What the 4 team blockbuster trade could mean for the Phoenix Suns

The most expansive trade in 20 years containing 12 players and 3 draft picks does not directly include the Phoenix Suns, but they still could be affected.

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting a massive, four-team trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets that would be the most expansive NBA player swap in 20 years. The question is, how does this deal affect the Phoenix Suns?

First, let’s look at the deal:

Houston Rockets receive: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, 2024 second-rounder (via Golden State Warriors)

Atlanta Hawks receive: Clint CapelaNene Hilario

Denver Nuggets receive: Gerald GreenKeita Bates-DiopShabazz NapierNoah Vonleh, 2020 first-round pick (via Houston Rockets)

Minnesota Timberwolves receive: Malik BeasleyJuan HernangomezEvan TurnerJarred Vanderbilt, 2020 first-rounder (via Brooklyn Nets, lottery-protected)

The most glaring and obvious relief for Phoenix Suns fans here is that it wasn’t a five-team deal that also included sending D’Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves. The two teams have reportedly been in intense negotiations this week in a deal that would swap Andrew Wiggins and D’Lo, but talks hit an impasse when Minnesota was reluctant to include an additional first round pick.

This is good for the Phoenix Suns because if it is truly destiny that D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Devin Booker will all play together one day, then the Timberwolves would have obtained two of those three pieces and surely be eyeing to extract Booker out of Phoenix in the relatively near future to complete the trio.

Similarly, the Suns are (should be?) vying for Russell with the exact same plans to obtain Towns in a year or two from Minnesota.

Instead, the Timberwolves front office turned their attention away from D’Lo to this four-team deal and Suns fans can rest easy for a bit.

Or can they?

In this deal, the Timberwolves receive the Brooklyn Nets’ 2020 first-round draft pick (lottery protected). It was exactly a first round pick that was supposedly holding up the deal that would send Russell to Minnesota.

Now they have it.

Still, it is lottery protected, and the Nets aren’t good! True, but neither is the rest of the Eastern Conference and the Nets’ current 22-27 record pits them as the 7th seed in the East if the playoffs started today.

That means the if the current landscape stays relatively stagnant, the pick would convey to around the 15th overall selection in next year’s draft.

Would a mid-first-round pick be enough to tip the Warriors over the edge for a Russell trade?

Maybe. And that would be heart-crushing for Suns fans who want James Jones to make a much bigger splash than the currently rumored transaction for Luke Kennard.

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Then again, it might not be enough for the Wolves to get D’Lo, and with time quickly elapsing on tomorrow’s trade deadline, the likely scenario is D’Angelo Russell remains on the Warriors for the rest of this season and Suns fans can pick up worrying about their team missing out on Russell again this summer.

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