Phoenix Suns: Yes or no with 7 best trade targets rumored to be available

Sacramento Kings Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Sacramento Kings Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phoenix Suns know that high noon Thursday is coming quickly. The NBA trade deadline presents an opportunity to improve the fortunes of a team already rolling.

With Devin Booker and Chris Paul flexing All-Star form that could help the team challenge for the Western Conference title, the Suns are likely considering not only their own trade possibilities, but those of the Lakers as well.

With multiple reports suggesting the Lakers are very much a trade-deadline player, the Suns could employ a low-risk deal that serves two purposes: helping the backup 5 spot and keeping the Lakers from helping their own backup 5 spot.

Before we get to that specific scenario, let’s see who’s in the “he could be traded” rumor mill today – most of whom do not appear to be a viable option because the first-place Suns really don’t need to make a splash right now.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: JaVale McGee?

He put up 18 points and nine rebounds for Cleveland in a Sunday night loss to Sacramento and may have priced himself out of the Suns’ conversation. The 33-year-old 7-footer is still worth exploring because you never know what Cleveland would want if you don’t ask.

Status: At the right price.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Nemanja Bjelica?

He is 6-10 and hit better than 40% on 3s in 2018-20 before struggling this season. The 32-year-old Serbian has been in and out of the Kings’ rotation and has been prominently mentioned as a guy Sacramento wants to move. He can’t really defend the center position, even in limited minutes, so his value would be more to stretch the defense in a deep reserve role – as in the very, very few minutes Jalen Smith currently takes.

Status: Nah.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Kelly Oubre Jr.?

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor two days ago, Oubre is being made available (and Gorgui Dieng is a buyout candidate). Despite earlier reports that the Warriors are not interested in moving off of Oubre, O’Connor said the team is “shopping” the former Phoenix Suns fan favorite. Oubre, 25, will be entering unrestricted free agency but wants to stay with Golden State.

Status: Way too high a price and far from the right fit right now for this Suns team.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Marvin Bagley Jr.?

Wait, what? The dramatic success of Tyrese Haliburton seems to have the Kings comfortable building around De’Aaron Fox and Haliburton while planning to move forward with Bagley – or without him. Bagley is going to miss some time with a left hand injury. Sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports the Detroit Pistons turned down a Bagley-Saddiq Bey offer.

Status: Intriguing but not the right fit.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Richaun Holmes?

The former Phoenix Suns sparkplug Richaun Holmes also has a rising value that may have taken him out of the Suns’ reach. He’s taking advantage of increased playing time with the Sacramento Kings, averaging almost 14 points and nine rebounds while blocking a career-high 1.6 shots per game. And yet he’s expendable, apparently. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets have expressed interest in Holmes.

Status: Sure, it’s a long shot. Kick the tires to see what it would take.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Evan Fournier?

Could the Suns find this 28-year-old Frenchman affordable? Probably not, but his imminent availability and 19.1 points per game, 3.6 assists per game, 3.1 rebounds per game to go with 38.3% from 3-point range this season would provide some backup firepower in the even of injuries or inconsistency from Cam Johnson and other deeper rotation guys.

From Bleacher Report:

"It seems more likely than ever Orlando may move (Aaron) Gordon before Thursday’s deadline, but Evan Fournier and his $17 million expiring contract is an even better bet to be traded."

We took a look at options that included Gordon recently, but would Evan Fournier be worth a Jae Crowder-Jevon Carter-future picks package?

Status: Nah. Besides, that man-bun Fournier used to display was unsettling.

Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline: Hassan Whiteside?

Yes, finally. He’s been among the better options for a trade-deadline fit with the Suns.

Carrying a not-insignificant factor: The Lakers covet a backup 5, rim-protecting presence and are likely including Whiteside among their targets.

Whiteside has returned from the virus protocol absence that began late last month to play the past three games. Although he isn’t the most versatile defender, he can operate well in confined spaces. Since his return, Whiteside has contributed 19 rebounds in almost 43 minutes over those three games. He’s also blocked five shots.

Status: With a buyout, go get him. In a trade, a reasonable offer certainly shouldn’t include a vital rotation player but could include Frank Kaminsky and/or future considerations.

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