The Phoenix Suns are off to a frustrating start to the 2023-24 season. They are 4-6, and their Big 3 has not played one second on the floor yet. Bradley Beal missed the first seven games with a back injury, and Devin Booker has only suited up twice thanks to multiple issues. There has been plenty of headaches, but nobody knows what to expect from this team when everyone is healthy.
The Suns face several questions beyond the health of their stars. Jusuf Nurkic has struggled to make an impact on either end of the floor, but no team is eager to take on the three years and $54.4 million remaining on his contract. Their depth is a massive question, and new head coach Frank Vogel is still trying to figure out who to play. They have not settled on a rotation and won’t be able to nail things down until all three of their stars are healthy.
Phoenix needs more depth if they plan on winning a championship. Behind their Big 3, Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon are locked into their playoff rotation. Jusuf Nurkic or Drew Eubanks will handle minutes at the five, but the Suns may prefer to go small. Phoenix needs one or two more impactful postseason players, so here are five trades to acquire some much-needed depth.
5. Suns convince Nets to improve their depth
Royce O’Neale has been in trade rumors since Brooklyn was bounced in the first round of the playoffs. The 6’4 wing is a career 38.2 percent 3-point shooter who can guard multiple positions. The Nets want a first-round draft pick in return but did not get one in the offseason. O’Neale is on an expiring contract, so Brooklyn may have to take the top offer before the deadline.
The Suns would love to add a 3-and-D wing but do not have a first-rounder to offer. Would multiple seconds get it done if Brooklyn gets back a shooter? Here is a hypothetical trade between the two sides.
Watanabe played for the Nets in 2023 and shot 44.4 percent from 3-point range, but his minutes decreased after the trade deadline. Brooklyn has zero reason to tank but could attempt to clear some logjams in February. Watanabe could be a shooter off the bench that does not command the same playing time as O’Neale.
The Phoenix Suns are committed to letting Devin Booker and Bradley Beal share the ball-handling duties in the first unit but could use a backup point guard. Dennis Smith Jr. picked up his defense last season and could be a strong addition for the Suns, given their lack of rim protection.
Can Phoenix deal four second-round draft picks and get two pieces of their playoff rotation? This may be more of a dream trade than anything but do not rule it out if Brooklyn decides they must part ways with Royce O’Neale before the deadline.