Luis Scola trade: Miles Plumlee, pick included with Green


The Suns’ return in dealing Luis Scola to the Indiana Pacers will be better than anyone expected. As reported late Friday night, Phoenix will receive swingman Gerald Green from the Pacers but in a final construction, the Suns will also get back a 2014 first-round draft pick that’s lottery protected and 2012 draft pick Miles Plumlee.

Paul Coro confirmed the reports along with Marc Stein, Adrian Wojnarowski and Sam Amick, who says the trade is done.

Phoenix announced the deal is official via a release.

“The trade is consistent with our stated plan to continue to acquire young assets,” president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. “With this trade, we now have the potential for three first-round picks in the 2014 draft and five first-round picks in the next two drafts.

“Although Luis’s time here in Phoenix was short, he certainly ingratiated himself to all of us in Phoenix with his hard work and professionalism. He will be an important contributor to a contending team in Indiana.”

Plumlee was the 26th overall pick by the Pacers a year ago and has been disappointing since. His career averages of 0.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game are also hampered by the obvious — Indiana had experience, depth and a winning team that kept him off the floor. The former Duke forward is still only 24 years old and with Green gives the Suns another freak athlete to fit into Phoenix’s up-and-down system.

At 6-foot-11, 255 pounds, Plumlee at the least gives first-year coach Jeff Hornacek another defensive presence if he makes it onto the court.

“We are excited to add Miles and Gerald to our young core group of players,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said in a release. “Miles was one of the best players in the Orlando Summer League, and Gerald’s scoring ability and athleticism will help us as we continue to build a team that plays an exciting, up tempo brand of basketball.”

Indeed, Plumlee showed signs in the summer league that he might be ready for a breakout sophomore season. He averaged 10 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per game in four summer league outings. Though he’s offensively limited, Plumlee is the energy-type rebounder who can crash the glass and finish close to the rim because of his athleticism.

Like Green he’s limited, but like Green he fits into the Suns’ goal of turning a roster formerly devoid of athletes into one filled to the brim with them.

But again, the most important part of the deal is the draft pick. Late Friday, some of us were questioning whether the Scola deal made sense on the Suns’ end if they didn’t receive a first-round pick. Now, it appears that they’ve secured a first-rounder in a very good 2014 draft so long as Indiana makes the playoffs. With the roster that Larry Bird has built — they were great before but the depth is now incredible — that shouldn’t worry Suns fans.

  • scott L

    I love this trade, Granger is injury prone and a shell of his old self, so I’m good with him not being included. Green to me is a throw in and the cost of getting the potential of Plumlee and the first round pick. Obviously the pick isn’t going to be in a spot we can get one of the hyped franchise type guys, but we got the youngest highest upside guy in Goodwin at 29 this year. Know that we’ll have 3 picks in the best draft in 10 years maybe we can package 2 of them with Dragic snd get 2 good lottery picks.

    The way McD is turning our older players into younger players and assets is awesome. The future which seemed so dim a few months back is starting to look bright in the Valley of the Sun!

  • Red

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
    Two very poor players and a big question mark (draft pick) for a decent player who could have been good under Hornacek.

    Very poor piece of business.

  • Azbballfan

    i gotta disagree there with you red

    Scola didnt want to be here, was a good soilder while he was here, and now he gets to go to a contending team

    we get back youth, picks, and reasonable contracts

    Scola was never going to fit on this team in the future

    so why not move him now while he is on a reasonable deal?

    some fans may have not realized it yet, but even with the acquisition of eric bledsoe and the drafting of len and goodwin, the suns are still in full on tank mode

    they waited years to do a total tear down and finally last years disaster was the season that finally convinced sarver to clean house

    give sarver and babby credit for hiring mcmiracle and getting on with the dreaded rebuild that no one wants to do

    i assume more deals are on the way, as the inclusion of plumlee means yet another center/power forward

    now that scola is gone, is marcin gortat next?

    i havent heard anything about his situation and its been a while since you could start negotiating extensions

    atleast i think it has begun right?

    someones gotta be traded or cut under the stretch provision cause you cant have like 17 players like the Suns do right now

    great great trade in turning a decent role player into potential and a likely 1st rounder, wherever it ends up, in one of the best drafts in the past 10 years

    way to go McMiracle!

