3 Phoenix Suns Rivalries Impacted by 2022 NBA Trade Deadline

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul.
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

How the Trade Deadline Altered the Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Rivalry

Major Additions: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Juancho Hernangomez. Major Subtractions: Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes

With the Utah Jazz hoping to challenge the Suns in the West this year, many expected them to try and move Aussie sharpshooter Joe Ingles after he tore his ACL earlier this week. They eventually managed to do so, partaking in a three-team deal that netted them Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez. They also parted ways with guard/forward Elijah Hughes.

As back end bench players, grabbing Hernangomez and losing Hughes will not affect the Jazz and their rivalry with the Suns significantly. However, the Alexander-Walker for Ingles swap does warrant another look.

For the most part, the Suns have done well in defending the crafty Ingles over the years, making his subtraction from the Jazz not as monumental as you might initially think. In the past two seasons, Ingles has averaged 7.0 points and 2.8 assists per game while posting .355/.278 shooting slashes vs Phoenix.

All of those figures are down compared to his collective numbers from that time period, especially his shooting slashes, which are both down by double-digit percentage points.

As a combo forward, he often drew Jae Crowder or Mikal Bridges as his matchup. With those guys as Phoenix’s best defenders, Ingles ineffectiveness vs the Suns makes sense.

But even with Alexander-Walker drawing different defenders as a combo guard, the Suns have also had little issues locking him up over the past two seasons. So by taking Ingels’s spot in this rivalry, but wielding similar returns against Phoenix, the dynamic between the Suns and the Jazz should remain relatively the same.

Compared to his overall average from the past two years, Alexander-Walker has a -4.8 point per game differential vs the Suns. His field goal percentage is down by 6.8 percentage points, as is his 3-point percentage by 13.8 percentage points.

With Alexander-Walker being just 23-years-old, he might still develop into a Suns killer, but for now, he does not threaten to alter anything between these two proud teams.