Grayson Allen is leading something of a double life at the moment. He’s the Phoenix Suns’ best role player, and also their best (available) trade piece. That dichotomy has led to a fair debate that’s only been amplified due to his upcoming free agency.
On the one hand, keeping Allen probably gives the Suns the best chance to win this year, which is why they should ultimately hold off on trading him. He’s a perfect offensive fit next to the “Big 3”, and there’s no reason to think his play will drop off after an extension.
As for that extension, the Suns will have a great chance of re-signing him no matter his asking price.
Still, it’s not a sure thing, and that fear of the unknown can lead the Suns to the bargaining table with him as a trade chip. They want to build something sustainable, and if trading Allen leads to a slight drop off this year in return for longer-term insurance, then the Suns have to entertain that possibility.
Offering up Allen would also allow them to target players that they currently don't have the assets to acquire otherwise.
Things have quieted down lately in regards to Herb Jones’ availability, but last week there were conflicting reports on whether the New Orleans Pelicans planned on moving him or not.
If they choose to trade him, the Suns should immediately pick up the phone because he’s exactly what they’re looking for. The 6'8 Jones is one of the very best perimeter defenders in the entire NBA, capable of locking down both guards and wings.
This year he’s raised his 3-point percentage to a healthy 39%, making him a true 3 and D player. He’s actually fairly similar to early-career Mikal Bridges in that regard. There’s a strong argument to be made that that archetype is the best, most natural fit next to the “Big 3”.
Jones might be available because the Pelicans are prioritizing re-signing their other wing Trey Murphy III. That might mean they don’t have the intention of adding another upcoming, pricey free agent like Allen. However, Murphy and Jones are fairly similar players in their ability and role, so the Pelicans might welcome a different kind of player who's skills won't overlap as much.
The Suns would ideally trade Allen for someone with more years left on their contract, but Jones is the rare, available player that makes the Suns better in the present, therefor justifying a swap.