As the NBA’s Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches, plenty of rumors are bound to pop up from around the league.
However, few teams will probably be as mentioned as the Phoenix Suns, who are languishing near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and seem to be falling even further down the list with every game they play.
Yet, for as bad as their record is, there are still players on the roster who could draw interest from other teams, and with the Suns looking to hit the reset button, there’s a good chance at least a few will not be in Phoenix when the season comes to a close.
One such player, it turns out, may be forward P.J. Tucker. The 30-year-old is averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while playing stout defense and making 35 percent of his 3-point attempts. While not a star, he’s the type of player any contender would love to have, and it looks like at least one Eastern Conference team is interested in acquiring his services.
At 33-16, the Raptors hold the second seed in the East, and could see the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Tucker as the type of player who could help slow LeBron James, who as a member of the No. 1 seed Cleveland Cavaliers is a likely playoff foe.
What the Suns could want in exchange for Tucker, who is signed through the 2016-17 season on a three-year, $16.5 million contract, is unknown, though Stein has some ideas.
Speaking of Morris, Stein later noted the 26-year-old is also a player the Raptors are intrigued by.
Morris is in the midst of a down season, averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, but exploded for 30 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. It has been rumored the Suns would like to trade Morris ever since he lashed out at the organization for trading his twin brother Marcus to the Detroit Pistons, but his on-court struggles have likely hindered any trade talks they may have wanted to have.
At any rate, last week Suns GM Ryan McDonough said his preference was to make at least one trade by the deadline — and maybe more — so the idea that Phoenix could be active over the next couple weeks is certainly not a new one.
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