1 player the Suns could trade to improve their title odds

If the Phoenix Suns traded this one player, they would be a step closer to contending for an NBA Championship.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
3 of 3

Why they won't be able to trade Nurkic

Sadly for the Suns, the other side of the coin here is a more realistic outcome. Despite Nurkic having a solid season in his first campaign in The Valley, it became clear in the sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves that there is only so far you can go if he is your starting center.

Yes he gives his all on both ends of the court, and he does have some kind of presence inside. But the reality is Nurkic is too slow and gets dominated by bigger centers - which the true contenders in the Western Conference possess - over a seven game series. Those aforementioned 11 points and rebounds dropped to 7.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in the playoffs.

Pair of renounced Magic players can re-ignite their careers with the Suns. Pair of renounced Magic players can re-ignite their careers with the Suns. dark. Next

Even worse, the NBA isn't the same as it was even 15 years ago, with far less franchises out there putting themselves in terrible positions and scrambling to get out of them. The one team out there that doesn't know if it is coming or going - the Chicago Bulls - already having a big in Nikola Vucevic who wouldn't even move the needle if the Suns could trade for him. Which they can't.

Perhaps next season Nurkic will look more appealing as he enters the final year of his deal, but even that is not a guarantee. Besides, at that point letting his contract expire to open up some cap space may be the play for the Suns themselves, although who knows what their roster will look like at that point in time. Trading him gets the organization closer to contention, but it doesn't seem likely.