5 Stars the Phoenix Suns Are Set Up To Trade For

No, this isn’t your typical Ryan McDonough roster filled with rookies or well past-their-prime veterans. James Jones has the Suns in a position they haven’t been in for a long time due to the calculated roster construction he put together this summer.

If things start off on the right foot, why not? The Phoenix Suns have themselves in excellent position to make a trade for the next available star by stockpiling tradable contracts along with keeping Tyler Johnson and his lofty $19 million expiring deal which can help when it comes to matching salaries in a blockbuster type of trade. Along with that they own all of their own future picks which could be attractive assets in getting a deal over the hump.

The financial flexibility they can create for others along with the enticing sweeteners they can throw in deals such as their future 1sts or one of the rookies they took in the 1st round of the 2019 Draft makes them an intriguing trade partner for any team looking to blow things up.

Tradable contracts: 

Tyler Johnson: 1 year, 19.2 million. Expiring.

Frank Kaminsky: 2 years, 10 million. 2nd year team option.

Aron Baynes: 1 year, 5.4 million. Expiring.

Dario Saric: 1 year, 3.4 million. RFA with a 4.7 mil. qualifying offer.

Others that can be moved if necessary to move the needle/match salaries: 

Kelly Oubre Jr.: 2 years, 30 million.

Cam Johnson: Standard rookie scale 4 year contract.

Ty Jerome: Standard rookie scale 4 year contract.

*gulps*

Mikal Bridges: {only trading him for a legitimate young star}

Five targets the Suns could pursue: 

1. Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards.
Bradley Beal and Devin Booker would be a dangerous backcourt without a doubt and you should forget about positions for a second. Forget about the contract you just handed out to Rubio, and forget about all the small forwards on your roster you’d have to potentially push aside at times. Beal is worth it all. You worry about everything else later at the expense of acquiring a top 20 player in the game (in my opinion) that is just about to enter his prime. If you have Devin Booker and Bradley Beal on your team you have a chance to win every night, plain and simple.

The package: Beal will be the most pricey on this list, as he’s going to cost quite the haul to land given his talent, age and team control combination. A lot of you will hate me for including Mikal, and I am a Bridges enthusiast myself but he’s the type of prospect that would need to be included to move the needle for Washington, otherwise there’s no realistic reason for them to make this deal.

PHX: Bradley Beal

WSH: Mikal Bridges, Tyler Johnson, 2020 1st round pick, 2022 1st round pick.

*Both picks unprotected

Ayton, Saric, Booker, Beal, Rubio would be a dynamic starting five, and you could also run some lineups with Booker and Beal playing both the guard positions with Oubre Jr. or Cam Johnson plugged in at SF for optimal spacing and creation.

2. Blake Griffin, PF, Pistons.

Blake Griffin might be the most underappreciated star in the game right now, as he’s completely reinvented his game to make up for losing some of his athleticism that he relied on early on in his career. He is not the best fit long-term, and the only way I see Phoenix pursuing him is if they get off to a hot start and are legitimately in the playoff race when they deal for him.

Very slim chance this happens, though I do think Griffin could be dealt to another contender if the Pistons struggle early.

PHX: Blake Griffin
DET: Tyler Johnson, Dario Saric, Cameron Johnson, 2021 unprotected 1st round pick.

3. Aaron Gordon, PF, Magic.

Gordon would provide a nice long-term power forward option and with Orlando potentially having a log-jam at the forward position, he could become available for the right price. Along with creating financial flexibility moving forward Orlando would get a monster asset in Phoenix’s 2020 top 10 protected 1st that becomes unprotected in 2021’s potentially stacked draft.

Gordon’s freakish athleticism and well-rounded overall game he’s shown at just the age of 23 would make him a nice fit with the young core moving forward.

PHX: Aaron Gordon

ORL: Tyler Johnson, Cameron Johnson, Dario Saric, 2020 1st (top 10 protected, if it doesn’t concede in 2020 then it turns into a 2021 unprotected 1st.

4. Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers. 

The James Jones connection makes this one interesting and very possible if they decide they want to pursue Kevin Love. His contract is lofty and he is getting up there in age with his production steadily decreasing along with some injury concerns so this would be a very risky move that could easily backfire down the road.

The one benefit in trading for Love is that getting off his contract would be a major win for the Cavs, so the Suns wouldn’t need to include too many valuable assets in this deal in comparison to the other trade packages listed.

PHX: Kevin Love
CLE: Tyler Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric, 2020 2nd round pick + 1 filler for salary purposes.

5. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Spurs.

The Spurs could look to fully embrace the rebuild and deal both DeRozan and Aldridge at the trade deadline if things aren’t going their way to start the season.

Much like trading for Love, by taking on LMA’s contract and giving the Spurs tons of cap flexibility with expiring contracts they’d be able to avoid giving up any major assets.

PHX: LaMarcus Aldridge

SAN: Tyler Johnson, Dario Saric, Frank Kaminsky, 2020 2nd rounder, 2022 2nd rounder.

As you can see, outside of Beal the main focus is the power forward position, and I believe if they do make a splash there’s a fairly strong chance it’ll be adding a power forward due to it being their only legitimate long-term need at the moment.

Maybe Dario Saric surprises us and blows up to have a breakout season, it’s totally not out of the question with his projected increased workload. However, if he’s not showing signs of being the PF of the future then he could be on the way out in a blockbuster trade sometime this winter. Stay tuned.

 

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