Phoenix Suns Roundtable: NBA Trade Deadline Edition


We are less than a week away from the NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday and talk is heating up surrounding the Phoenix Suns.

Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said during an interview with Bickley and Marotta on Thursday that the team could make a move ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

With that as a possibility, let’s preview the NBA Trade Deadline for the Suns, a team barely holding onto the eighth and final playoff spot in a very tough Western Conference.

Dec 30, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second quarter of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

HeatWaved: Should the Suns be buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline?

Kevin Bonnevillle: To be honest with you, I think they are somewhere in between. Even if they do make a move, it wouldn’t put them over the top in a loaded Western Conference, so they’ll look at that. With such a young roster, they also really don’t have a lot of veterans to ship off to other teams like they have done so in years past.

Brendan Kennealy: The Suns should definitely be sellers at the deadline. With OKC just a half game behind for the Suns for the final playoff spot I don’t see Phoenix having much of a shot at maintaining pace with the Thunder.

Eli Burk: Both. Try and snag pieces to make a deep run in early June, but if a good offer comes across the table, don’t be afraid to make the move and sell a couple pieces.

November 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) dunks to score a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

HW: What’s the one area that you would like to see the Suns address the most?

KB: The front court without question. You can never trust ankle injuries, so there’s no certainty that Alex Len is going to return and play at the level that he did before the injury.

I honestly think they can address the front court without giving up any assets and that’s by bringing back Amar’e Stoudemire if the New York Knicks opt to buy him out.

Yes, STAT isn’t the player that he once was and his slew of injuries are a concern, but he’s a very efficient player when he’s on the court and the Suns have a great medical staff to get Stoudemire through the final couple of months. It would be great to see him back in a Suns uniform.

BK: Biggest area for the Suns to improve on is definitely their front court, particularly a center. Although I would hate for Len to have his growth stunted, this team will need a solid center moving forward to contend in the West.

EB: The Center position is the most important thing for the Suns to address at the deadline. The Suns could solidify their playoff position by adding a big man with good scoring and rebounding ability.

Apr 12, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) and Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon (8) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 101-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

HW: Which Suns player do you think is the most likely to be dealt?

KB: I’m going to say Goran Dragic. He’s in the final year of his deal and there are a number of teams who seem to be interested in his services for the final couple months of the season. It doesn’t seem like Miles Plumlee is garnering much interest, so I don’t see him as a trade option.

BK: I think the obvious names to throw out there are Dragic and Plumlee, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if either P.J. Tucker was moved as well. Tucker’s lock-down defense and high-motor could provide a spark off of the bench for a championship contender.

EB: Dragic. It makes the most sense to try and get something in return for Dragic, especially since he is most likely going to opt out of his contract.

Dec 26, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas (3) reacts after scoring a basket against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Phoenix Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-106. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

HW: Which player is the better option going forward? Dragic or Isaiah Thomas?

KB: I’ve talked about this a lot over the past couple of days. Given that Thomas’ numbers are in a lot of ways better than Dragic’s this season and considering he’s three years younger and is going to be considerably cheaper, I’m going IT.

My guess is that Dragic is going to command $12-14 million on a multi-year contract this summer. I’m sorry, but I don’t see enough separation between the two players for Dragic to receive that much money when he’s about to turn 29. I don’t care how beloved he is by the fan base.

That’s why it makes sense to at least explore moving Dragic before Thursday. It beats losing him for absolutely nothing this offseason.

BK: I believe that Dragic is the better option going forward simply due to size. Sure, Thomas has shown that he can light up the scoreboard at any given time, but Dragic can fully lead a team and has been looked upon as the leader of this team the past two seasons. It would be a huge loss if the Suns moved him at the deadline.

EB: Probably Dragic. With a taller, stronger frame, his perimeter defense would be a huge help for the Suns as we slowly approach the playoffs.

Feb 6, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson (15) attempts a shot against New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) and Pelicans forward Dante Cunningham (44) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

HW: Across the league, which big name do you see being moved?

KB: Every year, we hear the deadline is going to bring about a big name being move and more often than not, that usually isn’t the case.  I would say that the most likely big name to go is Dragic and I would even put that about 50/50.

Watch the biggest name end up being someone like Jason Thompson. I’m not kidding either.

BK: Dragic headlines the list of players that could possibly be moved. I could see the Detroit Pistons moving Greg Monroe for the right asking price. Denver could move Aaron Afflalo and/or Jameer Nelson. 

EB: I don’t see any big name players being moved, but one player to keep your eye on is Oklahoma City guard Reggie Jackson. There are a lot of teams that could use a point guard that has the scoring ability and big upside that Jackson possesses.