Here are 30 players the Phoenix Suns can and (possibly) should target this trade deadline. I picked one target from each team and then a plus one as a bonus to round up to an even 30. Not all of these names even make complete sense, I just decided to make it this format to identify some of the top guys from each team. Process of elimination eliminates a few teams as trade partners as you’ll see below.
I don’t think Phoenix should make a blockbuster trade unless it’s a deal that is too good to refuse. What I believe James Jones needs to do is improve the bench, so that will be the primary focus for this exercise, with a couple juicier names thrown in for fun as well.
Ultimately for the remainder of this season I think the best option is to keep this group intact, add one key bench piece and try to rattle off as many wins as you possibly can and fight for your playoff dreams until the end. Finishing the year strong can build a great deal of momentum going into the offseason for young teams. Then you can re-evaluate during the offseason and try to do something more “splashy”.
Without further ado, here are the prime targets to upgrade this shaky bench:
*in alphabetical order
Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre’ Bembry, SG/SF. Bembry is an energetic wing that adds depth for a team not very deep in that department if one of their three SFs gets injured as we’ve seen in stretches this season. Not too exciting, but helps. Fit grade: 5/10.
Boston Celtics: Brad Wannamaker, PG/SG. This is very meh. Had to pick someone from Boston and there aren’t many logical options. He’s not a terrible player or anything, just doesn’t move the needle at all. Fit grade: 2/10.
Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris, SG. Now this would be a very nice addition, and it’s somewhat realistic that Brooklyn places him on the block since they likely won’t be able to retain him this summer when he hits the open market. Fit grade: 9/10.
Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk, SG. Monk is someone I liked coming out of college, and a change of scenery could benefit him. Might be a nice spark-plug offensively to boost the second unit. Fit grade: 8/10
Chicago Bulls: Tomas Satoransky, PG. Would the Bulls even move him? Probably not! Counterpoint–they are still the Bulls, so you truly never know. I’d love this fit for the second unit. Fit grade: 9/10
Cleveland Cavaliers: Larry Nance Jr., PF/C. Would this even fill an urgent need? Nope. Would it make them a better basketball team? Yup. Nance would be a solid frontline depth option for a Suns team that could use some help in that department. Fit grade: 6/10.
Dallas Mavericks: Seth Curry, SG. I’m not even sure Dallas even looks to move him, but Curry would provide some much needed floor-spacing for the second unit. Fit grade: 7/10.
Denver Nuggets: Malik Beasley, SG. Beasley is a very good player that is buried in Denver’s supremely deep rotation. Instead of losing him this summer, they could look to get something out of him before the trade deadline, and he’d be a welcome addition to the barren wasteland of the current backup guard rotation Phoenix has. Fit grade: 9/10.
Detroit Pistons: Langston Galloway, SG. Galloway is quietly having a very productive season in Detroit. He’s shooting 38 percent from deep on a high volume, 86 percent from the line and scoring over 10 points per game. He’d be a sneaky good pickup for what they need. Fit grade: 7/10.
Golden State Warriors: Alec Burks, SG. Burks has been a nice addition for the Warriors, and has put up some big numbers in an increased role with all the injuries they’ve dealt with. He’d be an ideal addition as a sixth or seventh man that can get buckets, which is what Phoenix so desperately needs. Fit grade: 8/10.
Houston Rockets: PJ Tucker, SF/PF. Not too many options that really make much sense on Houston’s roster for Phoenix, so I had to throw my guy PJ in here. Fit grade: 5/10.
Indiana Pacers: Doug McDermott, SF/PF. I have no reason to believe that Indiana would make McDermott available, but he would be a nice acquisition to help with their struggles from beyond the arc. Fit grade: 7/10.
Los Angeles Clippers: Landry Shamet, PG/SG. Shamet is a sharpshooting combo guard that could help take some pressure off the current 2nd unit guard rotation. Would love to add him if he becomes available. There have been some Baynes to LAC rumors floating. Fit grade: 9/10.
Los Angeles Lakers: Alex Caruso, PG. Let’s get him off the Lakers so everyone can forget he exists and so he stops stealing All-Star votes from Devin Booker. Fit grade: 6/10.
