A former Phoenix Suns draft pick could be their perfect future combo guard

Bogdan Bogdanovic Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Bogdan Bogdanovic Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings are looking to make the necessary moved to move themselves into the playoffs. A simple one-for-one trade might be perfect for both teams.

As I have written in the past, based on information that John Gambadoro has said on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Phoenix Suns are looking to acquire a combo-guard this offseason, not just a traditional point guard.

They want a player who can both dish and  shoot, allowing a combined backcourt of Devin Booker to be arguably twice as lethal.

I have personally written about several good options in the past (as linked in the first sentence), but have neglected one out of an assumption that he wouldn’t be traded by his current team.

However, in reading stories from Sacramento sites, it actually appears that the Kings might have some willingness to move former Phoenix Suns draft pick Bogdan Bogdanovic, for the right price, although mentioned in that piece for a first round pick – which they do not have in 2019.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

The Suns would never trade the sixth overall pick for Bogdan (would they? … No… Would they?), but with a glut of wings and the Kings a little short on wings themselves, a simple one-for-one swap could make a whole lot of sense for both teams (although I am personally all in for adding the Milwaukee Bucks’ pick so I do say add that as an incentive if needed without hesitation).

I say “could,” because depending on how highly Sacramento values Bogdan, I am not sure which move makes the most sense for Phoenix.

Bogdon would work very well for the Suns as a combo guard primarily because of his shooting where he is averaging 37.5% from beyond the arc for his career; his dishing ability is solid for a traditionally playing SG, averaging 3.8 assists per game last year and only 1.7 turnovers (mainly off the bench); and he tends to hang out at the 3-point line (attempting 42.9% of all FG attempts from 3 in his career and only 16.8% from 3ft or closer), his game can remain 3-point line to 3-point line which will guarantee a still open lane offensively for Ayton to work, Booker to cut through – as he liked to do – and the small forward, without unneeded to dive into as well without unneeded clutter.

One of the prime benefits of having those two on the court at the same time is when they also share the court with Deandre Ayton.

On fastbreaks, either one of them could pull up and take a spot-up 3 before Ayton gets down the court following a defensive rebound and outlet pass. Ayton has two solid options to look for in those situations and both guards would know instantly that if they get the space, that 3-point shot is theirs.

It’s exactly the kind of game the Suns used to play during the Seven Seconds or Less era – the very kind of shooting that Steve Nash later wished he had taken greater advantage of.

Right off the bat, I would instinctively argue that for simplicities sake, Josh Jackson for Bogdan Bogdanovic makes the most sense. While Bogdan has far out-performed Jackson to date, all hope should not yet be lost that Jackson could still become a decent and reliable – if not exciting – player in the NBA for years to come.

In this case, Phoenix retains the more stable and well-rounded T.J. Warren while moving on from the highly-combustable Jackson.

That said, the Kings know what they have in Bogdan, and knowing that he is as stable as Jackson is not, and he has shown significant skills in areas which Jackson has yet to, they might not be too thrilled about the idea of swapping a known-commodity for an unknown (even if Milwaukee’s pick is thrown in).

So, I imagine Sacramento potentially asking for T.J. Warren.

Certainly the Kings are getting a known commodity for a known commodity, Phoenix seems likely to trade Warren this offseason so why not in this case (when they’ll actually save a couple of million dollar on the deal initially as well), and the Suns give themselves one more chance for Jackson to prove that he has the capability of reaching a much higher plane and that his ceiling is much higher than Warren’s.

This could absolutely work for the Suns, except that I wonder how much they value Warren?

T.J. has not only proven to be a very solid small forward, an excellent scorer, he has never caused any trouble and appears to be the utmost consummate professional, and he just did something that is extraordinarily rare in the NBA today: he had a major weak part of his game (his 3-point shooting) and turned it into a tremendous strength.

The Suns desperately need shooting (which they would be getting a boost of with the acquisition of Bogdan), but would be swapping one shooter for another, which is essentially a wash for the team – especially since one shouldn’t expect that Josh Jackson is going to take a similar leap this summer in the improvement of his outside game as he is probably a bit more distracted than everyone would prefer.

Either way, this could (or should) be a trade that James Jones and the Phoenix Suns should contemplate – if not pursue.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is too good of a combo-guard, too good of a shooter, and too young and inexpensive of a player (he will be 27 at the start of the season) that if acquirable would be a perfect addition to the backcourt with Devin Booker.

Must Read. Three trades seen through one unique prism for the Phoenix Suns. light

If there is interest by both sides, each trade involves a gamble by one, although neither is that huge  of a risk for either team.

If the Phoenix Suns really do want a combo-guard, they will have plenty of options out there and should dive deeply into each of them. Re-acquiring Bogdan Bogdanovic is one viable solution.