Phoenix Suns’ perfect and realistic offseason trade

Spencer Dinwiddie, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns will be looking to improve this offseason, and a trade for Spencer Dinwiddie may be the best chance for them to do it.

Reasonable minds can disagree, but the Phoenix Suns may be better off without Kelly Oubre Jr. So, while I won’t relitigate my point on that, let’s see what possibilities are out there that might be a trade option for the Suns that includes Oubre.

Enter Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets.

Before Dinwiddie chose to opt-out of the NBA restart (another reason the Nets may be willing to move him), he was averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game with Kyrie Irving missing the majority of his first season in Brooklyn.

So why would the Nets want to move a 27-year-old point guard with that level of production?

Role, fit, and cap space.

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Dinwiddie would be a great fit for the Phoenix Suns.

The Nets are already capped out heading into the 2020-21 NBA season (who knows how the cap will be affected with COVID-19 complications) with just under $134 million in committed salary.

This becomes further complicated when you consider they also possess one of the NBA’s elite shooters and one of the most valuable unrestricted free agents in the NBA in an extremely weak 2020 free agency class in Joe Harris.

Harris is exactly the kind of player you want as a role player for a title-contending team and likely could command anywhere from $12-18 million in free agency.

The Nets will want to retain him, which will push them further into the NBA luxury tax and motivate them to shed salary on other parts of the roster.

Brooklyn will be a completely different team next season with both massive 2019 free agency signings and former NBA champions Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning to the court.

The Nets are clearly their team, and having an elite, starting-caliber backup point guard like Dinwiddie is a luxury, not a necessity.

Dinwiddie is excelling as a go-to-player and playmaker for the Nets and those opportunities will be limited with Irving and Durant back in the fold.

This not only makes him expendable and an ideal piece to move to save cap space to re-sign Harris, but a potential locker room problem as a guy unhappy with a more limited role next season if they keep him.

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Another guy who was far less productive and efficient than Dinwiddie and holds little value, especially with a $12 million price tag over the next two seasons, with Kevin Durant back is Taurean Prince.

The Nets will be angling to move Prince if they can.

So why are the Phoenix Suns a perfect trade partner to suit the Nets needs this offseason? Because they can offer a talented wing player of similar overall value to Dinwiddie in Kelly Oubre, they will have the cap space to absorb Taurean Prince’s salary, and they can also provide the Nets with a lottery pick in 2020 (cheap labor) to sweeten any potential deal any more.

Here is what a hypothetical trade would look like:

Dinwiddie is a perfect fit for the Suns and he and Prince would make the Suns even deeper with even more positional versatility (what many of the league’s greatest rosters are built on) moving into the 2020-21 season.

He would instantly be the best sixth man in the NBA, provide the Suns with that third scoring option (and second scoring option behind Booker that can create his own offense consistently), and solve the Suns’ backup point (and general reserve guard) issue.

He is also 6’6″ and can play and defend multiple positions as a scorer and facilitator.

The Suns could play him in the 2nd unit with Javon Carter (an elite defender who can’t set the table for others) or Cam Payne, and more importantly, Dinwiddie possesses the versatility to play alongside Booker or Rubio or Booker and Rubio.

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He can fill in an take over at point guard on nights when Rubio is on the sideline or struggling with his health or jump shot.

Imagine how scary a crunch-time lineup of Rubio-Booker-Dinwiddie-Bridges-Ayton could be?

Prince would also provide the Suns with more depth and versatility at the forward positions as another potential 3-and-D guy to backup Bridges at the 3, or Johnson and potentially Saric at the 4.

This would be the Suns rotation potentially:

  • Rubio
  • Booker
  • Bridges
  • Johnson
  • Ayton

Bench: Dinwiddie, Baynes (mid-level exception?), Saric, Prince, Carter, Payne, some veteran who can shoot 3s.

I think that is a 45 to 50 win team next season.

While most fans are pining for players like Aaron Gordon or Lauri Markkanen this off-season, Spencer Dinwiddie is the most realistic piece that can improve the Suns the most in 2020-21.

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