  • Russell Suns fan

    Suns 1st round picks 2013:

    -Own pick (top 3 pick).
    -T’Wolves pick (top 13 protected) Minny might sneak in to the playoffs so we will get the 15th pick.
    Pacers pick 26th pick in the draft.

    2014 Picks:
    Own pick
    Lakers 1st round pick (top 3 protected) Lakers will be bad, most likely we will end up with the 9th pick.

    So we have a total of 5 first rounders in the next 2 drafts, in addition to the 2 first rounders we took this year.

    I expect the Suns to Trade Gortat, one or both the Morris twins, and Frye to a contender for additional 1st rounders.

  • Ty-Sun

    I think McD did a great job with this trade. The Suns got a late 1st round pick in a deep draft, a young player with some potential (Plumlee) and Green for an aging and unhappy vet that didn’t want to be with the Suns.

  • Russell Suns fan

    My apologies ,those 1st round picks are for 2014 and 2015 respectively (not 2013 and 2014)

  • Morgan

    @Red you obviously are unaware that Horny wants to run all game. I like Scola, but have you watched him play? It’s painful watching run up and down the floor. He could barely beat Haddai in a race. Green will be fun to watch but he’s another guy like Beasley who won’t max out is talent. Plumlee is a athletic big man that you hope can turn into a surprise back up big. The pick is still a asset and can turn into a quality player like Goodwin. Don’t comment if you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Scott

    While I didn’t see all that much of him in SL, I thought Miles played with a high IQ. Higher than that of his brother, Mason.

    Miles Plumlee has an equal height and wingspan: 7′. His no-step vertical (34″) from the previous year’s Combine is higher than the max vertical of Steven Adams, and his max vertical (40.5″) is higher than that of Cody Zeller. So while his standing reach is not the best due to average wingspan, he jumps well.

    Miles has a lane agility better than either Zeller or Adams, and while he’s not quite as fast on the sprint as Zeller, he’s slightly faster than Adams. So he’s mobile and agile. He’s also already at a decent weight for a center, and he seemed strong in SL, though he almost certainly isn’t done with working on his body.

    Miles sets good screens and can play in the pick and roll, and he finishes with athleticism. He may also be able to hit short jumpers, though in college he had a hitch in his mechanics. In college his footwork also needed development. No doubt he’s been working on some stuff since he was drafted, and surely he benefited from practicing against the likes of Hibbert. For example, while not a great rebounder in college, he did ring up 10 rebounds a game with the Mad Ants in D-League in 15 games.

    In general, Miles Plumlee seems like a solid player who is not really excellent at anything, but who does maybe a little of everything. In interviews he sounds thoughtful, earnest, and humble.

  • Scott

    To rate this trade, first I’d have to give McD credit for trading Scola to a contender (which is a nice tip of the hat to a guy who is a serious player), credit for nabbing another first round pick (which is really the lifeblood of the Suns at this point), and then extra credit taking a second draft pick – essentially – from Indiana in the form of Miles Plumlee. Probably McD didn’t just want to take Green and the pick, and insisted on taking Plumlee too, and I think that was a solid move.

    McD is so much more astute than Blanks it is unreal. I’m still having a little difficulty adjusting. :)

    We’d heard a lot about the supposed interest of the front office in Mason Plumlee during the pre-draft period, and I wonder how that might have related to the acquisition of elder brother Miles. No doubt there will be concern expressed in the media that the Suns have once again taken the lesser brother, but at least at this early stage I like Miles Plumlee better, and I think he’s ready for steady court time. He certainly seemed to have a better sense of the game in SL than his younger brother Mason did.

    In comparison to Mason, Miles is slightly better. He is heavier, stronger, has 1″ more wingspan, he jumps higher, is more agile, but is a little slower. Mason was a better rebounder in college, but Miles may have improved as his D-League stats show.

    Unfortunately, one trait the two brothers share is low lateral quickness.

