The Phoenix Suns are one of the league’s worst teams and have lacked direction since Amar’e Stoudemire left, to go to the Knicks. Since then, they have made some poor draft picks, spent cap space very irresponsibly and tried to stay relevant, despite everyone else knowing that they needed to rebuild the franchise from scratch. They tried to squeeze every single ounce of magic from Steve Nash, to try and win, but last off-season they were finally ready to let him move on, which was basically them waving the metaphorical white flag and signaling to the league that they were ready to rebuild. Every rebuilding franchise needs cap space, young talent and draft picks, and although they have future money coming and will likely have a very high draft pick this year, they need to make trades, to net major assets. Although they have absolutely no young players worth building around, they have veterans who carry value and expiring contracts that could net them some of the assets they need to start over and maybe even a star, if they are smart and willing to take a major risk.
Goran Dragic: 4 years and 30 million
Marcin Gortat: 2 years and about 15 million
Jared Dudley: 4 years, 17 million
Wes Johnson: 4 million
Shannon Brown: 3.5 million
Sacramento Kings Trade
Phoenix Suns Receive: Tyreke Evans
Sacramento Kings Receive: Jared Dudley and Kendall Marshall
Why the Kings do it: They are not going to resign Evans, so they should trade him and receive value while they can. Jared Dudley is a team first player, who plays defense, and plays the game the right way, which is someone that they do not have. He knows who he is and how to help his team and is a massive upgrade at small forward. Marshall was the best pure point guard prospect in the draft this year and is a great fit in Sacramento (or Seattle), as a pass first point guard, who will set up the offense and not take away shots from their offensive players, which is another type of player that they do not have. They need a passing point guard and a small forward and since Tyreke Evans is not part of their long-term plans, this would be a great move for the Kings.
Why the Suns do it: This is simple, the Suns would get a much-needed potential star player, in Evans, to build around. Evans has struggled the past couple of seasons, as the Kings have moved him from point guard, to shooting guard, to small forward, to the bench and back to shooting guard. If he had a consistent role and knew his place on a team, then he would absolutely flourish. He has All-Star potential and is at his best with the ball in his hands, but he needs someone to share the ball-handling duties with and Goran Dragic would be a perfect backcourt partner. Evans is a two guard, who can score, carry an offense and distribute, but he cannot run an offense as a point guard and he needs another playmaker in the backcourt to lighten the load, which Dragic can do. If Evans focused on scoring, while Dragic ran the offense, then they would have an excellent backcourt and the makings of a playoff team. Tyreke Evans is a star talent and the Suns need one, which would make this a fantastic deal that could turn around this sad franchise.
Atlanta Hawks Trade:
Phoenix Suns Receive: Josh Smith and John Jenkins
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley
Why The Hawks Do it: The Hawks have wanted to move All-Star, Al Horford, to power forward for years, but have not, since they do not have a suitable center to take over for him and because Josh Smith prefers to play power forward. However, after yet another issue with the team, which led to a short suspension, added to his upcoming free agency, the Hawks should listen to all offers. Gortat could be the offensive center they have wanted for years and he would go very well with Horford’s excellent two way game. They can both play inside the post and out if need be and are both excellent scoring options. Dudley would add some of the defense they would lose without Smith, he would be a huge upgrade on the perimeter and is locked into a very fair long-term contract. They would receive two very good starters on excellent contracts, while still keeping open cap space and losing their biggest headache, in Josh Smith.
Why the Suns Would Do It: The Suns would only do this trade with assurance that Smith would resign long-term, but the Suns do have the cap room to sign him. They would get an All-Star caliber player to build around and a very talented shooter and scorer in Jenkins, to help out a horrible perimeter rotation. They need a star to go into their next generation of the franchise and would get one in the 27-year-old Smith, who can score and defend among the best in the NBA.
Boston Celtics Trade
Phoenix Suns Receive: Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley
Boston Celtics Receive: Marcin Gortat and Kendall Marshall
Why the Celtics do it: The Celtics need a center in the worst way, as Garnett is currently playing there, despite being a power forward. They also need someone else to score and Gortat is one of the best post scorers in the NBA. Morris would add much needed big man depth, especially after losing Sullinger. Speaking of Sullinger, they would miss him and Bradley, their two best prospects, but their title window is closing and they need to win now and they have a better chance to that in the next two years, with Gortat than with Sullinger and Bradley. He has a small cap hit for someone of his caliber and would instantly improve the Celtics’ average offense. Marshall could also help the Celtics as Rajon Rondo is now out for the year and they currently do not have a true backup point guard on the team. Marshall is a pure point guard and could give them a pure distributor that they will lack without Rondo, while leading their second unit for years to come. The trade would also give them massive cap space in 2014-15, when Pierce, Gortat and Garnett, could all become free agents, giving them a chance for a quick turnaround, if they clean house and only keep Rondo. Sullinger and Bradley are both big time talents, but if the Celtics truly want to win now, they should make the deal immediately.
Why the Suns do it: They get two big time prospects for their rebuild and immediate starters, who are both on cheap rookie contracts. Bradley is one of the best defenders in the NBA and would improve their porous defense right away. He is also a good shooter and has the talent to become an excellent scoring threat. Sullinger will be a double-double player for years to come. He has been sensational for the Celtics recently, scoring inside and rebounding the ball at a very high rate. Sullinger was the best offensive big man in college for two years and simply knows how to score the ball, despite lacking athleticism. If it were not for fears of him having a bad back, he would have been a lottery pick. He could be the back to the basket scorer they have needed since Stoudemire went to New York. This would be a fantastic move in the right direction, giving them two long-term pieces. Yes, they would miss Gortat and Morris, but in the long run, Bradley and Sullinger are better pieces for this franchise.