6 Underrated talents Suns could acquire to boost their title odds

Phoenix Suns, Danilo Gallinari. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Danilo Gallinari. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns, Royce O’Neale. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Royce O’Neale

The Suns have three star wings but are light on trusted playoff depth beyond that. Josh Okogie had a fantastic opener but averaged just 20.1 minutes per game through his first five NBA seasons. Grayson Allen will be hunted on defense and may be taken off the floor because the team cannot get a stop. Eric Gordon is a bucket, but the Suns do not want to be relying on the 35-year-old for 30-plus minutes in the postseason.

Royce O’Neale is a 3-and-D wing whose team has made the playoffs for six straight years. The 30-year-old improved his ball-handling and playmaking last season where he averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.9 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. O’Neale can defend multiple positions, knockdown shots, and keep the ball moving.

The Nets have a logjam on the wing and somebody will be unhappy with their minutes on a nightly basis when everyone is healthy. Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are the preferred options next to Spencer Dinwiddie and Ben Simmons. That leaves Dorian Finney-Smith and O’Neale coming off the bench and likely playing under 30 minutes per game.

Brooklyn had Royce O’Neale on the trade block this summer, but could not recoup the first-round pick that they paid. Expect them to put his $9.5 million expiring contract back on the market before the trade deadline. The Suns have five second-round picks to offer, but that might be enough to land the 6’4 wing.