    I’d say the closest NBA analog to Miles Plumlee (aside from brother Mason) might be Nick Collison.

  • Scott

    Let me add that while in college Mason became known as a shot blocker while Miles lacked that talent. Since the draft, Miles may have gained shot blocking abilities as well.

    Mason’s best year in college netted 1.7 blocks per game, while Miles got 1.9 blocks per game in the D-League.

  • Red

    Green is a very average player, who will be behind all the other SGs and SFs. Plumlee has shown absolutely nothing and will be behind Gortat and Len. Is Frye playing this season? Then Plumlee should be cut.

    The 1st rouns pick is hopeful, if he turns out to be a good player. Essentially you trade one of your better players for an ok player, a crap player and a big question mark. Could have done better. Unless we hit the star on the draft picks. At least we’re gunning for a lottery pick this way, especially if Gortat goes for yet another unspectacular G/F.

  • Morgan

    @ Red

    Propose a trade for Scola to your liking? I just don’t understand why you don’t agree with this deal. It makes sense for teams in so many ways.

  • Foreveris2long

    Great trade by McD when you consider he traded a past his prime Scola who was on the team last season when we finished in the lottery and we would have finished the upcoming season in the lottery again with him. Putting salaries aside, I would have been perfectly happy with simply acquiring a 1st round pick for Scola. I thought we might get a 2015 1st round pick but I never thought we could secure a 2014 pick in a loaded draft. If Miles or Green develop into something that will be a bonus. If they don’t no harm done.

    With a minimum of 2 first round picks in 2014 and possibly a 3rd, McD gets my vote for exceeding expectations even though the prior regime got us a possible 2014 pick from Minnesota. This is pretty exciting as this is how you run an NBA franchise.

    Next years summer league team is going to be fun to watch.

  • Foreveris2long

    Is Red a code name for Blanks? Just wondering.

  • Scott

    Financially speaking, assuming there are no further trades, Malcolm Lee and PJ Tucker have the cheapest contracts. They’re the most likely to be cut, at least on the basis of economics. But at the moment there is no rush to cut, as player rosters don’t have to be finalized till the start of the regular season.

    Plumlee will be kept, as he was specifically requested by Phoenix in the trade. The Suns will need a big man if either A) Gortat is traded without a big man coming back, or B) Frye cannot play.

    Also, if the Suns are not done trading, Plumlee is at least a possible asset to include in a trade.

    Green is a significantly less than average player. After several years in the league to develop, his PER is 9.92. The average PER is 15. Even on a crummy Suns squad where now all but 3 players (Bledsoe, Dragic, Gortat) are below average, Green has one of the lowest PERs, being ahead of only Lee (9.87) and Marshall (7.85).

  • DBreezy

    @Red,

    I don’t think much news has been heard on Frye for at least a month now and that was just that they were waiting to see what the docs said. As the calendar nears August on a guy who’s been out for a year, I’d say he’s likely closer to being retired extremely dangerous than the court right now.

    Do you really believe the Suns intend to keep Gortat all season long? He’s gone as soon as they can find an amenable deal. Plumlee gets them a low cost young guy to play behind Len. It also eases the pressure on them to try and get back a 5 in a Gortat deal.

    The Green move was just filler they had to take to get an additional 1st and what amounts to a second for Scola. Green’s deal was signed last season so if they need cap flexibility down the line he can be waived via the stretch provision.

    More than anything Green is a fresh face and yet another hint that the roster will look very different in a couple of years with precious few pre-McD players on board. This summer they’ve already added at least 7 new players to the roster if they keep them all and they have up to 5 1st round picks in the next two drafts. Barring a great deal, expect McD to keep all of those future players.

    Even the winners of today’s trade, the Morris twins, shouldn’t get too comfortable. While I think it’s more likely now than before, I’m still not 100% convinced that the Suns are going to pick up their 4th year options. At the very least I expect the team will wait and see how they approach camp now that they know they’re likely to see significant PT. There’s still not much downside risk in letting them become UFA’s after next season.

  • JBIRD

    Why is it the Suns always get the “OTHER” Brother!!

