Where Do The Newest Phoenix Suns Fit On The Roster?


Thursday was quite a busy day for the Phoenix Suns. In three different trades, the Suns acquired five players and three first round picks in exchange for five players and one first round selection.

Here is a complete breakdown of the moves that general manager Ryan McDonough made during his busy afternoon. This is from an email which was given out to Suns fans by the organization.

"In a three-team trade with the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans, the Suns acquired two first-round draft picks (2017 & 2021) and forward/guard Danny Granger from Miami, in exchange for Goran Dragic and his brother, Zoran. The Suns also acquired forward John Salmons from New Orleans, though he is expected to be waived.In a separate three-team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, the Suns acquired fourth-year guard Brandon Knight (17.8 ppg, 5.4 apg) and former Suns guard Kendall Marshall, while sending Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis to the Bucks, and our rights to the Lakers 2015 first-round pick (protected Top 5 in 2015, Top 3 in 2016) to Philadelphia. The Suns are also expected to waive Kendall Marshall.In a trade with the Boston Celtics, the Suns sent Isaiah Thomas to the Celtics in exchange for swingman Marcus Thornton (8.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg), as well as Cleveland’s 2016 first-round pick."

Feb 11, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight (11) drives for the basket in front of Sacramento Kings guard Ramon Sessions (9) during the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Knight – 17.8 points, 5.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds in 52 games with Milwaukee this season

Obviously Knight was the biggest acquisition that the Suns made on Thursday. It goes without saying that he’s clearly the best player out of the group that Phoenix received back.

Knight’s role on this team is clear. He’s going to take over the role formerly held by Dragic and be the Suns starting two guard alongside Eric Bledsoe.

It will be adjustment for Knight as he spent a good portion of his time in Milwaukee playing the point, but he’s more than capable of moving over. When Bledsoe goes to the bench, Knight could see some time at point guard as well. It all depends on much head coach Jeff Hornacek plays the next guy on this list.

Feb 11, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Thornton (4) drives the ball against Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (5) and guard Kyle Korver (26) in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Thornton8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists in 39 games with Boston this season

Thornton is an interesting guy. The combo guard put up monster numbers in back-to-back seasons with the Sacramento Kings earlier in this career and he’s really tailed off since then. His minutes took a huge dip in Boston on a roster filled with youngsters.

I’m not entirely sure how he fits on the Suns roster. It pretty much all hinges on what Hornacek does with him on a night-by-night basis.

There might be games where Horny goes with a short bench and gives the point guard minutes to only Bledsoe and Knight. If he expands the bench or if Bled or Knight gets in foul trouble, Thornton would be the only point guard option with experience that Hornacek would have now that Thomas is in Boston.

This will be an interesting thing to watch over the final weeks of the season.

Feb 1, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) dribbles the ball as Miami Heat forward Danny Granger (22) defends during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Granger6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists in 30 games with Miami this season

Just a few years back, Granger was considered one of the premier players in the league. Over a three-year stretch in Indiana with the Pacers, the forward averaged had averages of 25.8, 24.1, 20.5 points per contest.

Now 31 and with several knee injuries over recent seasons, Granger is a shell of his former self. There has been some talk that the Suns might even cut Granger, but that has not yet been confirmed.

I’m intrigued by keeping Granger around over the final couple months of the season.It has been well documented how this training staff has changed around the careers of several former once great players.

That’s not to say that he’s going to suddenly become a 20-point a night scorer again, but he might be able to provide this team with some key minutes down the stretch and a much-needed veteran presence in the locker room.

Jan 9, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Kendall Marshall (5) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kendall Marshall4.2 points, 3.1 assists, 1.0 rebounds in 28 games with Milwaukee this season

John Salmons2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists in 21 games with New Orleans this season 

Marshall was drafted by the Suns during the first round of the 2012 draft before he was traded back in October of 2013. Salmons was once a top free agent target by Phoenix.

Both players won’t be Suns for long as Marshall and Salmons are expected to be released. Neither is a surprise as Marshall tore his ACL earlier this season and there’s no room on the Suns roster for Salmons.