3 available trade targets to rescue Phoenix Suns bench scoring

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Bench potency appears the major question mark on the Phoenix Suns roster going into this season, with Sunday’s loss to the Adelaide 36ers doing little to ease concerns.

Having finished 17th in bench scoring last season, the Suns did little to improve that important facet over the offseason. In fact, with the absence of Jae Crowder signifying Cameron Johnson’s move into the starting lineup, Phoenix’s bench is visibly worse than this time last year.

There are a number of explosive offensive players for the Phoenix Suns to target as they aim to fill the sixth man role vacated by Cameron Johnson.

Johnson finished third in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season, leaving a major void now as the bench looks to find an adequate replacement. Identifying the team’s sixth man is now an arduous task, with Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet likely to lay the most claim. They really aren’t the ideal candidates though, signifying an overall lack of talent towards the end of the Suns roster. Phoenix’s bench went 20-for-53 (37.7%) from the field in the loss to Adelaide.

Torrey Craig and Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns.(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Torrey Craig and Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns.(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

Fortunately for Phoenix, there are options available should James Jones be willing to exchange a future draft asset for short-term help. The below options have been mentioned earlier during the offseason, but they remain available as we head towards the beginning of the season. Each of the three finished in the top 11 for bench scorers last season (minimum ten games played off the bench).

1. Jordan Clarkson

Mitchell, Gobert, Bogdanovic and O’Neale have been moved, but the former Sixth Man of the Year winner remains at the rebuilding Utah Jazz. He should get plenty more opportunities to get up shots, although that could subsequently affect his efficiency. Should still be able to be obtained for a lottery protected first-round pick.

2. Eric Gordon

The Houston Rockets looked exciting in their opening preseason game, albeit against a lowly San Antonio Spurs team. Gordon was in the thick of that as a starter, recording 13 points in 16 minutes on 5-for-7 shooting and 3-for-4 from deep. A good chance to get moved before the trade deadline but Houston will need to be well compensated.

3. Buddy Hield

Less of a shot creator and more of a spot-up shooter, although Hield’s perimeter threat would be very handy in Phoenix. A decent contract means a Suns deal would likely include Crowder and Shamet, with a heavily protected pick perhaps required too. He and Myles Turner look destined to head to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal involving Russell Westbrook.

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The issue with these three players is that they’re all at teams who’d be uninterested in Jae Crowder, unless they could on-trade him shortly after. Still, the Suns should make it a priority to acquire one of these players if possible.