  • Scott

    @JBIRD -

    Yeah, it’s like the Suns should change their logo to feature one tall, strong figure and a smaller one next to it with a sun glow. Or maybe change the spelling of the team name to “The Sons.” ;)

  • Scott

    ^^ As in, “the Sons … of the same parents as those guys you know in the NBA.”

  • Azbballfan

    lol the Sons i love it!

    Yeah i can see what Red is saying, but at the same time, this isnt NBA 2K13 where i can force a lopsided trade

    Scola didnt fit as a piece of the future, and we got something for him that wasnt just a 2nd rounder and cash

    you cant just go “i want to trade scola for paul george” you would be laughed out of the building if you were a gm proposing that

    the fact that we got a 2014 pick, lotto protected or not, is a total win

    an asset is an asset, we can always move picks later for a player we want

    seems like the Suns are following the Houston rockets model

    You just know McMiracle will strike whe the time is right and get us a james harden like guy

    you have to build assets so you dont totally gut the team when you get a chance to acquire a guy like harden

    we already got Bledsoe for basically nothing

    no bad contracts, no picks given to the clippers we care about

    Yeah, i would have liked a little more established talent too, but we still swung and hit a home run in my opinion

    i would have loved it if had say, traded scola to cleveland for alonzo gee

    but we got what we could, and realistically this was the best we were going to get

  • Scott

    Looking ahead to options and drafts …

    Assuming Lee is cut to bring the roster to 15, and there are no further trades, it’s possible that Marshall and the twins will have their options picked up in the fall, if only to provide the Suns with players on cheap one-year contracts in 2014.

    Right now the roster has 5 holes opening in the summer of 2014 with the expiring contracts of Gortat, Tucker, Beasley, Brown, and Butler.

    At the same time, in the 2014 draft the Suns are set to take 3 first round picks, plus one 2nd round draft pick, so assuming no foreign players are picked and stashed, there’s 4 new players coming in.

    So the Suns can absorb the options on Marshall and the twins this fall, committing to them for the 2014-15 season. And they can even retain either Tucker or Beasley if they wish, or re-sign Gortat if he’s still around, and still fit under the roster limit.

    When the summer of 2015 rolls around, the Suns stand to make 2 first round picks plus a conditional 2nd rounder, so they will need room for 2-3 players. Not only could Marshall and the twins be dropped at this point, but Green and Frye have contract expirations that would make room for at least the two first rounders.

    So, assuming there are no further trades (and we all expect at least one more, right?), the Suns are under no particular pressure to reject the options on Marshall and the twins.

    All the same … the best decision to make is to trade the twins and Marshall before the fall, so the issue of their options never comes up. ;)

  • Daniel

    Why did they have to add in Miles Plumlee? Unnecessary.

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, I can’t realistically see how McD could have gotten a better deal for Scola. Indiana was one of the five NBA teams that I thought might be interested him although I hadn’t given much thought to how that trade might actually work.

    As for trading Gortat, I think there’s a very limited market for him too, perhaps even smaller than for Scola. I wouldn’t be surprised to him start the season with the Suns and be traded mid-season instead of this summer.

  • Noitallman

    Terrible move. We are already overloaded at the wing spot and now have to pay green for 2 years. If he were expiring, ok. But these two players, while young, are not assets. The only asset is the pick. But it cost us taking on greens deal, overloading the wing even worse and now we have too many guys under contract. Would have been better just to take the pick without taking anyone back. So you have butler, Morris, Beasley, tucker and now green just at the sf position. The you have dragic, Bledsoe, Goodwin, lee, brown, Marshall, at the 1-2 . They better have a trade in the works to unload at least 2-3 guys in the backcourt.

  • Scott

    @Daniel -

    Miles Plumlee is a high IQ, high character, athletic, high motor, defensive big, who is young and cheap … that’s why. Sure, at best he’s a quality role player, not a star like Bledsoe, but teams need guys like Plumlee too.

    Quality-wise, Miles Plumlee may be not all that far off from where Gortat was when he first got traded to the Suns.

    And from the perspective of Indiana … once they got Scola, Plumlee was pushed even further onto the bench. So even if he was a draft pick they liked, who had performed well in summer league, due to depth it was reasonable to trade him.

