Grade the trade: Suns fleece Nuggets in four-for-one deal

The Phoenix Suns made a move on draft night to secure some extra picks, but was it the right move for the franchise?
2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Despite sitting on their 22nd pick in this year's NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns moved on from the pick on draft night itself. A late offer from the Denver Nuggets too good to refuse, with the Suns going on to draft a player in Ryan Dunn with the 28th selection who looks like an ideal fit.

With owner Mat Ishbia taking to social media to send out a somewhat bizarre update on the future of Kevin Durant in the hours leading up to the draft, the trade itself took fans by surprise. The thought process had been that they might trade out of the draft altogether - although keeping the pick made sense - and in the end the Suns actually doubled down on this year's class.

But was the trade itself the right move for the Suns and what kind of grade to they get for the deal with the Nuggets?

Before getting into the deal, we need to see what exactly the Suns got back in this deal. As it turns out, it was quite the haul for a late first round pick. A modest haul, but one which massively helps to replenish the assets the Suns have at their disposal to make trades and draft young players on cheap contracts.

Suns/Nuggets Trade

The only downside here is that the Nuggets got a player in DaRon Holmes II who the Suns could have easily found a role for as well. That a contender like the Nuggets went out of their way to get him might concern some fans, but like every prospect entering the league it is too early to know what their ceiling will be.

Back to the Suns and this is a home run of a trade. They got a perimeter defender in Dunn who looks like a bigger and more explosive version of a rookie Mikal Bridges, and he is going to get minutes right away. The hope is that he can defend elite scorers each night - easing the load on that end for Devin Booker and Kevin Durant - while providing a motor and urgency lacking last season.

It was that general malaise which infected the group throughout last season that new head coach Mike Budenholzer needs to eradicate, and Dunn will help some in that regard. Offensively he's going to provide much to begin with - but on a team such as this one - he doesn't need to. If Dunn can pick off opponents for easy points and keep the ball moving, he's going to be a success.

To pick up another selection in this draft was a nice get for the Suns, especially as the second round was where they took Toumani Camara last summer. A player with similarities to Dunn, and who finished his rookie seasons having had some nice showings with the Portland Trail Blazers. Another roll of the dice with a rookie is what this organization needs.

Next. Grade the Trade: Suns regain their future by trading superstar in blockbuster pitch. Grade the Trade: Suns regain their future by trading superstar in blockbuster pitch. dark

They now have a G League team they can send Dunn and their second round pick to, and the pair of second rounders down the road are a nice addition. The Suns used three of these picks as part of a larger deal to acquire Royce O'Neale at the deadline last season, and these picks can and most likely will be used down the road in any trades the Suns try and get involved in.

Less likely - although still not impossible - the picks could actually be used in future to create a base of players for the next version of this team, or to trade once the picks have been turned into players. Either way, turning one first round pick into two picks in this draft and two down the road is a massive win for the organization. Unless Holmes II turns into a star, then we need to revisit this.

Final Grade: A+