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Which team did the Suns discuss that ‘franchise-altering’ trade with?

Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Speculation of potential trade partners dominated the discussion around the Phoenix Suns Friday when general manager Ryan McDonough revealed to Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that Phoenix was offered a significant trade with 15 minutes before the 1 p.m. deadline.

It didn’t really get serious, but one team mentioned three very good players — probably their three best players — for three of our top players, and it would have been a blockbuster deal,” he said. “We thought about it briefly, and at the end of the day decided not to pull the trigger.

This would have been kind of a franchise-altering thing for us, in terms of a direction shift, so any time those discussions come up we obviously wanted more time to analyze it. Maybe there’s some other version of it we can reconstruct in the summer.

McDonough later added that the team was from the Eastern Conference.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro believes the team could have been the Chicago Bulls or Detroit Pistons.

With the Bulls it started because the Suns did their due diligence and called about All-Star wing Jimmy Butler, who was involved in trade rumors leading all the way up to Thursday’s deadline.

Chicago responded with a deal centering around 20-year-old Devin Booker from Phoenix’s side of things. That discussion didn’t get far.

Upon further discussions, the teams were talking about a multiple-player deal. The exact players are unknown but as McDonough mentioned, it could have involved top players from both teams.

There’s also the Pistons option. An NBA executive told Gambadoro that package could have been Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Those three would fit the blockbuster deal, too.

In other trade talk, Gambadoro thinks the market for point guard Brandon Knight involved situations where the Suns would be receiving other players around the league in difficult situations with their teams like Reggie Jackson, Ricky Rubio and Derrick Rose. Ultimately, there wasn’t a deal McDonough was willing to do.

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