There are factions of Phoenix Suns A fan who wants to see the team grow to full potential and gain star-level talent.
The likes of Pascal Siakam, or even popular name acquisitions like Kyle Kuzma. While I’m certainly all on the team executing a trade to acquire either of those two names that have mostly surfaced for the Suns lately, there are more low-level deals they could execute that would better position the team for players who address weaknesses head on,
Before looking at a couple of deals that I think would do this team well, let’s note some housekeeping info:
They have their first-round picks for each of the next seven seasons.
They also have seven second-round picks at their disposal for trading.
There is currently an open place in the list.
You have $6.4 million in cash available to send and receive in a transaction.
Deandre Ayton can’t be dealt with Indiana Pacers (He signed him to restricted free agency, which the Suns are identical to), and he has the right to veto any trade.
Dario Saric on an expired $9.2 million contract.
Landry Shamet on a four-year deal worth $9.5 million each, but only this year and next year guaranteed.
With all of this in mind, let’s dive into a couple of “Non-Splash” deals I feel the Suns would better equip themselves for playoff games with.
Revisit a deal I talked about earlier
Around the new year, I wrote at length about the reason for the acquisition Jared Vanderbilt makes a lot of sense for the Suns.
As of now, the Suns are currently third in the standings (22nd) in defensive rebound percentage, as well as in traditional defensive rebounding (27th), and are lacking some size.
In addition to all of that, the Suns also lack a viable option behind Deandre Ayton, especially when considering who the team can trust should Ayton get injured or go wrong in moments of high leverage.
Vanderbilt is the player who has spent 33% of his minutes in the position this season, as he would provide the Suns with a small ball option in the five off the bench, as well as an athletic 6’9 presence and versatility in the glass. He averages 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, grabbing 25.2% of available rebounds when he’s on the floor, and is 92 percent among adults in steal percentage at 1.8 percent (he’s been 92 percent or better in each of the last three seasons there).
In addition to Vanderbilt, it will be the acquisition of Owner Paisley. He brought many versatility with movement, off-screen shooting, juiciness from the rebound, and scoring ability.
(A friendly reminder that Minnesota Timberwolves The franchise’s record number of three-pointers made in a game, with 11 and three-pointers made in a season, with 240 made last season).
When engaged, he is also competitive on the defensive side with active hands.
My favorite way to get those two would be through the three-team trade, specifically the three-team trade that The Athletic’s mentioned, the Sun Charania, where the Falcons would get Crowder+ assets, the Jazz would get John Collins+ assets, and the Suns would capture the aforementioned two.
Add versatile firepower off the bench
At 6’6, the Serbian sharpshooter doubles as a more than capable play-initiator and secondary ball handler. He’s also capable of creating for himself and running pick-and-roll, as well as wide and shooting from the action or across off-the-ball screens.
In terms of his shot profile, he doesn’t generate much frame pressure, but he’s very good at hitting the paint in a number of ways, and he’s adept at floating range, and combines a great sense of play with a soft touch. He’s a capable mid-range shooter, dead from the depths, shooting 38% of his career from behind the arc.
He is efficient in his shooting as well as in his decision-making with the ball in his hands.
Defensively, he was no slouch either. The Falcons have their issues as a defensive team, but when they were at their best two seasons ago, he was a major cog in containing the ball against the Wings. He was positive on this end and showed the chops to contain the ball with some physical strength, guard “up” and use his 220-pound frame to his advantage inside the arc as well.
Surrounded by a better pool of talent, and a system that would enable him to do more of the stuff he does offensively, he was thriving at The Valley.
The Hawks are in an odd position as it looks as if they are likely to trade two CollinsAnd Capellaor Bogdanovic to forgo the luxury tax moving forward, which has increased the Falcons’ incentive to part ways with their snipers, take expiring contracts at a much smaller stroke, while meeting the needs going forward this season.
This trade can be as simple as Bogdanovic and Aaron holiday To Phoenix, to Crowder and Sarek.
That would allow the Falcons to forgo the tax, now competing, and also give them two expiring contracts, while also introducing a positive tax on the Suns.
the Houston Rockets A young team in constant change. There are countless grumblings about unwillingness to comply with driving, with several court cases proving these grumblings to be true.
These, however, are not related to one Kenyon Martin Jr.
“KJ” is having his career best scoring season (11.0 points per game) and is active with his athleticism on the defensive end.
He would bring spark or “juice,” with great size, to the front yard set, with ample, infectious activity from the weak side defensively and in secondary edge protection.
He has a strong base, quick-twitch lateral movement, ambition as well as proactive when the opportunity presents himself on that end, whether for steals or blocks. He also offers endless versatility, as a point attacker, assistant or wing defender. Both of which you can never have enough of, to look at the abundance of talent that has been assembled in the Western Conference.
He has endless potential in this regard, with a heart to match.
Offensively, more work is still in progress. What is guaranteed to do is spark his athleticism with over-the-edge activity and an increased cutting feel, as well as his touch of depth.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks recently mentioned in “Trades He’d Like to See” that he’d like to see Martin Jr. trade to the Suns.
the I suggested Trade of Marx went like this.
“Kenyon Martin Jr. to Phoenix for the 2023 Big 14 First Reserve. If not transferred, Houston will receive second-round picks in 2023 and 2025 from the Suns.”
alternative As has been assumed By The Athletic’s Kelly Echo, Eric Nahm, and Doug Haller watch the Suns get involved with the Bucks and Rockets.
Both scenarios had a long-term goal Eric Gordon. However, one scenario was that the Suns caught him alongside KJ Martin while parting ways with Dario Saric (he was not involved in the Suns pick). Bucks are acquiring Crowder. Next, the Rockets took on a bunch of second-round draft picks off Milwaukee, as well as Saric, George Hill, Wesley Matthews, and Jordan Nwora.
The other had Suns holding Gordon side by side Grayson Allenwhile the Bucks acquired Crowder and Martin Jr., and the Rockets acquired Sarek, Torey Craig, and Margon Beauchamp, a 2024 Bucks second-round pick, and a 2027 Suns first-round pick.
Market is improving from Feb 9th NBA trade deadline fast approaching.
Consistent reports confirm that the Suns front office has been working on phones on multiple deals, and has been for a few months now.
The concern given the Suns front office’s track record is valid, but these reports, from multiple outlets, should bring short-term solace.
The Suns are one of the best-equipped teams to make multiple deals, and they could likely do so without touching their coveted first-round picks with three “Non-Splash” roster promotions.
The opportunity is there, so while we await the inevitable news as well as top talent returning to the rotation, keep in mind that the work is really being done behind the scenes, and the options abound.