Memphis Grizzlies: De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG. Am I salty the Suns got rid of Melton for seemingly no reason this offseason? Absolutely. That is all. Okay, fine. My real answer here is Dillon Brooks, SG. Round 2 of trading for Brooks? Not sure if MEM looks to move him with his improved play, but he’d be a nice fit and does hit the RFA market this offseason. Fit grade: 8/10.
Miami Heat: Goran Dragic, PG. Miami’s roster construction doesn’t match up too well with what Phoenix might need, so I went with the third time being the charm for Dragic in the Valley of the Sun. Ultimately don’t see this being very likely. Fit grade: 6/10.
Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo, SG. I was pretty high on Donte coming out of Villanova, and he’s taken a solid leap this season in Milwaukee. Doubt he becomes available, but if he does then James Jones should be all over it. Fit grade: 8/10.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jake Layman, SF/PF. Okay, fine. I’ll be fun.
Target: Karl-Anthony Towns, PF/C.
I’ll bite. I know my guy “Suns After Dark” would kill me if I left KAT off here. I don’t think it’s going to happen this season, but next year or this offseason if Minnesota is still struggling then it’s something to monitor. If Phoenix moves up in the lottery then things could heat up in June. Fit grade: 10/10.
New Orleans Pelicans: E’Twuan Moore, SG. I’ve mentioned JJ Redick in the past when talking about target from the Pels, so I’ll bring up an option that would be cheaper and still make an impact with his floor-spacing ability in Moore. Fit grade: 8/10.
New York Knicks: Wayne Ellington, SG. Not a lot of options here. Ellington is having a down year, and I don’t think he’s someone that would help put this bench over the top by any means. Don’t see NYY & PHX as good trade partners anyways. Fit grade: 3/10.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Dennis Schroder, PG. Not sure OKC even all-out sells, but this could be a nice fit as far as filling that sixth man role that they need so desperately, especially when Booker is off the court and they need a bucket. I’ve been low on Dennis in the past, but he’s improved his efficiency and decision-making this year while accepting a bench role. Fit grade: 9/10.
Orlando Magic: DJ Augustin, PG. There doesn’t seem to be much of an incentive for Orlando to trade Augustin unless they receive an offer too good for them to refuse. If he does become available, it wouldn’t be a bad fit at all for both parties. Fit grade: 8/10.
Philadelphia 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz, SG. This falls under the same category as Orlando with Augustin, as I don’t see it being likely that Philly winds up dealing Korkmaz, and neither do I view him as a super attractive option to fill the void on the Suns bench. Fit grade: 4/10.
Portland Trail Blazers: Mario Hezonja, G/F. Hezonja does not move the needle and Portland does not figure to be a good match in a trade with Phoenix in any way, shape or form. Next. Fit grade: 2/10.
Sacramento Kings: Nemanja Bjelica, PF. Bjelica would provide some solid frontcourt depth and serve as a much needed floor spacer. Bye, Frank. Fit grade: 7/10
San Antonio Spurs: Patty Mills, PG/SG or Bryn Forbes, SG. Either one of these two guys would be excellent fits for the Suns second unit. They’d help with floor spacing and fill the desperate need of scoring off the bench. The Spurs have a ton of guard depth, so keep an eye on that situation. Fit grade(s): 9/10.
Toronto Raptors: Terrence Davis, SG/SF. This is another case of Toronto not being a great match with Phoenix in terms of being trade-partners. Davis is a promising young rookie that would be worth taking a gamble on and giving up multiple assets for. I doubt Toronto places him on the block. Fred VanVleet is another name to keep an eye on, though I don’t realistically see him moving this season. Fit grade: 7/10
Utah Jazz: Emmanuel Mudiay, PG/SG. Mudiay has been decent in a limited role for Utah, and none of their other guys make a ton of sense for both sides. Don’t see Utah as a trade partner for the Suns from top-to-bottom. Fit grade: N/A
Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans, PF. Bertans is one of the best shooters in the entire NBA and would be a terrific additon for Phoenix. Washington would be crazy to deal him, so expect him to be dealt immediately, because Washington is indeed insane. Fit grade: 8/10.
Names I’d like but are unlikely to be dealt: Karl-Anthony Towns, Fred VanVleet, Jerami Grant, Lauri Markkanen.