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How Grayson Allen Makes The Phoenix Suns Better

Grayson Allen figures to be a key piece of the Phoenix Suns' rotation throughout the season.

Phoenix Suns guard Grayson Allen was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of the Damian Lillard trade in late September. He was reportedly seen as the centerpiece of what the Suns received in return for Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara, at least in the eyes of Suns brass. 

Allen is a talented two-guard entering his sixth season in the NBA and is now acclimating to his fourth team. The former Duke star previously played in Utah, Memphis, and Milwaukee. 

He figures to be a key cog in the Suns' rotation all season, especially throughout the playoffs. Allen's shooting ability, sneaky athleticism/ability to pressure the rim, and tenacious defensive effort are key reasons why the Suns were so high on the prospects of acquiring his services.

“Those guys are capable ball handlers, Grayson (Allen) in particular, showing me something offensively, especially when those guys [Durant, Beal, Booker] are out, he can really carry the load for us," said Suns head coach Frank Vogel earlier in the preseason. 

"When he is on the backside, with those guys scoring, he can really give us a different dynamic."

Allen's biggest strength in his time in the NBA has clearly been his ability to proficiently shoot from deep. Allen has only had one poor shooting season in his career, the other four seasons yielded three point percentages north of 39%.

Allen has a compact, smooth jumper that looks like it's going in after every attempt. On a team full of great shooters, Allen just may be the most reliable spot-up option for the Suns' star trio to mix with. 

While Allen's jump shot is the most obvious path to contributing on this version of the Suns, there are several other more subtle skills the journeyman possesses that could be game-changers. 

While Allen's offensive game is predicated on a proficient jumper, he's also a sneaky good athlete, and thus able to get to the rim more than one would expect.

Allen alluded to formerly being a slash-first player in high school at Suns Media Day, while also shouting out Dwyane Wade as a primary influence in the way he grew up playing.

The ability to get to the rim is a far cry from last year, when guards like Landry Shamet and Terrence Ross weren't athletic or crafty enough to create many opportunities in the paint. 

Another part of Allen's unheralded game is the ability to be a deterrent on the defensive side of the ball. He plays tough, gritty basketball and creates a lot of disruption, particularly off of tipping passes.

Allen has been a pleasant surprise to Suns fans thus far in preseason play, and if he continues playing his game, could very well be a key piece in Vogel's potential playoff rotation.