Suns set with big rotation

The Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF With roster additions like Danny Manning and Wayman Tisdale, the Phoenix Suns expect to have quality depth all the way down the bench.

"I don't think you're going to see a five-man rotation getting the bulk of the minutes and then two or three subs," center Danny Schayes said at training camp in Flagstaff. "You're going to see 10 men playing and then all 12 guys playing against certain matchups."

Manning made $3.5 million last year but signed with the Suns a month ago for $1 million. And he's not even guaranteed a starting job.

Neither is Tisdale, who left Sacramento for an $850,000 salary with the Suns because he found happiness in Phoenix.

"They have their team, you know, and they have their stars," Tisdale said. "I've had years where I wasn't starting, I've had years that I would start and not get the ball, so I've been in a lot of situations, and I feel I've been prepared for anything."

The question of playing time should keep coach Paul Westphal busier than usual since free agents Manning, Tisdale, Schayes and Winston Garland joined the core of Charles Barkley, A.C. Green, Dan Majerle, Kevin Johnson and Danny Ainge.

But Westphal said it didn't faze him.

"I think the players respect each other, and they also chose to be here, so I don't expect any ego problems," Westphal said.

He said he was working through possibilities.

"We've got a lot of guys that have proven themselves in the league, so it's hard to be too wrong," Westphal said.

Schayes, now with his fifth team starting his 14th NBA season, said Phoenix had the depth of championship teams.

"In my opinion, you have to look to the dynasty teams, the Lakers, the Celtics, Detroit, where you had 10 deep on the roster, guys who could come in with no dropoff in ability," Schayes said.

Still, the lineup begins with Barkley.

In 1992-93, his first season with Phoenix, Barkley missed six games and the Suns set a franchise record by winning 62 games and made the NBA Finals; last season, he sat out 17 games, and the Suns finished 56-26, bowing out to Houston in Game 7 of the second round.

The only other guaranteed starter is Johnson, the point guard.

The Suns, who lost a coin flip with Milwaukee to decide who was entitled to draft Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, have never had a dominant center. If Westphal decides to acknowledge the status quo, he could put forwards Manning and Green and swingman Majerle on the floor with Barkley and Johnson.

That would still leave Tisdale, Ainge, Garland and centers Joe Kleine and Schayes on one of the deepest benches in the game.

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