  • Diego

    I like the trade, but I didn’t even know we were interested in Miles Plumlee (I thought no one in the league was). But his stats on Summer League were good and we have to trust the FO. I think Gerald Green will fit nicely with our plan to be exciting and terrible (recorde wise) at the same time. And the pick is the most important thing. Even if it’s likely a 25-30 choice, after the Goodwin pick this year (on a considered poor draft) I trust our GM every time! :)

  • Evan

    Operation rebuild from the ground up is in full swing, there is hope Suns fans, not next year, but in 2014-2015, and moving forward we will now have 3 1st round picks in next years draft (one of the best draft classes in recent memory), a ton of cap room. Plus we already have a decent center prospect in Len, and 2 solid combo guards in Dragic and Bledsoe, and a good Guard/wing prospect in Goodwin.

  • Dan.C133

    First I want to refute we got bledsoe for nothing. The Suns gave up an established player in dudley for a guy that hasn’t proven spit yet. potential my backside lets see what he can do as far as I’ve seen all he can do better then dudley is dunk. In moving scola for a pick plus potential is a good move. Green is a poor man’s shannon brown and plumlee hasn’t played enough on a loaded roster to see what he has got. As for all the Frye speculation as far as I know he is to be evaluated again around Aug 10-15. Rumors have it he is already doing shooting drills and short stint post pivot footwork. For all of that Kieff better work harder and watch his back as Frye is a better post defender and rebounder.

  • Scott

    @Noitallman -

    Keep in mind that with 15 players teams can reasonably have a depth of 3 at each spot without counting guys who play multiple positions.

    Sure, Green is a net loss of $3.5m per year for two years. But evidently it wasn’t possible to trade Scola for just the pick. Indiana insisted the Suns take Green if they wanted the pick, and McD apparently countered by saying, “Well, Green’s contract is not expiring. If you want us to take him, we want Plumlee too.” And thus the deal was done.

    I’ve read that Indiana was reluctant to part with Plumlee, and that’s the angle that held this trade up for so long.

    As for depth, assuming no further trades and that Lee is to be cut, here’s the Suns’ depth chart:

    PG: Bledsoe, Marshall, Brown
    SG: Dragic, Goodwin, Tucker
    SF: Butler, Marcus, Green
    PF: Frye, Markieff, Beasley
    C: Gortat, Len, Plumlee

  • Dan.C133

    Whatever fool left the Coro link at least link to an article not some dumb assed tweet.

  • Scott
  • Rudy

    Dragic is more of a point guard, dont you think @Scott

  • Morgan

    @scott I’m shocked how the new GM is able to make smart moves. I always thought the suns could get 1st rounder I just it was going to be tough to get a deal done. There is no way Blanks would have been able to pull off either of these deals. It is so refreshing and exciting.

  • Scott

    @Rudy -

    Yes, in fact Dragic is to me the team’s best PG.

    However, whenever they are asked about it, the Suns say that Bledsoe and Dragic will be playing together. Since Dragic is slightly taller than Bledsoe, it appears that Bledsoe would play PG while Dragic plays at SG … or at least that seems to be the gist of what I’ve read so far.

    If the Suns play this way, it may restore the pick and roll with Gortat. (There was an article on VotS a while back that theorized that maybe the pick and roll with Gortat wasn’t working last year because Dragic is left handed, and the players just weren’t able to adapt, so the ball went to Scola instead.)

    Now, it could be that the Suns intend to play Dragic at PG and Bledsoe at SG, because even though Bledsoe is smaller he has a large wingspan. In which case, move the two players around in the columns. But in either case, the Suns have stated multiple times they intend for the two players to be on the court at the same time.

    There would also be match-up issues to consider. For instance, if the Suns were playing against NOLA guards Austin Rivers (PG) and Eric Gordon (SG), then I think they’d put Dragic on Rivers and Bledsoe on Gordon.

