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For the Suns at the deadline, it’s about drafting and development

Phoenix Suns' Tyson Chandler, center, and Eric Bledsoe question referee Eric Lewis about a call as Suns head coach Earl Watson, left, looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Suns won 105-103. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Doing nothing is saying something.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon. It is a vital time for Ryan McDonough. Just like players, general managers can choke because they feel like they have to do something.

The Suns need to do two things: draft and develop.

Trading P. J. Tucker or Tyson Chandler for second-round draft picks aren’t worth Tucker and Chandler’s worth to the team. If the Suns ever win an NBA Championship, Tucker and Chandler will not be receiving rings. They’ll be gone by then. What they are teaching the young Suns that might bring a championship some day is more valuable than what a second-round pick will bring to the table.

This isn’t the NFL. In football, a second-round pick needs to be an impact starter. In the NBA, most teams are elite or full of average 1st-round picks and second-round draft choices. Why would the Suns need more? Of course, there’s some good players that were undervalued at draft time and became successful despite having a second-round tag. The success of a few second-rounders is not enough to take away what Tucker and Chandler bring every day.

Tucker’s defense on Devin Booker every day in practice is more valuable than the second-round pick the Suns will bring to Las Vegas next year in the Summer League. Having Earl Watson’s best advocate, Tyson Chandler, in the locker room does more for the Suns’ future than any drafted role player or character project. Even if teams aren’t willing to meet your asking price, don’t budge.

The priorities of Ryan McDonough are simple:

1) Get Alex Len more playing time.

2) Only trade Tucker and Chandler for valued first-round picks or late first-round picks plus young talent.

3) Admit failure in the terrible Brandon Knight trade that cost the pick earned in the Steve Nash trade by moving Knight now or in the offseason.

4) Patiently allow Booker and Bledsoe to continue to grow. There is no trade to be made before the deadline that makes those two players more experienced, so don’t rush it.

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