Suns gifted perfect big man target after fellow contender is forced to waive

The Suns were gifted an ideal free-agent target.
Phoenix Suns, James Jones, Mike Budenholzer
Phoenix Suns, James Jones, Mike Budenholzer / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are not letting their second apron restrictions stop them from improving their roster. They finally added a point guard and signed a veteran big man. The franchise added three young talents in the draft and re-signed Royce O’Neale. Phoenix believes their Big 3 can lead them to a championship if they put the right pieces around them.

The Suns have one open roster spot and need depth. Grayson Allen, Jusuf Nurkic, Monte Morris, Mason Plumlee, and O’Neale give them a strong top eight, but Mike Budenholzer will need more pieces over the 82-game regular season grind. Phoenix hopes some young players step up. If not, their final addition may need to play significant minutes this season.

The 76ers just gifted the Suns the perfect big-man target. Philadelphia signed Paul George in free agency and needed some room to fill out their roster. It forced them to waive a 25-year-old with some untapped potential. Here is a look at why he would be perfect in the Valley of the Sun and how the franchise could acquire him.

76ers waiving Paul Reed presents an opportunity for the Suns

Paul Reed signed a three-year deal worth $23.5 million with the Jazz as a restricted free agent in 2023, but the Sixers matched. Years two and three were non-guaranteed, and Philadelphia had to make room after signing Paul George and Caleb Martin. Reed was waived and is free to sign with any team.

The Jazz and Pistons are the only two teams with cap space remaining. Reed may try to convince some franchise to sign him as part of their mid-level exception, but the 6’9 big man likely has to accept a minimum contract if he wants to play for a serious contender. That could put the Suns firmly in the race.

Reed averaged 7.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 block in 19.4 minutes per game last season. He appeared in all 82 games and shot 54.0 percent from the field. The 6'9 big man can protect the rim and rebound, which is something Phoenix desperately needs at the five.

The Suns signed Mason Plumlee to backup Jusuf Nurkic, but trading Nurkic is the easiest way for Phoenix to upgrade their roster before the deadline. Signing Paul Reed would give the franchise depth and a young talent who could blossom in a new system.

Paul Reed has improved every season and is still years away from his peak. The Suns would love to sign him to a minimum contract, even if they only get one year. Reed could be an impactful rotation piece and give the Suns some much-needed upside.

The Phoenix Suns are in no rush to fill their final roster spot and pay the implications that come along with the additional spending, but Reed is the perfect fit for the franchise. They should do everything possible to convince him to accept a minimum contract in Phoenix. It would certainly be a steal for the Suns and could help the franchise make a deep playoff run in 2025. There is just the convincing to be done.