Suns should always avoid Clippers player after latest antics

The Phoenix Suns pulled out a much needed win over the L.A. Clippers that served to remind the organization why they should never look to trade for one Clippers player.
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

With the Phoenix Suns' season hanging in the balance on Wednesday night, they put together a timely performance away from home to get the better of the L.A. Clippers. An opponent who only one night earlier had come to The Valley, taken the Suns' soul and pushed them back into a play-in battle.

With James Harden, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook all missing, there really were no excuses to drop this one. Especially with tough matchups on the road to the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves to come, and the Clippers having secured the fourth seed. Booker went for a team-high 37 points, to restore some calm to the Suns' faithful.

It was the antics of a Clippers player who also poured in 37 points however, that highlighted just how correct the front office was to never pursue them in the past.

So consider this an apology from us for even floating the notion that the Suns could and should trade for Bones Hyland back in December, because not doing so was the right call. At that point in time the argument was made that - with Harden having landed in Los Angeles - a microwave scorer off the bench in Hyland was going to be pushed to the margins of that roster.

That has proven to be true - Hyland has appeared in only 35 games this season and put up 5.7 points - but it wasn't because of the amount of star power that he got left behind. In theory the Suns need scorers who can create a little off the bench to pair with Royce O'Neale when one of Booker or Bradley Beal go to the bench.

But Hyland proved in the 124-108 loss to the Suns that he is just not it. He took an absured 29 shots in this game, making 15 of them, although he did go 6-of-12 from 3-point range. A far cry from the 31 percent he's averaging for the season, but further proof that he needs to shoot in volume to come close to having the kind of impact that the Suns would have needed this season.

For context, the Clippers starter with the second most shots was Amir Coffey at 13, although Brandon Boston Jr. did chuck up 24 in a starter's amount of minutes (40) off the bench. It was his antics when the game was out of reach and with the shot clocking winding down however, that had to be seen to be believed. Hyland hoisting it up from everywhere - badly - in pursuit of a 40 burger.

Hyland did actually play pretty well in leading a severely depleted team to have this game within four points at one stage late, and there were moments where you could see a competent eighth or ninth guy off the bench out there. But can you imagine if Hyland had chased 40 like that while in a Suns uniform, given the season they're having?

Head coach Frank Vogel would have probably sent him to the G League for life, with the demeanour and attitude of Hyland fun for some to watch, but the exact opposite of what the Suns need on their roster at this stage of the season. There's a reason the Denver Nuggets gave up on him after 116 games, and why he'll never be a serious part of the rotation for the Clippers either.

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The Suns will have to re-make large parts of their roster again this summer, and Hyland is making just over $4 million next season. There's no doubt he'll be available via trade - while that number would fit nicely into the Suns' stretch cap sheet - but this performance once again highlighted why doing that would be a bad idea.

Fun to watch if you're a neutral, terrifying if he has your team's chances in his hands.