Suns’ Jalen Smith still Targeted by Multiple Teams Ahead Trade Deadline

Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith, Frank Kaminsky (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith, Frank Kaminsky (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

If the Phoenix Suns trade away any more players at this point, the next time Chris Paul slings a behind the back pass out to the wing there might not be anyone there to catch it.

The Suns indeed put their starting five back together last night, but their bench unit remains depleted. Against Brooklyn, they played without Landry Shamet, Cameron Payne, Abdel Nader, Frank Kaminsky, and Dario Saric.

But even with the Suns barely afloat, that has not stopped opposing teams from poking around at their nearly submerged vessel, trying to pull a few of its remaining crew mates over onto their ship.

With the NBA trade deadline now just nine days away, such activities make sense. Ever since the NBA introduced its play-in tournament, all but five to eight teams typically look to operate as buyers during this peak in trade season with the postseason still in reach.

It remains to be seen whether or not Phoenix will entertain any of these offers, or promptly take their phones off the hook during this next week and a half. But with the Suns also maintaining the league’s best record, it probably makes more sense for them to keep this clearly successful team as assembled, rather than chopping it up to fill any with increased ambitions.

Regardless, everyone still seems interested in taking a bite out of this turkey dinner of a roster cooked up by James Jones, with a few teams both near and far from the Valley licking their lips while looking down at one promising player.

NBA Teams are still targeting Phoenix Suns big man Jalen Smith

Even though the Suns might look to move other assets like Dario Saric over these next few days, former lottery pick Jalen Smith resembles the big ticket item for their bidders right now.

Oddly enough, the most recent murmurs involving him came from Phoenix’s NBA Finals opponent last year—the Milwaukee Bucks.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Bucks are actively looking to add more size to their roster with growing concerns over Brook Lopez’s health. Fischer said that Smith “has been mentioned as a potential trade target,” which although vague, likely still means that some interest is there.

But around the same time that report surfaced, Matt Moore of the Locked on Nuggets Podcast mentioned that to his knowledge, some other teams including the Denver Nuggets have called about Smith. Although Stix remains attached to an expiring deal and could leave Denver after this season, Nikola Jokic would be quite the mentor for him even if only for a few months.

Well before that though, the Boston Celtics also expressed interest in Smith. Michael Scotto mentioned on The Hoops Hype Podcast that the Celtics have made “several calls” to the Suns about Smith as they actively shop their own role players such as Dennis Schröder.

Once we moved past the one-month threshold prior to the trade deadline, it finally felt worth while to break down Smith’s trade value, and given his contract situation, it makes more sense for Phoenix to stay put and accept him as a rental this year.

Given Smith’s contract situation, the offers which the Suns will likely receive for him will not feature anyone much better than Smith. Phoenix still needs bodies down low, and despite Smith’s inexperience and flimsy commitment to the team, he still resembles a strong and athletic presence, able to stretch the floor and make a difference on the defensive end.

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With the Suns also running up another win streak right now, they will have a lot of hype building around them over the next few days. But keep an eye out for their work off the court as they dangle Smith around for at least a bit longer.