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Could the Phoenix Suns trade Gerald Green?
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Could the Phoenix Suns trade Gerald Green?

The 2014-15 NBA regular season hasn’t started yet, but undoubtedly you’ve heard references to the number of guards the Phoenix Suns have on their roster.

In case you’re wondering or scrambling to a roster to find out just how many backcourt players the Suns have, the answer is seven.

Of the seven, only one will be an unrestricted free agent after the season — veteran shooting guard Gerald Green.

That lack of remaining time on his contract has led to some speculation about the guard’s future in Phoenix. In fact, Green was the subject of one item in Grantland’s “33 Crazy Predictions for the NBA Season” piece by Zach Lowe.

31. Phoenix will trade Gerald Green.

It’s a matter of math. The Suns just inked Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, Zoran Dragic, and the Morii to multiyear contracts, and they’ll get an extra first-round pick from the Lakers at some point over the next three seasons. Barring a big trade, the roster is damn near full going forward.

Green will be a free agent in July, and while he was productive raining 3s for Phoenix last season, he may not have a future here. Trading him would be a gamble, since the Suns don’t have a traditional shooting guard with Green’s range. P.J. Tucker is a defense-first small forward, Marcus Morris is a tweener forward, and it’s unclear if Zoran Dragic and Archie Goodwin are ready to contribute.

The Suns do have three starting-quality point guards, and those guys will eat up a lot of the shooting guard minutes. Green is movable, and if the Suns can get a couple of second-rounders for him, they might pull the trigger.

As Lowe points out, it’s very possible, especially in end-of-game situations, we’ll see Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas on the floor together — or at least two of the three, which would mean Green could be spending time on the bench.

But as the young Suns try to make the leap into playoff contention in the Western Conference, Green could prove to be an integral piece. The 28-year-old was a spark plug off the bench last season, averaging 13.6 points per game and shooting almost 43 percent from three-point range when he wasn’t in the starting lineup.