While the Suns roster and fans themselves took time off during the All-Star break, the front office I am sure has been plenty busy as the NBA trade deadline is approaching fast. The Suns currently are having one of their worst seasons in franchise history and rumors have swirled around many of their players.
So what makes the most sense?
The stock for Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat could not be higher. Brown, Dudley, Gortat, as well as Markieff Morris have very good contracts in the eyes of other teams that could have significant value for a deal. Expiring contracts are always attractive as well which is the case for Telfair as well as Jermaine O’Neal and Wesley Johnson.
The only player that cannot be moved is Luis Scola because he was acquired via amnesty and cannot be moved by rule until July.
So what would make the most sense for the team? It is clear that the team is lacking a center piece to build around for the future. The name Josh Smith has floated around being dealt from Atlanta. The Hawks still have the hope of acquiring Dwight Howard if he doesn’t stay in LA. Boston I am sure is looking into Kevin Garnett takers with the team most likely looking to go young while injuries are slowing the Celtics hopes at a title run. The Jazz have surfaced as interesting trade candidates as they are reportedly shopping either Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap or even Gordon Heyward. And lastly there is a player that the Suns passed on in the NBA Draft two years ago, Iman Shumbert.
I list those names and quite frankly, it will take two or maybe three trades to build some sort of core that could be promising. Josh Smith is the only centerpiece type guy that could be built around but how good could that end up if he couldn’t get it done in Atlanta with Joe Johnson and some of the other talent he was surrounded by? Other than that, all those other players just remind me of more role players like the team is already made up of.
To give an idea of what could be out there for the Suns in the off-season for free agents to build around possible trade acquisitions before the deadline, there is Chris Paul and Dwight Howard(which wont happen), Brandon Jennings who is restricted and Monta Ellis who has a player option from the Bucks, Kevin Martin is unrestricted with OKC, Tyreke Evans is restricted with the Kings, Milsap, Jefferson, Marvin and Mo Williams are all unrestricted with the Jazz, and lastly Andre Iguodala has the option to possibly terminate his contract early with Denver.
Are there pieces that the Suns could acquire now via trade and then acquire when the off-season rolls around? Absolutely! The time to strike is now and they have to hit a bulls eye with these moves. Or else they flirt with the possibility of relying solely on draft picks which statistically hasn’t worked for everyone. Yes it did for the Thunder, but teams like the Clippers in years past and still remains the case for the Bobcats, Wizards, Bucks and Kings have been in limbo for years playing with that formula.