Is it time for the Phoenix Suns to trade Josh Jackson or T.J. Warren?

Phoenix Suns T.J. Warren (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns T.J. Warren (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

If Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver had not said that the franchise was done with the rebuild, that would be one thing. But now that we know that in his eyes the tank is done, is it time to do something about it?

The Phoenix Suns have several glaring issues, but none are more pronounced than the team’s lack of a starting caliber point guard.

Thus far the Isaiah Canaan/Devin Booker experiment has not worked out and through four games it has become painfully obvious that if the Suns are going to compete at all this season, they are going to need to acquire a starting point guard. Whether it be a young player that can fit into the age group or a veteran who will work as a fill-in until the offseason, Interim General Manager James Jones needs to do something to help this team move in the right direction.

Unfortunately the two best trade assets the Suns have are T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, Warren being the team’s second best scorer and currently a point-a-minute scorer off the bench. If this team was good Warren would be a tremendous asset to them, although at the moment his is a luxury that becomes a central trade piece in almost any rumor.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Josh Jackson was the fourth overall pick only two summers ago and has shown promise, although his start to this season has been a bit slow. He, like Devin Booker though, has been playing the role of the playmaker and too has struggled somewhat in that role. If he was able to play his more natural game as an off the ball scorer, one would have to imagine that his game would take an immediate jump forward.

Obviously the Suns would never trade either Devin Booker or Deandre Ayton, so other than Jackson or Warren, the Suns don’t have a whole lot they might consider moving, or that would appeal to other teams.

Many wish that Dragan Bender could have some trade value, but alas, it appears very likely that he does not. His lack of playing time this season as well further hurts (if not kills) the Suns’ cause in an attempt to move him for a piece the team might utilize.

Losing either Warren or Jackson would hurt the Suns, even if they gained a point guard – unless that point guard could become the team’s long-term starter. Both Jackson and Warren are young with much to offer a team offensively, and both are under very team-friendly contracts with Warren just beginning his first veteran contract extension and Jackson still on his rookie deal.

Trading either of them for a veteran who is either a short-term, fill-in player would hurt the Suns in the long run though because Phoenix would be losing talent that many expect to be with the team for many years, in exchange for a point guard who’s primary purpose would be to make losing this season a little more palatable.

That said, if the Suns do nothing and do not acquire a decent point guard, this team is apt to lose a lot this season, probably on the pace of the last three years, potentially killing any momentum the franchise procured following the selection of Ayton and the statement by Sarver that the rebuild was over and that it is now time for the Suns to start winning.

Sure, losing for one more season will offer the Suns another high draft pick where they can potentially nab their point guard of the future, but like Bender and Marquese Chriss proved, draft picks, no matter how high they are or highly touted the prospect is, there is no guarantee that they are going to pan out.

Moreover, unless the player comes in and has an incredible rookie year cementing himself as the starting point guard right away, there is the expectation that he will need time to develop, be it for a season or two, before he can contribute on a high level.

Finally, there is no guarantee that there will be a point guard available to the Suns or that the best player available will help fill that hole. If Phoenix has a higher draft pick, they certainly won’t want to reach and grab a point guard that many have slated well behind their draft position simply because they are in need. currently doesn’t even have a point guard going in the top-12, so unless the Suns manage to pull out an incredible season or a PG manages to jump himself way towards the top, there probably won’t even be one in their draft range.

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If James Jones is able to find a point guard available to him for the cost of either Jackson or Warren, it might already be time to make a move. He certainly wouldn’t trade either for a point guard on the verge of becoming a free agent, but if someone becomes available that is good enough to retain for a few years, Jones might be forced to make such a move.