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Suns will start Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe; Brandon Knight to come off the bench

Head coach Earl Watson has put an end to the lingering dilemma that’s surrounded the Phoenix Suns all summer long — what happens once all three guards are healthy?

Devin Booker, who started the final 44 games of last season after participating in the All-Star Game Three-Point Contest, will remain as the starting shooting guard alongside point guard Eric Bledsoe, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley, and Tyson Chandler are the other three that will start in Monday’s preseason opener against the San Antonio Spurs.

“That’s the starting lineup for the season,” Watson said. “We’re not wasting time. We’re not lingering with inner-competition. Brandon Knight is not a bench player. He’s a starter in this league. 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.”

While it’s unfortunate for Knight, the move will provide the Suns a more traditional look with a natural shooting guard that can come off screens while Bledsoe penetrates and looks for teammates or creates his own shot.

Knight will become the team’s sixth man and likely be the go-to scorer of the second unit, allowing him to handle the ball without compromising opportunities for others.

The 19-year-old Booker will become the youngest starter in the NBA. He will soon turn 20 on Oct. 30 when the Suns face the Golden State Warriors at home. He was named to the All-NBA Rookie first team after being a sixth man during his only season at Kentucky.

“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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