The Phoenix Suns have done a wonderful job of completely remaking their roster this offseason. Think what you want about the haul that the organization got back for center Deandre Ayton, but there is no doubt it was time for him to go.
A package revolving around Jusuf Nurkic doesn’t look like much – but if he can remain healthy – then this could actually go a lot better than most are predicting. This is about much more than the players the Suns got in that deal though, as before that they knocked it out of the park in the early hours of free agency.
With eight players on minimum deals, as well as the known superstar element, the Suns have not only some roster flexibility, but genuine assets as well.
Incredibly, the Suns don’t have a single first round pick for the rest of the decade as a result of the moves that netted them both Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. When you have those two players though, as well as your “superteam insurance” in Devin Booker, how many first round picks do you really need?
The Suns are designed to win a championship in the next three seasons, before the hard questions about what direction the organization goes in after that begin to surface. Even if this year is a failure though, and the arms race to tool up on talent this summer has been outrageous, these five trade assets give the Suns a chance to remake their roster and challenge again next season.
5. Yuta Watanabe
Sharpshooter Yuta Watanabe is an obvious place to start, because it was a miracle the Suns even managed to get him in the first place. The Japanese international signed a two-year deal to come to The Valley, and he’ll be making around $5 million total throughout that period.
There is no doubt he could have gotten more money, and a longer deal, to ply his trade elsewhere for the next two seasons. You’re just not meant to get a 28-year-old who is able to defend taller players because of his own height, and who shot a scorching 44.4 percent from deep last season.
If the fit just isn’t working in Phoenix, which seems a long shot because Watanabe looks like the ideal player to have next to three superstars, then the Suns know they could move him in a heartbeat. The return would be the kind of veteran role player or unproven youngster that the franchise would feel could excel. Again no reason to move Watanabe, but they easily could.