The Phoenix Suns made minor moves this time around the NBA Trade Deadline. Let's take a look at what they were and why the franchise pulled them off.
Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks from the Toronto Raptors
According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns shipped P.J. Tucker to the Raptors in exchange for Jared Sullinger and two second-round draft picks. In other words, Phoenix traded an expiring deal with Tucker for an expiring deal with Sullinger, while adding two second-round picks — Toronto's 2017 and 2018 second rounders — to the mix.
Sullinger comes to Phoenix after appearing in only 11 contests, with averages of 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10 minutes per game. Having suffered a foot injury during the Raptors’ preseason game against the Golden State Warriors in October, he missed the first half of the season. At the time, the Raptors said that Sullinger would have a screw inserted into his left foot's fifth metatarsal as a preventative measure for any future stress reactions.
This was the same foot that Sullinger suffered a left metatarsal stress fracture in during his tenure with the Boston Celtics. He went on to miss the rest of that season as a result.
When healthy, Sullinger is a consistent double-double threat; however, consider the last 25 games of this season to be a tryout for Sullinger, as he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Suns are in stockpiling-assets mode as they look to groom their young core of Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss, Alex Len and Dragan Bender.? In the wake of this trade, this is especially true for Warren.
Trading Tucker to the Raptors opens up a consistent role for Warren, the Suns' young forward. Defense has been a knock on Warren, which is why the team often opted to play Tucker heavy minutes over him. Additionally, Warren was hampered by a head injury earlier this season, which further reduced his overall playtime. With Tucker up in the Great North, however, Warren can now develop as the pure scorer that he was drafted to be. Expect him to finish the season strong.?
Mike Scott, the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations from the Atlanta Hawks
The Suns have also acquired Atlanta Hawks big man Mike Scott, the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations in exchange for the team's top-55 protected, second-round pick.
Scott became expendable for the Hawks after they acquired stretch forward Ersan Ilyasova from the Philadelphia 76ers. The trade involved, in exchange for Tiago Splitter and second-round draft picks.
Phoenix made the move to acquire Scott in order to reach the salary floor. The NBA mandates that teams must reach $84.7 million in salary this season. This deal put the Suns just over the figure. Scott does not figure to be in the Phoenix's long-term plans as they only need his $3.3 million contract as a cap figure. Expect him to be bought out soon.
As for Akyol, he was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 59th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He has not played in the NBA, and don't expect him to anytime soon.