Ideal Suns' free agent target has playoff moment with Knicks

The Phoenix Suns will need to sign a point guard this offseason, and one prime candidate just had a playoff moment with the New York Knicks.
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns are in a tight spot right now, and they don't have much flexibility to try and improve their roster ahead of a massive 2024-25 season. Outside of trading Devin Booker or Kevin Durant - which won't happen - the organization are armed with the 22nd pick in the NBA Draft and the veteran's minimum to improve their roster.

They'll never admit this - but if they could get out from under Bradley Beal and his no-trade clause - at this point they likely would. Although the hope is that a more offensive-minded head coach in Mike Budenholzer may be able to get the best out of not only Beal, but a group that never truly bought into defending on the level the now departed head coach Frank Vogel wanted.

The Suns are going to have to be clever when it comes to free agency, and they simply must go after point guard Alec Burks of the New York Knicks.

On the surface the 32-year-old Burks doesn't look like he would be a good fit in The Valley. Mostly because it is unclear if he could be gotten on a minimum deal. After all, the last contract he signed with the Knicks was for three years, $30 million.

On top of that, Burks was fantastic for the Knicks in their important Game 5 win over the Indiana Pacers recently, chipping in with a huge 18 points (5-of-8 from deep) off the bench. That's thd kind of performance that is going to get you noticed - and if not paid a ton of money - will increase the amount of interest around your signature.

Only Burks was traded away by the Knicks back in 2022 alongside center Nerlens Noel for... Nikola Radicevic and a second round pick? He then made his way back to The Big Apple as a throw-in as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic deal, and it is ironic that Bogdanovic is missing right now through injury, while Burks is contributing.

Really though injuries are the only reason Burks was given a chance, and it is likely why the Knicks won't look to bring him back again. If head coach Tom Thibodeau wasn't obsessed with playing his starters basically the entire game, perhaps he'd have a few more healthy bodies to rely upon at this point of the season.

Instead they had to turn to Burks - who played 13.5 minutes per game in only 23 appearances after returning to the Knicks - to shore up their shortened rotation. Why then should the Suns have any interest in the player? As already discussed, the point guard position is one that needs to be filled, but the draft is not the way to do this. It has to be a veteran through free agency.

When you consider Cameron Payne could be the best available player left to sign to the minimum, the idea of Burks becomes much more appealing. A career 38.3 percent shooter from 3-point range, he would set the table for his superstar teammates and get out of the way. Exactly what this current roster needs.

dark. Next. Seriously though... why can't the Suns draft Bronny James?. Seriously though... why can't the Suns draft Bronny James?

New head coach Mike Budenholzer might struggle to fit him in defensively, but this is a guy who made Jevon Carter a serviceable backup while he was with the Milwaukee Bucks. The idea would be for Burks - or whoever ends up getting this job - to start, but with the idea that sometimes they'd make way for the tandem of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

It's possible Burks gets offered more money to go elsewhere - a couple of teams could do with a veteran presence running the show - and his Game 5 performance likely caught the eye of some people. But there's no guarantee he goes for more than the minimum, and the Suns have to try and position themselves to sign him this summer. It would be an underrated and important pickup.