Suns potential free agent watch list is uninspiring

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 2: Devin Booker
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 2: Devin Booker /

Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough wants to be actively involved in the free agency period of 2018. With that said, he should me mindful of what’s available on the market.

In Scott Bordow’s column for azcentral sports, McDonough stated that he wants to accelerate the Suns rebuild due to Devin Booker’s emergence and T.J. Warren’s productivity.

In that same column, Bardow cited his free agents to watch list which included: Clint Capela, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Mirotic, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Tyreke Evans, Jusuf Nurkic, Elfrid Payton, and Marcus Smart.

The Suns will have money to spend in the summer with Greg Monroe’s contract coming off the books with present addition cap space they already possess. The team can open up more space by moving Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight, with the former more likely to be moved than the latter.

McDonough is gaining confidence in his young core and wanting to add established pieces is a good sign. With that said, he should be cautious with the free agent market.

All of the names listed in Bardow’s column either are not leaving or are not proper fits for various reasons.

Adding Clint Capela or Aaron Gordon would be nice. Capela has been one of the five if not ten best centers in the league this season and would be an upgrade over what Phoenix has now, especially if Alex Len walks. Gordon is an exciting forward and could play anywhere between the three, four, and five positions.

However, both of them are restricted free agents. The Rockets and Magic will match whatever offer sheets given to them.

Marcus Smart, another restricted free agent, is availble too. It’s more likely Smart stays in Boston. Yet he would fill in the need for better defensive play in the backcourt.

Smart would make sense considering he’s a great defender. However, would teams want to pay more than $85 million for his services despite his uninspiring offensive game? I’m not sure if the Suns will make that move.

There is an argument for the Suns pursuing Smart, Gordon, and Capela. With that said, McDonough should be careful with these other names. Don’t pursue them just for the sake of ‘looking active’ or trying to simply appease people.

Enes Kanter makes teams worse on defense. Considering the Suns are last in opponent points per game, that’s the last thing they need.

Tyreke Evans has had a brilliant season with Memphis but there are injury concerns that comes with him.

Jusuf Nurkic has been wildly inconsistent on both ends of the floor in a contract year for Portland, so you should have expected him to be more statistically stable.

Nikola Mirotic and Derrick Favors are redundant from what is currently in the frontcourt. Potentially over paying for them would not make sense.

The Suns may select a point guard in the draft. So unless Payton wants to be a backup, he probably won’t be starting. His time in Orlando as a starter has not been anything worthwhile.

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All that being said, the Suns can and should aspire to be players in free agency. However, the names that are currently floating around as potential theoretical targets for Phoenix aren’t it, plus they should be careful not to mortgage any future financial flexibility just for the sake of adding moderate talent.

Taking flyers on players like Nerlens Noel, Dewayne Dedmon, Jeremy Lin, for less or possibly Avery Bradley would likely be interesting, but only after talent is acquired elsewhere should the Suns look towards these potential options instead.