Phoenix Suns: Analyzing an Ariza trade with the Lakers and Nets

Phoenix Suns Trevor Ariza (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
Phoenix Suns Trevor Ariza (Photo by Icon Sportswire) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) /

D’Angelo Russell

Due to his connection with Devin Booker, Russell’s name has been brought up repeatedly over the years as a player the team might target. His injury history is concerning and will likely demand a hefty contract as a former #2 pick, but has played well as of late for the Nets and could flourish if given lead ball responsibilities in Phoenix.

Russell is very intriguing and very controversial. He’s a talented passer who can score at will and spark a team, but has been very unreliable with his shooting and is not exactly a defensive anchor.

The Suns are in no position to be overly picky. He can fit their fast paced approach and his scoring relief should carry the team while Booker is out while relieving pressure when he returns.

Booker has shown promise playing point guard this season, and Russell sometimes looks at his best when strictly focused on scoring. An interchangeable duo with Russell and Booker swapping scoring and ball-handling responsibilities could work wonders, causing defenses plenty of trouble.

Of course, the Suns also need someone capable of maximizing Deandre Ayton. Russell has at times developed an impressive chemistry with Nets center Jarrett Allen, with pick and rolls ending up with an easy bucket from D-Lo or a lob to Allen. This could not only be mirrored but improved with Ayton as he is much more talented than Allen.

Russell would definitely be a risk, and his injuries and inconsistency might scare off the Suns. But the team needs to take a risk, and betting on a talented guard who was selected with a top two pick not too long ago would not be a bad one.