With the NBA trade deadline being about 60 hours away, the Phoenix Suns are expected to make some big moves. The NBA trade circuit has been pretty quiet thus far but that’s expected to change.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports recently tweeted a couple of interesting tweets about the Phoenix Suns:
“@WojYahooNBA: One more: In Josh Smith derby, several teams believe Suns are determined for deal after missing on Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay in past months.”
“@WojYahooNBA: Three teams that league GM’s on phones believe will make significant moves before trade deadline: Atlanta, Milwaukee and Phoenix.”
In contrary to his tweet about Josh Smith, one source very close to the Phoenix Suns has confirmed that the Suns are not interested in Smith whatsoever which makes sense given that Smith will be an unrestricted free agent this July. What that means is, if the Phoenix Suns does indeed acquire Josh Smith from Atlanta, Smith may very well walkaway this July and the Phoenix Suns would get nothing in return.
John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR tweeted this when the Phoenix Suns/Josh Smith rumors first surfaced a few weeks ago:
“The stories about the Suns being interested in Josh Smith are ridiculous, there is zero interest there -ZERO! … I triple checked it, Suns have NO interest in Josh Smith. And have never even had a conversation with ATL about him.”
The Atlanta Hawks hypothetically would also demand a future first-round draft choice from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Smith, which is reasonable but that’s predicated on which future first-round draft choice the Hawks would ask for. The Suns first-round draft choice this season is projected to be very high given their record, the Suns also own the rights to one of the Lakers’ first-round draft choices, and a possible lottery protected first-round draft choice from the three-way trade this summer in which the Suns received Wesley Johnson from Minnesota while sending Robin Lopez to New Orleans.
Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted this earlier today: “Hawks have convinced numerous teams that Josh Smith will be moved between now and Thursday 3 PM deadline. Question remains where exactly”
The tricky thing with the Lakers draft pick is that, should the Lakers miss the playoffs then the Suns would be rewarded with the Lakers lottery pick. However if the Lakers make the playoffs, the Suns would be given the Miami Heat’s first-round draft choice which will likely be in the late twenties. According to John Hollinger’s playoff odds, the Lakers have a 28.4% chance to make the playoffs this season. The Lakers are currently sitting in the 10th spot in the western conference and are 3 1/2 games out of the 8th playoff spot.
Wojnarowski also made it known on Twitter that the Minnesota Timberwolves are aggressively working the phone lines searching for an established NBA talent in exchange for future first-round choices. That makes one think, could Jared Dudley or Shannon Brown be ideal targets for Minnesota? It’s no secret that the Minnesota Timberwolves are in a shortage of wing players as they are currently starting two point guards in their starting line-up and the only legitimate shooting guard on their team is the undrafted rookie Alexey Shved.
According to the ESPN insider, there’s a speculation that Suns center Marcin Gortat’s trade value has decreased significantly his recent productions. In the month of February, he’s averaging just 9.4 points, seven rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. Clearly Gortat’s value was at it’s peak at the end of last season, but NBA general managers has now seen what kind of player Gortat is without Steve Nash, and it has definitely hurt his trade value. Gortat is still a top 10 center in the NBA, but had the Suns elected to trade him this past summer, they would have gotten a lot more in return.
Another Suns player that could potentially be moved is Jermaine O’Neal. Here’s what ESPN’s insider Kevin Pelton wrote on the topic:
“Since he signed for the veteran’s minimum as a free agent, O’Neal was the definition of a low-risk pickup. The Suns’ training staff has worked its usual wonders with O’Neal, who missed nearly twice as many games due to injury (96) as he played (49) during two seasons in Boston. Aside from dealing with an irregular heartbeat, O’Neal has missed just three games this season. As importantly, O’Neal has been effective on the court, making at least half his shot attempts for just the second time in his career. Rather than wait for buyouts, a contender might be willing to offer a second-round pick for O’Neal. Unfortunately, Phoenix’s medical staff will not be included in any deal.”
The obviously thing here is that, if the Suns does indeed move Marcin Gortat before the trade-deadline, they’ll likely hold on to Jermaine O’Neal and slide him into the starting line-up. Gortat and O’Neal are the only two centers on the Suns roster that has played consistent minutes this season. Should either guy be moved, expect Luke Zeller’s minutes to increase as he’s the Suns third string center.
Planet Orange favorite, Jared Dudley has been a hot name in the NBA trade rumors this season but despite his knowledge of what’s taking place and knowing that the Suns are actively shopping him along with the rest of his teammates, Dudley’s heart still remains with Phoenix. Here’s what Dudley said in an interview on Friday: “Just because our team’s bad I don’t want to jump off. No.”
Jared Dudley is signed through the 2015-2016 season on a relatively fair contract given his production on both ends of the floor which is ultimately what makes him such a desired player by other NBA ball clubs; Dudley reels in about 4.25 million dollars annually. Dudley has posted a PER(player efficiency rating) of at least 15 in each of the last three seasons including this one.
The NBA trade-deadline is at 3:00 PM eastern standard time on Thursday, and I fully expect the Suns to make at least one move from now til then. Stick and stay with Sun-N-Gun.com for all the latest updates!