How the Phoenix Suns can get a point guard on a rookie contract at the deadline

The Phoenix Suns have a way of getting a point guard on a rookie contract before the trade deadline passes later this week.
Phoenix Suns v Detroit Pistons
Phoenix Suns v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

With the Phoenix Suns sitting at 29-21 and the sixth spot in the Western Conference, talk of adding a true point guard to this roster has quietened in recent weeks. This has coincided with the return of Bradley Beal from injury, with the combination of Beal and Devin Booker making the need for a floor general look unnecessary.

With Beal having 43 points in a win over the Washington Wizards recently - and Booker now a four-time All-Star and the Western Conference Player of the Month for January - the Suns' star backcourt is settled and finally getting some real reps together.

Yet with the trade deadline looming, would the Suns change their stance on this if they could get a point guard who is still on their rookie deal?

That player who be Killian Hayes, the 23-year-old fourth year player who is currently marooned on a six win Detroit Pistons team. Those around Hayes let it be known recently that the player would prefer to be traded out of the mess he currently finds himself in, which is where the Suns should enter the conversation.

It is hard to gauge just how good or bad Hayes has been in recent seasons, because the Pistons have been dreadful. With Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey also on that team, it makes sense for Hayes to get out of there and see if he can carve a role out for himself elsewhere. Hard as it is to believe, Hayes was the seveth overall pick in the NBA Draft as recently as 2020.

So there is every chance the best could be yet to come from the player, although it would also be fair to point out that at this point his trade value is not very high. Which is again why the Suns should be interested, because they could get a player on the cheap who could actually turn out to be an x-factor for the duration of the season.

It is already clear that Booker is at his scorching best when he is playing off the ball more, and the same is also true of Beal. On top of this, it feels like Kevin Durant is going to spend more time at the center position once the playoffs start. If the Suns could put a big-bodied four and a true point guard like Hayes around that trio, it would give head coach Frank Vogel a different way to hurt opponents.

Hayes is also a restricted free agent this summer, which would give the Suns the opportunity to re-sign a player to another long-term deal that would ordinarily be out of reach. Another franchise could come in with a deal - and with the Suns unlikely to be able to match - Hayes would be able to walk. That might seem like a bad thing, but in fact this can work for the Suns at the bargaining table too.

Knowing that Hayes could just be a rental, a package of Nassir Little (who at 23 fits the Pistons' timeline), one of Chimezie Metu, Yuta Watanabe or even Bol Bol, plus a second round pick might be all it takes to get a deal done here. Little has had his moments this season, but once the playoffs begin, he's going to be behind Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon in the depth chart anyway.

A best case scenario would see the Suns add Hayes and then get his Bird Rights and be able to sign him for more than they ordinarily would be able to through free agency as well. All of this for a player who only last season averaged an impressive 6.2 assists per game in just over 28 minutes played.

Kevin Durant has a message for the young players in the NBA today. dark. Next. Kevin Durant has a message for the young players in the NBA today

The need for Hayes might not be there right now because Booker and Beal have figured things out, and the front office shouldn't want to mess with that. But even off the bench Hayes would represent a different look, and he would be one that could stick around and would also bring with it far less problems than potentially trading for Miles Bridges.

Looking at the bigger picture, and the organization need to have a roadmap in place for when this current championship window closes once Durant has left town. Killian Hayes should not be the focal point of that time - that will still be Booker - but as a player who can help now and maybe in future, he is worth a look. On that kind of contract the Suns would be crazy not to at least pick up the phone.