Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph seem far from realistic acquisitions for the Phoenix Suns because of two different reasons, but Ryan McDonough and crew seem set on exploring trades to upgrade the frontcourt.
According to multiple reports, the Suns have interest in Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill. If they’re truly serious, they’ll have to fend off the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets, the latter of whom have been pushing hard for the big man’s services.
I did see somewhere that the @Suns are no longer interested in Jordan Hill. Not exactly true. "On the back-burner" is what I was told.
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 19, 2014
Update (3 p.m. MST): Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports the Suns and Lakers are no longer talking about Hill, and it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as suitors that will challenege the Nets, according to ESPN.
Among teams who could still redirect Jordan Hill away from Brooklyn, watch for the Phoenix Suns, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2014
The Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have also talked to the Lakers about acquiring Jordan Hill, according to a league source.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 19, 2014
To trade for Hill, the Nets will obviously have to take on a huge tax bill considering they’re far past the luxury tax threshold already, but it seems deep-pocketed owner Mikhail Prokhorov has no worries about how much money is needed.
Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reports that a deal between Brooklyn and Los Angeles is moving along quite well, so the Suns would have to act fast. Either way, it’s clear they’re not standing pat despite any more significant trade options might have become less realistic.
David Aldridge reports that the hot rumor regarding Pau Gasol is quickly “dying on the vine” but Phoenix remains active in looking for help elsewhere.
While the Lakers probably are seeking financial benefits from such a deal, any team wanting Hill could get him at a reasonable price. That said, the Suns, as you might have guessed, have options in terms of assets.
Hill is on an expiring contract worth $3.5 million this season, and the Suns likely have the most flexibility to acquire him. They’re both under the salary cap and could theoretically remain under the cap by taking on Hill’s contract without trading away any current player.
A trade of, say, Marcus Morris and Slava Kravtsov would work financially, but Los Angeles could also be eyeing picks. Phoenix would then have to ask itself what’s worth breaking up the core of the bench unit, or the value of its picks — late first-rounders are probably pushing it.
The Suns obviously could use Hill, who is an elite offensive rebounder and a more battle-tested defender than second-year center Miles Plumlee. Hill, who is 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, brings more size than the other rumored option, Brandon Bass.