The Phoenix Suns have already swung one big trade this offseason, acquiring guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler from the Los Angeles Clippers for swingman Jared Dudley.
But will there be more wheeling and dealing on the horizon for the rebuilding franchise?
Some of the most frequent trade rumors surrounding the Suns revolve around center Marcin Gortat. A deal that would send the seven-year veteran to the San Antonio Spurs was whispered about prior to June’s NBA Draft, but never came to fruition.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 that there’s a reason a deal didn’t go down.
“Well, I’m certainly not looking to move Marcin,” McDonough said Thursday. “We think he’s a top-15 starting center in the NBA, and those guys are hard to find.
“We love his ability to rebound, to screen-and-roll, to finish around the basket, he’s a pretty tough guy — he’s strong, he’s athletic. Like I said, those guys are hard to find.”
Gortat, whose second full season with the Suns was cut short by a foot injury suffered in March, averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 2012-13. Only 19 players in the NBA matched or bettered those averages, so there’s obvious interest in a player like Gortat.
“I guess I understand some of the speculation when you draft a young center like we did with Alex Len, that (Gortat) might be moved or whatever, but that’s certainly not something we’re looking to do,” McDonough said. “We feel like Alex is a guy who will take some time. He’s just turned 20 years old, he’s coming off of an injury, so we’re going to be patient with him.”
Gortat is entering the final year of his contract that will pay him over $7.7 million.