The Phoenix Suns have several areas of concern at this early stage of the season, and they’ve got the 4-6 record to back that thought process up. Availability being the most pressing issue, although it looks like we will see Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal suit up together for the first time this season soon.
The lack of dependable depth at the point guard position has also been a problem, with Booker now tasked with being the lead floor general for this roster, and Beal capable of creating for his teammates as well. With both having missed more games then they’ve played, at times this has been an offense by committee situation for the Suns. Not ideal.
But with the Chicago Bulls now looking increasingly likely to blow it up, the Suns could profit and add a realistic backup guard who would really help this team.
We say realistic because if there was one Bulls player the Suns would love to add to their ranks, it would surely be Alex Caruso. Unfortunately for this team, they don’t have the kind of assets the Bulls would want in order to acquire Caruso. They don’t even have a first round pick for the rest of this decade to offer as a starting point in any potential deal.
That means the Suns – as was the case this offseason when they did a wonderful job of filling out their roster – will have to go shopping in the bargain basement end of the roster in the hopes of finding a player to help out their rotation. Two come to mind on this Bulls team, and even one of them may be too rich for the Suns to get involved with.
That player is Coby White, a true point guard who would be upgrade with the second unit over both Jordan Goodwin and Saben Lee. White has averaged 12.6 points per game in five seasons in the league and has been a credible 36.5 percent shooter as well. Defensively he could also excel playing under a head coach in Frank Vogel who brings the best out of players on that end.
The good news here is that there is little doubt White is available. He likely was even before the rumors around the Bulls blowing it up started, with the three-year, $40 million deal he signed during the summer the kind of contract that is easy to move.
The bad news though, is that the $11 million plus White is going to make for the next three seasons is still difficult to fit into the Suns’ cap sheet. Offering up Nassir Little and the $6.2 million he is making this season is a good start, but so many of the Suns’ role players make around $3 million or less that it is hard to put a competitive package together.
White also cannot be traded until December 14th, but that wouldn’t deter the Suns if they continue to struggle with the lack of a true table-setter. Still, that figure White makes is harder to match for the Suns and other franchises are sure to enquire as well. White would be a nice fit – albeit not a perfect one – and is a player worth pursuing.
A more realistic option for the Suns who also plays for the Bulls, and so could also become available soon, is Jevon Carter. A former Suns player, Carter is now 28-years-old and since last suiting up for the organization, has gained valuable experience with both the Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Carter is not as good an option as White, but crucially he makes $6.1 million this season. Like White he too cannot be traded until next month, but the Suns could trade Little straight up in order to get him. Not that they would, Little has more value than Carter right now, but the point guard spot is a real position of need for the franchise right now.
Even if it is not Little, there are more ways the Suns could get to a deal that would net them Carter. He has his limitations, but is comfortable initiating the offense, and given the time missed by both Booker and Beal so far, would be a welcome addition at the right price. White is the real needle-mover though, and he is a player the Suns need to work the phones early to try and snag.