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Phoenix Suns GM: Makes more sense to trade in offseason

LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns general manager

The Phoenix Suns could make a trade prior to Thursday’s deadline.

Or they could not.

The beauty of the team’s position as of now is that they are very much in the thick of the playoff race, yet still very much in great position for the future.

With cap space and draft picks to offer — as well as some young talent, if they wanted to — GM Ryan McDonough surely has no shortage of opportunities to swing a deal.

If he wanted to.

“I guess it depends on what the piece is and what we’d have to give up to bring him in,” McDonough told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “We still have significant salary cap space that we could use without touching our core group of players.

“We’re going to be patient and not try to rush the process, so to speak, in terms of giving away picks and our young players or anything like that. Even if it would help us a little bit in the short term, we don’t want to do anything that would hurt us long-term.”

So in other words, there’s no telling if the Suns are going to make a trade or not.

However, he did say the trade front has been “relatively quiet” of late, adding if anything, he expects deals involving role players, not stars.

But for his team, anyway, there is a balance between adding a piece that could help the playoff push rather than hinder it.

“We’re 52 games into the season now, we have 30 games left,” he said. “It can be very difficult to bring in a player, especially if it’s going to be a significant piece of your team, to bring him in and think that he’ll have an immediate impact and he’ll help you in the short and long term.”

As McDonough said, it’s easier to make a trade in the offseason when a player has ample time to learn his new coaches and teammates, as well as strategies and expectations.

“This time of year, I think we’re in the midst of a stretch where we have six games in nine nights I believe, so I don’t know if we’ll be able to practice much at all in the next week and a half.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds like McDonough isn’t too enthused about the possibility of making a change by Thursday afternoon.

“It’s tough to acclimate guys at the deadline or if you bring them in kind of midstream,” he said. “I think teams are sensing that more and more and trying to get out ahead of the deadline and make deals over the summer or earlier in the season, and we obviously did that this past summer when we made the four different trades.”