playing 24 minutes, Chriss tallied 13 points, two rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the Suns’ 97-81 win over Utah Wednesday night.