The Rockets and Suns agreed to a surprising deal Friday with Phoenix sending Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to Houston in exchange for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. The trade left a major gap at point guard for new Suns coach Igor Kokoskov, but the front office may not be done just yet.
After the acquisitions of Anderson and Melton, the Suns are reportedly looking to find a permanent starter at the point. ArizonaSports.com’s John Gambadoro offered a few big names Phoenix could be pursuing ahead of the 2018-19 season.
Suns have definitely been trying to trade for a front tier point guard – Lillard, Walker, Rozier – but to no avail. Situation at point guard now is not ideal and Phoenix will have to make a trade but Milwaukee pick that they own is not that valuable.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) August 31, 2018
That’s ambitious. Are any of these targets actually realistic? Let’s go down the list …
Suns trade rumors: The top picks
Damian Lillard: No. Nope. Definitely not. Lillard is in the prime of his career and the unquestioned face of the franchise. The Trail Blazers have Lillard for three more years under his current contract, and it’s not as though they’ve just entered a massive rebuild. This doesn’t make sense for Portland.
Kemba Walker: Unlikely now, but this is intriguing. Walker is entering the final year of a team-friendly deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. If things go south and Charlotte is falling out of playoff position in a weak Eastern Conference, will new general manager Mitch Kupchak pull the trigger? Or is trading away the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer before All-Star weekend in the Queen City a bridge too far?
Terry Rozier: Hmmm. The 24-year-old proved he was capable of leading the Celtics in Kyrie Irving’s absence, starting all 19 playoff games and averaging 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. Given that Boston overflows with talent, Rozier will always float around the rumor mill. However, GM Danny Ainge is known for his patience, so don’t expect him to deal Rozier unless he loves the trade package. This feels like a reach at the moment.
Suns trade rumors: Finding value
Spencer Dinwiddie: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently followed Dinwiddie on Twitter, leading to this great response …
Just left the gym and I see @wojespn just followed me. Should I be worried guys? Lol
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) September 3, 2018
The trade is coming! OK, not really. But for the Nets, this could be a question of how they view Dinwiddie. He only has one year left on a cheap contract, and D’Angelo Russell appears to be the point guard of the future. Brooklyn could attempt to find some sort of return before Dinwiddie is offered a nice contract.
As for his fit in Phoenix, Dinwiddie is a solid (though inefficient) scorer and creator off the bounce, which could make for a nice dynamic with Devin Booker.
Patrick Beverley: Similar to Dinwiddie, Beverley is under contract for one more year on a team with younger options at guard (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, Jawun Evans). Beverley is also coming off a season-ending knee injury, so it remains to be seen how he will bounce back physically.
Still, Beverley is one of the top perimeter defenders in the league when healthy. He finished second only to Chris Paul in Defensive Real Plus-Minus in 2016-17. And don’t forget his offensive ability — he’s a career 37.6 percent 3-point shooter.
Suns trade rumors: Just stay at home
Shaquille Harrison, Isaiah Canaan and Elie Okobo: This trio isn’t offering much offensively next to Booker. Harrison and Okobo are young and largely unproven, and Canaan is a career backup. These players are fine options for limited minutes or spot starts on a night off for the main point guard, but the Suns don’t want to see 60-plus games of work here.