Grading the 2 Moves Made by Phoenix Suns at the Trade Deadline

Phoenix Suns, Trade Deadline. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Trade Deadline. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Torrey Craig, Trade Deadline
Phoenix Suns, Torrey Craig, Trade Deadline. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns trade deadline grade for Torrey Craig

Almost from the get-go, everyone saw the Suns not picking up their team option on Jalen Smith’s rookie deal as a mistake.

Whether as a trade or rotation piece, that decision hurt Smith’s value, as it set him up to become a free agent this summer. That meant, and still means now, that whoever acquires him would have to do so with no guarantee that he will come back to the team this offseason.

However, James Jones turned that mistake around almost in full, and it only cost him a second rounder.

The fact that Phoenix got back a guy we already know resembles a good fit with this team and finds himself attached to a two-year, $10 million dollar deal—it makes Jones look like a wizard. With his magic wand, he more or less turned an awkward situation with Smith into one with security and in support of team chemistry.

We all know how well Craig contributed off the bench last year, and the Suns do not need to worry about him leaving unlike with Smith. Primarily due to the longevity of his contract, the trade for Craig this year even looks better than the one they pulled off last year—which was a steal to begin with.

Craig also averaged a modest 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with the Pacers this year. But with him running beside a far more lethal Suns roster, he should return to the guy who averaged 7.2 points per game in the regular season and shot 40.5 percent from three in the playoffs.

The second round pick which Phoenix sacrificed will surely not be missed. The Suns currently find themselves with the league’s best record, and with a young team, you expect them to remain contenders for years to come.

With that understood, said second round pick will dwell toward the entire draft’s back end, rendering it about as useless as draft picks can be.

Grade: A+