Dec 13, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) and Goran Dragic against the Sacramento Kings at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Kings 116-107. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft rumors: Suns calling about point guards

The Phoenix Suns have made calls to other teams inquiring about the availability of their point guards, according to ESPN Draft Insider Chad Ford. That’s obviously more surprising than the Suns’ likely interest in drafting a point guard, and it could mean a few things.

  • The Suns might trade Goran Dragic.
  • They might be afraid about retaining Eric Bledsoe, for a number of reasons ranging from his injury history to what his people are telling the front office.
  • Archie Goodwin might be a trade chip (though this is obviously the least-likely case)

Ford went on the Bickley and Marotta show today and said other teams were calling him wondering why the Suns would be interested in trading for a point guard.

“A lot of intrigue going on with Phoenix. There’s been a lot of general managers calling me and saying why is Phoenix looking for point guards.”

So of course, this could be a smokescreen of sorts.

Nobody knows what to make of it, but it’s still not a completely outlandish thing for Phoenix to do. General manager Ryan McDonough is an “explore-all-my-options” kind of guy, so it’s possible nothing comes of it. If anything, he’s doing his due diligence in case the Suns can’t keep their backcourt together.

My thought has been that some team will be signing Bledsoe to a max contract, but I could be in the minority in believing that it’s a much more difficult decision for the Suns to do so than people might believe. For one, the Suns know Bledsoe’s injury history better than anyone. For another, they know his personality. And in our poll last week, it become clear just how popular Dragic, the third-team All-NBA player, became relative to Bledsoe after both had stellar seasons.

International options open up?

For a long time now, it’s become evident the Suns could be in the range where they can nab a swingman they covet without making any moves up the lottery. One or all of James Young, Rodney Hood and T.J. Warren will be around. But with the 18th pick, it wouldn’t be surprising if Phoenix went with a draft-and-stash prospect, because two very good players could be there.

DraftExpress actually has the Suns selecting Jusuf Nurkic at 14 in the latest mock draft. He would be a big help down the road if the Suns end up not keeping one of Alex Len or Miles Plumlee.

The second-best international prospect behind Dante Exum, Dario Saric, is also potentially going to be available. He is a top-10 talent who hasn’t worked out for any teams. His stock took yet another hit on Monday, when he agreed to a contract with Turkish team Anadolu Efes. Saric won’t be able to leave Europe for another two years, which would give Phoenix a valuable asset down the road. That would also give them the ability to use the 27th pick or 50th pick to potentially bring on a second rookie.

Could they do something else with the 27th pick?

The New York Knicks are apparently shopping guard Iman Shumpert for a late first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, and it doesn’t take long for the connection to be made with the Suns. Phoenix has reportedly been shopping the 27th selection for a future first-round choice, and if they need perimeter help with either Bledsoe or P.J. Tucker leaving, the 23-year-old could be a decent option. Perhaps the Suns think he could find some offensive efficiency and consistency in a structured offense (Shumpert shot just 37.8 percent last season).

Then again, Lance Blanks is no longer running things, so perhaps this isn’t even a discussion within the front office. Phoenix could keep the 27th pick and use it for a draft-and-stash if a player like Clint Capela slips that far down the boards.

 

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