Phoenix Suns Perfect Trade Deadline Target Nobody is Talking About

Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA trade machine has to be running on fumes at this point. With the 2021-22 trade deadline now just one week away, basketball junkies have spent lunch breaks, time on the bus, and late nights wasting away on it, mixing and matching countless players with different teams—including the Phoenix Suns.

At this point, every time I go on to use the infamous online tool to cook up a hypothetical trade, I feel like it’s staring back at me through my computer screen, saying “I’m tired boss,” like John Coffey in that scene from The Green Mile.

But even with the trade machine’s extended use over the past few weeks, one potential deal that involves the Suns has somehow slipped through the cracks. This negligence has foolishly left one specific player off everyone’s “mock trade” reports and poorly photoshopped jersey swaps on Instagram.

So before we put down ESPN’s Frankenstein at least until the offseason, Phoenix fans need to check out this final trade target who hails from the Big Apple, but could be a force out in the desert.

Why the Phoenix Suns Should Trade for New York Knicks Guard Alec Burks

The New York Knicks doubled down on their fluke run to the playoffs last year, dropping some extra dollars on a few veteran role players. That strategy to try and compete now has them looking quite foolish—sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and with all but three active players still signed on until the 2023-24 season.

Being one of those guys, Alec Burks represents an asset which they would want to move as soon as possible to try and dissolve at least one poor investment. Averaging 11.2 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game so far this year, the journeyman guard makes all the sense in the world for the Suns as their next sparkplug off the bench.

Currently shooting 39.9 percent from deep, Burks resembles that “last shooter” everyone seems to be on the lookout for. He also knows how to handle himself in the postseason with 22 playoff games already under his belt.

As a fast and intelligent floor spacer, Burks brings exactly what popular trade target Eric Gordon does to the table, except Burks also plays better defense and counts $10 million less against the cap.

Most importantly though, the Suns can add Burks without giving up a first round pick among other assets, which is what the Rockets reportedly want for Gordon.

With the Knicks headed for the lottery and likely looking to retool for next year, they want additional pieces to build around R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle, and their other young pieces rather than veterans like Burks. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst even confirmed this ideology last week, specifically mentioning New York’s plans to shop Burks to open up a rotation spot for the 22-year-old Cam Reddish.

With that said, the Knicks would likely jump at a young talent like Dario Saric, who aligns with their trajectory as someone also focused primarily on next season. To balance out the cap and make the deal more even from a positional standpoint, Phoenix can include Elfird Payton as well, sending him back to Tom Thibodeau.

Despite some rough play last year, Thibs kept Payton as New York’s starting point guard all throughout the playoffs. Clearly nobody believes in Payton like Thibs, so the Knicks would likely be more interested in trading for him than any other team.

But with his contract and skills on the court, Burks miraculously pulls off the “happy medium” between going all-in to win now, while also maintaining the long game by helping Phoenix to preserve their future.

Next. Jalen Smith Still Being Targeted by Three Teams. dark

The Suns by no means need to do anything at the deadline given their league best 41-9 record. But if James Jones were to make any calls, this has got to be the one.