1. Lauri Markkanen
As much as I love Kevin Love, I would still hope that James Jones can acquire Lauri Markkanen instead.
Last season he seemed like he’d be impossible to acquire, but with their season going to so sideways this season, Chicago writers see him as a player that can be moved this season.
The fact that the Suns could not find a way to acquire Kristaps Porzingis still haunts me, but the opportunity to acquire Porzingis-lite, a player who has never had serious knee injury, and who, at 22-years-old, is by far the youngest player in this group, he is a player would could easily be a core member of the franchise for many years to come.
Although not quite a star at the moment, after last season it sure looked like there was no doubt he was going to be.
But just like Randle in New York and even Devin Booker last season in Phoenix, star shooters without a point guard have a very difficult time scoring efficiently.
Add Lauri Markkanen to this roster with Ricky Rubio, and not only does he add the scoring threat that Booker needs; his rebounding is a huge help on the defensive end; and James Jones and Monty Williams could all but guarantee that his 3-point shooting percentage will spike back up to pre-2019-20 levels, and beyond.
Phoenix would have to let go with an unprotected first round here to acquire the young gun, and pick up Thaddeus Young‘s terrible contract for the next 2+ years with Tyler Johnson’s expiring contract leaving, but to acquire a potential star power forward, and with Saric coming off the bench for now and the books after this season as well, it would be entirely worth it.
The trade cannot be consummated until December 15 because of a restriction to Young’s contract, but that is still early enough in the year to figure out the details.
New Starting Lineup:
PG – Ricky Rubio
SG – Devin Booker
SF – Kelly Oubre Jr.
PF – Lauri Markkanen
C – Deandre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns are good and built to be a playoff team. James Jones needs to find that next piece, however, and do so right away to give the players not only a chance to gel prior to the postseason tournament, but also to pull themselves out of eighth place in the West – which would be the first round death of them.
Any one of these deals should help make this happen right away; each of them having their benefits, and each one of them making the Phoenix Suns the team we have long dreamt for them to be.