All seems to be relatively quiet on the trade front for the Phoenix Suns. The franchise looks to be sellers rather than buyers before today’s 3 PM ET trade deadline. With Demarcus Cousins out of the picture, the team looks to be acquiring assets by selling at the deadline to position themselves well in the very near future.
Selling – P.J. Tucker
Several reports have surfaced throughout the season on the availability of swingman P.J. Tucker. Basketball Insider’s Michael Scotto sums it up best by stating that the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Utah Jazz are registering interest in Tucker’s services.
With the Wizards making a deal for the Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic yesterday, one can expect them to withdraw from the Tucker trade talks.
Word around the league is that if Boston does not find a way to land stars Paul George or Jimmy Butler, expect them to make a smaller deal, with P.J. Tucker on their radar.
Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune added onto Scotto’s original report, saying that the Jazz are looking at a three-and-D guy like Tucker.
Tucker is on a $5.3 million contract this season and not only adds shooting and defense to a contender but an expiring contract as well, making him a prime trade candidate.
Selling – Brandon Knight
The market for combo guard Brandon Knight is either dry or nonexistent. There have not been any rumblings about a potential trade for the young guard. However, with the NBA trade deadline, anything is possible.
Knight is two years removed from averaging fringe All-Star worthy numbers but has now found himself relegated to sixth-man duties. This season has been abysmal for Knight, as he’s coming off the bench for the first time in his career, and averaging the worst numbers of his six-year career across the board.
Devin Booker’s rise to budding stardom has clearly interfered with Knight, and the best course of action for both parties is a change of scenery. A point guard needy team could buy-low on Knight and hopes that he returns to the numbers he put up a season ago, 20 points per game to go along with five assist and four rebounds.
In the second year of a five-year, $70 million deal, moving Knight will be difficult, but not impossible. If a team wanted to trade for him, Phoenix is listening.
Somewhat Selling – Tyson Chandler
On Zach Lowe’s, The Lowe Podcast, ESPN’s Marc Stein recently made it known that the Portland Trailblazers made an unsuccessful run at center Tyson Chandler. The Blazers instead traded for Nuggets big man Jusuf Nurkic.
It seems as if the Suns are listening to offers for the 16-year veteran, but now it appears that they are content with keeping him as a mentor for their relatively young team. Chandler has not complained about the team’s losing ways and looks to be enjoying his role as the old man on the team.
Buying – Derrick Favors
Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Suns have at one point have inquired about big man Derrick Favors. In his report, Jones also relayed that the Jazz are unlikely to move Favors at the deadline unless the right offer presents itself.
Favors is on a cheap deal for someone of his talent in today’s NBA. He’s currently in the third year of a four-year, $46.9 million deal, considered a steal in today’s new NBA market.
Back and knee injuries have nagged the big man throughout the season resulting in a paltry nine points and six rebound average. He is a year removed from averaging a bit over 16 points per game, to go along with a little over eight rebounds and a steal and block.
Buying – Mindaugas Kuzminskas
Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto also reported yesterday that the Suns have shown interest in Knicks 27-year-old rookie Mindaugas Kuzminskas.
The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging six points, nearly two rebounds, and one assist in 47 games for the New York Knicks this season. He is known as a shooter who can knock down the three even though he is averaging only 31 percent from behind the line this year.
Trading for Kuzminskas would signify the franchise will inevitably move on from Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker soon and would like to have someone to fill the void. Kuzminskas would be given a steady role on the Suns and can grow into a player that can come off the bench and score for the team.
Although not the flashy, big-name trade target that Suns fans may be looking forward to, Kuzminskas will be able to develop with Phoenix’s young core.