Now that the Phoenix Suns are out of the NBA’s Summer League and there does not appear to be anymore free agents to acquire, Phoenix’s focus is now on trades.
How disappointing. A Summer League team with more NBA talent than anyone else, who swept the “regular season” 3-0 in dominating fashion, loses to the 0-3 Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs ending their hopes at a Summer championship, a title that would have brought immediate hope to a long suffering fanbase and served as both a milestone during the rebuild and jumping off point for the future.
General Manager Ryan McDonough has also stated in the past that he planned on re-shaping the roster to a significant degree this offseason and intended on making a free agency splash.
Sure, Trevor Ariza came minutes into the start of free agency period and his $15 million one-year contract was “splashy” as he will be earning more than twice next season than what his peak one-year earning had been prior to 2018-19, but he’s not quite the big move fans were expecting.
Therefore, now that anybody of interest is off the table in free agency (even Channing Frye), and the Summer League ended both abruptly and without the expected celebration, if there is to be any additional moves this offseason they will be in trade, the kind of event that truly can still be truly “splashy.”
Let’s face it, the roster has been receiving a bit of an overhaul. It is coming in the form of draftees, but the team still needs both veterans and accomplished role players to help make Phoenix an actually competitive team once again. And any additions, at this point, will cause a ripple in the Valley of the Suns that on the surface would cause excitement.
Fans have been clambering for the trade of Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler for over a season now, expecting that either one or both can be dealt to save cap space to acquire a star in free agency, future picks, or as part of a larger deal.
Should either one of them be moved for any of those reasons, fans will raise certainly an eyebrow of interest.
Both Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss have had poor showings thus far in their young careers, to the point that the “bust” term has been used in regards to each of them by many Suns fans. Therefore, should Phoenix give up on either of their two 2016 top-eight draft picks and deal one or both, that alone would be really big news.
Of course trading Brandon Knight would make a huge splash as he is already projected to be the team’s starting point guard; he is coming off of a missed season due to a torn ACL; and the presumption in a trade of he and a package would be that the return would include a star point guard. Some fans have wanted him gone for some time, and many believed that he could have been traded last offseason had he not suffered his injury.
With the trade up for Mikal Bridges, the Suns now have a glut of small forwards (although each with multiple positions they can technically slide into). However, while depth is always a good thing, there is an opportunity for Phoenix to trade from a position of depth there to add help at another position, say point guard.
Newly-signed Bridges cannot be traded until December 15, so if a trade were to occur of any of the small forwards, it would involve either Josh Jackson or T.J. Warren. Trading Jackson, the former number four overall pick of just last season, would be a huge splash, and then moving Warren would mean someone decent is guaranteed to come back in return, so a trade of either of them would be very interesting – potentially ground shaking.
Troy Daniels is more likely to be traded in a package to help match talent coming in return, or in a single move for a future second round pick. Of all players who Phoenix could potentially trade, his would likely be the least impactful. However, as mentioned, if he is moved in a package, then the package itself would be interesting and potentially very exciting.
Of course this then leaves us with Devin Booker, and since there isn’t a chance in you know where that he will be traded, I will just leave it at that.
With the offseason now in it’s quiet phase, the only thing that could possibly cause a ripple throughout the Valley of the Suns is that of a trade, and there are certainly a number of players who if traded would cause the “splash” that many fans have been hoping for this summer.
If the Suns are going to make a splash before the start of the year, at this point, making a trade would be the only thing that could accomplish it.