Suns Deal Jalen Smith at Trade Deadline and Bring Back a Familiar Face

Phoenix Suns, Torrey Craig (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Torrey Craig (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

While the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers find themselves drawing every NBA spotlight right now having finally completed the James Harden and Ben Simmons deal, the Phoenix Suns are making smaller, but still effective moves off stage.

At long last, the Phoenix finally dealt out Jalen Smith, trading him to the Indiana Pacers along with a second round pick for an old friend in Torrey Craig.

The Suns acquired Craig last year from the Milwaukee Bucks at the trade deadline, so if anyone is experiencing any deja vu right now, your feelings are well warranted. Craig signed a two year, $10 million deal with Indiana this summer though, which Phoenix will now take on.

Phoenix can only hope to get similar usage out of him this year, as Craig proved to be highly effective both during the regular season and amidst Phoenix’s run to the NBA Finals. With the Suns last year, Craig averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 36.9 percent from deep.

He also operated as yet another good locker room guy for Phoenix. Head coach Monty Williams even raved about Craig’s energy this year, also calling him a “great guy,” who they even wanted to try and re-sign this summer. Although it took a bit longer, Craig is now a Sun once again all the same.

Phoenix does send Jalen Smith packing though. By not picking up their option on him, they only had him as a rental for the year, so he was all but certain to leave at some point anyway. Indiana also has no guarantee that Smith will re-sign with them either, hence why Phoenix included a second-rounder as a sweetener.

Next. Cam Payne Roasts the Lakers. dark

Regardless, this feels like a solid deal for Phoenix. It feels like they’re blending the new heights which their team has reached this year, with more talent and nostalgic feelings from the last.