Grade the trade: Suns leave it late to make trade deadline splash

The Phoenix Suns have added Royce O'Neale and David Roddy at the trade deadline, with the potential to add buyout players in the near future.
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns
Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages

It looked like the Phoenix Suns were going to let the trade deadline pass without making a trade - but the final hours ticking by - they got involved in a three-team deal that makes a ton of sense on the surface.

Full details of the trade are below, but the gist of the deal for the Suns is that they get to add a sharpshooter in Royce O'Neale - a player we predicted would be a great fit in The Valley before - as well as a young power forward in Royce O'Neale. Various picks are involved as well, with the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies the other two franchises in the trade.


Right away this looks like a good immediate move for the Suns, because they get two players in O'Neale and Roddy who in theory can be part of their postseason rotation. To do this without giving up any of Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon, Nassir Little and Drew Eubanks is a win, because all of those players figure to see the court when the playoffs begin.

The Suns didn't even need to get rid of Bol Bol, a player who continues to have intrigue around the league. O'Neale is only averaging 7.4 points per game with the Nets so far this season, but he is a career 38.1 percent 3-point shooter. The bet the Suns are making here is that O'Neale can be what Yuta Watanabe was supposed to be for this roster this season.

A knockdown shooter who will be afforded more space than he has ever seen before playing alongside Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. The matching salaries are reported to be Chimezie Metu, Yuta Watanabe, Jordan Goodwin and Keita Bates-Diop, a group of players that fans are not going to miss.

Watanabe had shown a couple of flashes lately, but O'Neale is an upgrade here. A modest one, but a player who can come off the bench when the Suns play Durant at the five and have both Allen and Gordon out on the court alongside Booker and Beal. This is where Roddy comes in though, because he is a big body who has started 13 games in what is only his second year in the league.

He played 70 times in his rookie season, and is averaging more minutes (23.2) and points (8.4) than he managed last season. Roddy is not much of a 3-point shooter, but crucially he helps the Suns get younger and in theory is a player who can be around for the long-term. It is not like he had outstayed his welcome with the Grizzlies either, they are just in a weird spot right now.

At only 22-years-old, Roddy also helps the team get younger and is used to coming off the bench. He is a more polished offensive player than Bol (that would not be hard), while he is just a better and more varied scorer than the likes of Metu and Eubanks while still possessing a big body himself. He will easily slip into the minutes Metu was playing, and will try to eat up some more.

Best of all, the Suns have now created two spaces on their roster to go after players in the buyout market. These kinds of guys are always overrated - it is rare they can help swing a title - but they don't need to do that. With a core of Booker, Durant, Beal, Allen, Gordon, Little, Jusuf Nurkic and now O'Neale and Roddy, two more veterans chasing a ring is exactly what this organization needs.

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The Suns did give up three second round picks in the O'Neale trade, while the pick swap with the Grizzlies could end up looking ugly down the line. Even more so when you consider the franchise did well to nail their single second round pick last summer, and select Toumani Camara. A rookie who was swiftly sent to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Deandre Ayton deal.

But the time is now for the Suns to try and win a championship, and they correctly parted with some second round picks to try and get better now. With the Los Angeles Lakers not doing anything and being given a rough time for it, at least the Suns worked with the limited means they had, and somehow still kept Little. You can't argue at all with this piece of business.

Final Grade: A