Coming off a year in which he was clearly the Phoenix Suns second best player, T.J. Warren may already be getting squeezed out. It’s time to move on.
After recent transactions, it appears that Warren may not be in the plans for the Suns this season. It also appears that his salary may be getting in the way of the Suns plans for the summer of 2019. This is why it only makes sense to trade T.J. Warren as soon as possible.
The Phoenix Suns have made some exciting moves this summer, adding multiple quality players to their roster. By all accounts, the team is aiming to make the playoffs next season, even if it’s a long shot. So it may be seen as taking a step backwards when you trade a player who nearly averaged 20 points and five rebounds on 50 percent shooting. But that’s exactly when you should trade a future role player: after they have a career year and their value is at an all-time high.
Warren’s fit in new coach Igor Kokoskov’s offense was already a question, even when we assumed he would be receiving close to 30 minutes a night and possibly starting. With these two now on board, it will be difficult for Warren to get enough playing time to not hurt his value.
The other ways that Warren appears to have fallen out of the organization’s plans are their future moves and cap space situation. The Suns appear to be set up for a big summer of spending in 2019. That summer, Warren will be taking up $10.8 million in cap space, which isn’t bad for Warren’s talent but enough to get in the way of a big contract.
Obviously Warren is too talented to simply give away just to clear cap space. So that makes the best course of action to include him in a package of players and picks for a strong veteran player. Names that would come up that have been rumored to be moved would include the likes of Kemba Walker and Gordan Dragic.
The main similarity between the two players is that they are both potentially on the last year of their contract, so they could be acquired at a lesser price. If Phoenix were to trade for either guy with Warren as the main asset, their roster would instantly improve next season.
If they choose to stay, then the Suns have maintained their initial roster upgrade, and if they choose to leave, then the Suns will have ample cap space to work with.
Although it may be unpopular currently, a trade of T.J. Warren could help the Phoenix Suns either today or in the future, and possibly both. Warren is a good player, and it won’t be a major mistake if the Phoenix Suns don’t get rid of him. However, as the roster is constructed today and set up for the future, it would be smart to trade T.J. Warren this summer.