Should The Phoenix Suns Trade For Enes Kanter?

Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) dribbles against Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) during the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) dribbles against Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) during the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Enes Kanter
Potential trade for the Phoenix Suns, via ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine: Suns deal Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee for Enes Kanter. /

Potential Trades:

Eric Bledsoe‘s contract is massive and he’s become Phoenix’s best player this season, so we can scratch him off the list of movable Suns players.

The most likely candidates to be moved? Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green and/or Miles Plumlee.

Dragic has a player option that he will likely decline so he can become a free agent this summer. With teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks working with a ton of cap space and having a need at the point guard position, Dragic will command a max-level deal from someone.

That’s what it will take the Suns to keep him around, so if they’re comfortable sticking with Bledsoe and IT, they may choose to deal him instead of letting him walk this summer for nothing.

Thomas has played well off the bench this year, but he’s a minus defensively and the Suns could conceivably deal him and his team-friendly contract to keep Dragic happy. According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Dragic may be growing unhappy sharing the ball with two other point guards and his lack of recent touches is disturbing.

Moving Thomas, a very good scorer who has something to offer other teams as a starter, would be one way to alleviate that backcourt logjam.

Green and Plumlee aren’t nearly as valuable as far as trade chips go, but they could also be included here. Green is a useful irrational confidence guy who is shooting around 38 percent from three-point range over the last two seasons. His status as a free agent this summer slightly diminishes his trade value, but not by much (especially for playoff teams).

Plumlee is a hardworking backup big on an extremely cheap contract who can challenge shots at the rim. So bearing all this in mind, what would a potential Kanter deal look like? Here’s our first option:

This would be the ideal scenario for Phoenix. They don’t clear the Dragic-Bledsoe-Thomas logjam, but that would allow them to make another deal involving either Dragic or Thomas and they wouldn’t be giving up much to add Kanter’s services, even if he did turn out to be nothing more than a rental.

In this deal, the Jazz get some helpful perimeter shooting and a backup big to make up for Kanter’s departure. The only problem is Utah isn’t fighting for the playoffs, so they might not really care for Green, a helpful player, but one who will be a free agent this summer. Plenty of other teams will be interested in Kanter, and this probably wouldn’t be the best deal they receive, even if Phoenix sweetened the deal with a future second-rounder.

How about our next option?

In this scenario, the Suns theoretically commit to re-signing Dragic by shipping off Thomas to make Gogi happier and give him more touches. The Jazz get a point young point guard who is leagues better than Exum and Burke and get some great value for a player who doesn’t want to be there anymore.

Thomas is making a $7.2 million this season, so in theory, you could also substitute Dragic here (cut to hundreds of Suns fans miserably shaking their heads). If Dragic is included, the Jazz would definitely need to sweeten the offer with picks, preferably a first-rounder.

Let’s move on to our last scenario, one first suggested by Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report:

That 2016 second round pick will either come via the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors.

Again, depending on which direction the Suns want to go, you could substitute Dragic in for IT here. If Dragic were involved instead of Thomas, the Jazz would have to improve the quality of that pick, but you get the general idea.

Here, the Suns continue to stockpile assets, they get Kanter and they clear the backcourt logjam. They don’t particularly help Plumlee by trading him to a situation with more frontcourt depth, but head coach Quin Snyder does a better job of splitting minutes between his four bigs.

Ideally, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough would swindle the Jazz into biting on the first trade scenario, but most likely, it’ll take a deal like our last two to acquire Enes Kanter.

Next: The Verdict