  • Scott

    @Morgan -

    I’m also wondering if I will be pleasantly shocked by more intelligent coaching this fall. :)

  • JamRock

    Malcolm Lee and Alex Oriakhi…we hardly knew thee…

  • Jeremiah

    I know SL isn’t exactly the best way to evaluate future success, but if Miles Plumlee played SL for us this year than I think Suns fans would be very happy to have the guy. He will likely never be all that good offensively maybe solid at best, but he has the potential to be very good on defense and on the boards.

    The numbers he put up in SL were awesome. Yeah 10 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3 BPG and 1.2 SPG could easily be overlooked because it was SL, but when you factor in that he had that production while only committing 1.8 FPG, 1.2 TOPG and shot over 50% from the field. It is hard not to be a little excited about the probability of him being more than just an end of the bench type player.

    Also he looked very good watching the games as well. He seems to be developing a pretty solid post game with his back to the basket and while facing up. When he faces up he does a pretty good job of getting past his man with a combination of nice moves, speed, quickness and strength. His athleticism is ridiculous and helps him to have some highlight reel blocks and dunks. I think this guy has a solid chance at becoming at least a good role player if not a decent starter.

  • Scott

    @Jeremiah -

    Good points. Plus, IIRC, he passes well.

  • Daniel

    @Scott

    Miles Plumlee in this trade is redundant. It costs us a roster spot and a million dollar contract. I’m not really talking about his potential because his ceiling is a role player at most! And if you ask me we have ENOUGH role players on this team. It just doesn’t make sense. A first round pick is great but i feel there’s a better deal for Scola than taking Gerald Green and Plumlee. Maybe they become something big idealistically but realistically it’s not all that great of a deal. The first round pick is what’s keeping this trade from being terrible.

  • Scott

    @Daniel -

    I agree that the first round pick is the saving grace of that trade. It’s essential. The rest of it is of lesser importance.

    Did you see the rebuilding that Houston did last year? For most of the summer they had well over 20 players – maybe as many as 26 – and IIRC there were enough PFs to fill a team. They didn’t whittle it down to the final roster until the last minute before the regular season started.

    I expect the Suns will show a lot more restraint than Houston did, but don’t be surprised if it looks like there’s too many arms or legs on the squad going into pre-season.

    Also keep in mind that the Suns didn’t necessarily want Malcolm Lee. It’s just that he was attached to the #29 pick, having been passed along by team after team as they didn’t want him either. So if Lee gets cut as a result of a roster squeeze, well, it’s not like the Suns had targeted him. They were just willing to take him on, knowing he’d probably have to be paid and cut.

    As for getting a better deal on Scola … I’ll bet this was the best deal out there. Scola is a good player on a great contract, but only a contender would want him, and you’d have to expect to take back a lesser contract in return when you take that pick.

    Gerald Green’s contract isn’t all that bad. I don’t like it, but it’s basically what Blanks did with Shannon Brown. It’s 2 years at $3.5m per, when the player isn’t good and isn’t really needed, either. But whereas Blanks signed Brown for the heck of it, McD took on Green as the only way of trading Scola and getting a pick back. It was the price to be paid.

    Plumlee, though, could turn out to be valuable and needed. We don’t know what other trades are cooking right now. Reports said that the Scola trade had been percolating for some time before it finally got approved. Maybe there’s another trade or two out there that is nearing completion – say one that trades away Gortat – and then it will become clear that the Suns needed to pick up a big man in the Scola trade.

    Last thing … I think we all agree the Suns have too many role players and not enough stars. However, some of the Suns are not even GOOD role players. Plumlee looks to me like he will be a good one, like Lou Amundson years ago.

  • Daniel

    I just don’t think Miles Plumlee was really necessary but if you’re gonna ask for somebody from Indiana they should’ve picked up my fellow Gaucho Orlando Johnson! He would’ve sent all of our shooting guards to the bench lol. Surprised he hasn’t sent Paul George packing lol kidding kidding.

  • Azbballfan

    Bledsoe was behind a superstar with the clippers

    Dudley even at his best was a role player

    2nd rounders usually don’t amount to much

    Unless Bledsoe comes in and gives us less than Dudley I still think we got Bledsoe for nothing

    Come on you act like Dudley was a superstar or something