The NBA's trade deadline has passed, and the Phoenix Suns were active in trying to use what little assets they had to try and make their roster better. With the final hours ticking away, the organization made a flurry of moves that saw them send out four players, three second round picks and a future pick swap to secure the services of Royce O'Neale and David Roddy.
Perhaps not the needle-mover that fans were expecting - the franchise had been heavily linked with Miles Bridges in the run up to the deadline - but two players who it is hoped will be part of the playoff rotation when the time comes. Roddy is yet to suit up for the team, while O'Neale played 11 minutes in the tough loss to the Golden State Warriors recently.
Attentions now turn to the buyout market - and while the Suns should be active in trying to add a player to their roster - there are three they have to avoid.
The buyout market is a funny place, because every year teams trick themselves into thinking they have added a real difference-maker through these players that hit the open market. This is rarely the case, although the Los Angeles Lakers look to have done a nice piece of business in securing the services of Spencer Dinwiddie.
A player the Suns could never have even had a conversation with thanks to the new CBA rules, but that doesn't mean other agents won't be calling Suns General Manager James Jones lobbying for the his team to sign their client. Phoenix is appealing for lots of reasons, including state tax laws, the warm weather and the fact they're in contention, but these are three players to avoid.
3. Robin Lopez
It would be fair to say that center Robin Lopez comes across as one of the most liked guys in the entire league. Somebody who doesn't take himself too seriously, and who would fill a position of need for the Suns if they were to sign him. Beyond Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks, the depth at center is non-existent.
But the Suns should be looking for a more durable option here, and at 35-years-old, that would not be Lopez at this stage of his career. He looks old and creaky out there, and at this point has had two stints with his twin brother Brook with the Milwaukee Bucks, and on both occasions they've let him go. Back in 2021, the Orlando Magic signed him more for what he brought them off the court.
Lopez played only 16 games for the Bucks this season - managing a pair of starts - at 4.1 minutes per game. There's no doubt that another big body would help, especially with Chimezie Metu now gone and Bol Bol a center in body type only, but it should not be Lopez. If Nurkic was to go down with injury, having him play big minutes would hurt the Suns immediately.
Once the postseason begins, head coach Frank Vogel is sure to use Kevin Durant more at the five to unlock different kinds of lineups to hurt opponents. So Lopez would be a regular season addition only, and one who would be used sparingly at that. There's no doubt Lopez is a great locker-room guy who would help in that regard, but the Suns aren't a young roster and don't need that from him.