Phoenix Suns Free Agent Focus: Tier Two Targets


After the first of installment of our Free Agency breakdown, available here, readers argued that the class of free agent that the Phoenix Suns would be targeting was unrealistic.

The Al Horford’s and Nic Batum’s of the world would never sign with the Phoenix Suns. While I think the Suns have shown they can at least be relevant during free agency, I agree it is going to be difficult to sign a max player.

In reality, the Suns may have to settle for second and third tier free agents. The Suns also need to be considerate of the fact that if they only get a little better, all it will do is worsen their 2017 lottery potential with nothing to show for it.

As a result, the types of players the Suns may target are one-year contracts (trade assets) or signing players for a long contract that will function as a part of the long-term rebuild.

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Here are the players I think the Suns could incorporate into their roster either as a pure asset, or as a long-term piece to include in building a competitive roster.

Chandler Parsons – Small Forward – 6’9

Parsons is a versatile wing who can both shoot the 3-pt shot and defend at a high level. He also is an excellent finisher around the rim, shooting 68.1% at the rim last season according to

Parsons has struggled with nagging injuries over the last couple of seasons, but was playing at an extremely high level by the end of the season. Parson’s is essentially a tier-one free agent, but Included him on this list because I think he is a true blue “free agent”.

If the Phoenix Suns offered him more money than everyone else, they could secure a talented, young, and versatile wing player that they desperately lack. Signing Parsons would cost the Suns quite a bit of money, but Parsons has shown himself to be an excellent recruiter of other NBA players.

He was crucial in DeAndre Jordan (almost) going to Dallas, and is known to have superstar friends. If the Suns try to sign Parsons, it would show that they are accelerating the timeline of the rebuilding process.

Luol Deng – Small Forward – 6’8

Deng continues to be a strong individual defender despite having lost a step at this point in his career. Miami used him at power forward a fair amount this season and he showed he could help stretch the floor with a True Shooting Percentage of .561 and .549 the last two seasons.

Deng has played in a variety of cities so he may be open to another new destination. However, the issue in trying to sign any veteran player like Deng is they could be championship hunting, and the Suns appear at least a few years away from Championship contention.

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The appeal of Deng despite the Suns being far away from contention is that Deng fills a true position of need and would fit in so well. If the Suns were closer to contending or advance their timeline via trade, Deng could be a great fit.

Jared Dudley – Small Forward – 6’7

Bringing JD – aka ‘The Junkyard Dog’ – back to the Valley is something I’ve been high on since he left. Dudley is the kind of player that it is easy to root for. He isn’t the most athletically gifted player, but he is extremely self-aware.

He has an amazing basketball IQ and uses it to find ways to create value on the court. Dudley is an active defender and reminds me of a more skilled P.J. Tucker.

Dudley has created offensive value by becoming an outstanding 3 point shooter (42% on 238 attempted 3’s this season). Dudley knows the Phoenix Suns system and could play both small and power forward in any lineups trying to create extra space on the floor.

I yelled to him while I was sitting behind the Wizards bench at a game this season and told him that he should re-sign with Phoenix, so the recruitment has already begun. Dudley also has an amazing social media presence that would be fun to have back in Phoenix.

Eric Gordon – Shooting Guard – 6’4

Phoenix has tried to sign Gordon in the past. Last time it resulted in New Orleans matching the Suns Max offer. Gordon was unable to live up to the value of the contract suffering nagging injuries (hasn’t started more than 65 games in his career)

When Gordon is able to play, he is still an effective scorer. He has averaged over 16 points per game over his career and shoots nearly 40% from 3 point range. Gordon’s injuries have limited his ability to beat his defender off the dribble but he still knows how to score.

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The reason I like the idea of the Suns signing Gordon is because he is still 27 years old. If the Suns move are looking to sign an asset with upside, Gordon could be that player.

If Gordon can limit the number of long two point shots he takes, and focuses on driving to draw fouls and spotting up from 3 point range, he could have value on a team that lacks scoring on their second unit.