Suns let trade deadline pass, remain ‘well-positioned' for offseason
They listened. They inquired. But in the end, as the clock ticked closer to the 1:00 p.m. MST deadline, the trigger was not pulled on a trade.
The Suns are moving forward, playing the final 29 games with the roster as constructed; keeping in mind this current group of players has exceeded all expectations since day one.
"We're very happy with our team," GM Ryan McDonough said.
The Suns (32-21) sit sixth in the Western Conference and at the moment are one of four teams bunched within two games of one another for the final three playoff spots.
McDonough, in his first year as a general manager, said he and his staff were not willing to sacrifice the future to benefit the present.
"We like our long-term outlook a lot, and we're also happy with the way the team is playing in the short-term, so we didn't want to do anything to jeopardize our chemistry and the bond that the group has unless there was like a really special blockbuster deal," he explained.
So, no deal was ever close?
"I never really understand what that means," McDonough said. "No, we weren't on the phone at 12:55 with the league trying to get a deal in. We talked to a number of different teams about a lot of different things, but like I said, we were only going to do something if it was like a no-brainer that made complete sense in the short and long-term and we felt like it would help us now but also help us in the future.
"We felt like one of the special things about our team was the chemistry and the effort," he continued, "and the fact that everybody has bought in. We didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that that might be a lateral move or could even affect us negatively."
By standing pat, the Suns' available salary cap space remains intact plus they do not part with any of their upcoming first round draft picks.
The Suns could have as many as four, though three—their own as well as the selections belonging to Indiana and Washington—is the likely number of first round picks for what is expected to be a loaded 2014 draft class.
"That's valuable currency," McDonough said.
Besides the picks, the Suns, after the expiring contracts of Leandro Barbosa, Slava Kravtsov and Emeka Okafor come off the books, will have upwards of $20 million to spend -- should they choose—in free agency.
"We feel like we're well-positioned," McDonough said. "We have a lot of salary cap space next summer to chase around the top guys in free agency. Most importantly, we have a good amount of good, young players that we're excited about going forward."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
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