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, Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

How the Trade Deadline Altered the Los Angeles Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Rivalry

Major Additions: Robert Covington, Norman Powell, Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye. Major Subtractions: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Serge Ibaka

Other than the Indiana Pacers, no team seemed more active at the trade deadline than the Los Angeles Clippers.

They first parted ways with Eric Bledsoe, who Suns fans know all too well. Despite his animosity toward Phoenix though, he has done little to hurt them over the years, averaging 10.0 points and 2.6 assists against the Suns—both of which are down from his collective averages.

Bledsoe’s turnovers also shoot up when playing the Suns compared to everyone else. No matter your opinion on him, his departure from Los Angeles eliminates a guy from this rivalry who only made things easier for Phoenix.

As for Ibaka and Winslow, they both have done no better nor worse against the Suns compared to all their other opponents. Neither player’s scoring averages increase or decrease when going against Phoenix by more than 1.6 points, and neither has played more than 23.0 minutes per contest. So essentially, their exits from this rivalry mean very little.

On the other hand, LA reeled in Robert Covington, Normal Powell, Rodney Hood, and Semi Ojeleye. While Ojeleye and Hood have done little damage against Phoenix in the past, the same cannot be said for Powell and Covington.

Being a 3-point specialist, Covington has shot 14-28 on triples in six games played against the Suns over the past two years. That grants him the seventh highest 3-point percentage by anyone against Phoenix during said time period with a minimum of 4.7 attempts per game.

Also as a solid defender who averages 1.2 steals per game against the Suns, “RoCo chips” will be tough to deal with on both sides of the ball.

For Powell, Phoenix’s strong defense over the past two seasons has proved almost ineffective against him. His scoring average does drop vs the Suns to 17.4 points per game, however, that is only off from his collective average by 1.3 points per game.

But from an efficiency standpoint, Powell has ripped Phoenix apart, putting up .500/.444 shooting slashes—both of which are far higher than his collective numbers.

The Suns specialize in wing defense thanks to the services of Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Cameron Johnson, but Covington and Powell are clearly two guys who have been able to cook regardless. Adding them to this equation will consequently be tough, as they promise to make this rivalry with the Clippers far more difficult for the Suns to handle.

Next. Grading the Past 5 Moves Made by the Suns at the Deadline. dark

The good news though? Paul George and especially Kawhi Leonard are more than likely to sit out the rest of this season. So although this past trade deadline better equipped the Clippers to bring down the Suns in the future, they will not be able to do so at least until next year.