Four potential NBA draft-day trades for the Suns
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough expects to field phone calls from other teams interested in their No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
In a draft with relatively even tiers of talent in the mid-lottery — and again in the late first round and early second — there will be options to move up, move down, acquire more picks or perhaps deal one of their current players.
While it’s hard to find a situation or even foresee reasoning for Phoenix to get involved in a blockbuster trade, here are four potential deals — based upon reports regarding other teams — that the Suns might think about.
Suns receive: Sacramento’s Nos. 5, 10 picks in 2017 draft
Kings receive: Phoenix’s No. 4 pick
Do you believe the rumblings of Phoenix’s interest in Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox could be useful for the Suns? The Kings desperately need a point guard and have already been reportedly willing to shop their two top-10 picks in order to grab him, per ESPN’s Chad Ford.
If they indeed want Fox and the Suns would rather have two lottery selections, then it would make sense for Phoenix to flip a Fox selection for, say, Jayson Tatum or Jonathan Isaac at No. 5, and then take either Frank Ntilikina or Zach Collins at No. 10.
Why wouldn’t this happen? Well, if the Suns get lucky and a player like Lonzo Ball or Josh Jackson falls to them at No. 4, they’d be happy to stand pat.
Otherwise, Sacramento would need to actually believe Phoenix would be willing to select Fox ahead of them if he’s still on the board at four. Additionally, this would also mean the Sixers wouldn’t be interested in the same Kings package of top-10 picks in exchange for the third overall pick.
Suns receive: Sixers’ Nos. 3 and 36 picks
Sixers receive: Suns’ No. 4 pick and 2018 first-round pick (via Miami)
If the Suns’ draft board has a tier after the top three choices that drops off considerably, and a guy they really like remains on the board, this could be the cost.
And it only happens if a higher bidder among a sea of them doesn’t blow Bryan Colangelo away with an offer.
That said, it also is a safer trade from the Sixers’ perspective since they can know what the Suns will do at No. 3. Getting another first-round pick next year isn’t a bad deal, either (substitute the 2021 Miami pick Phoenix owns if you feel like it).
As a minor note in such a trade, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Sixers are shopping at least one of their four second-round picks, and the Suns are in a position where one or more of those could become quite valuable.
Philly owns the 36th, 39th, 46th and 50th overall selection in the 2017 draft. Phoenix has Nos. 32 and 54, meaning nabbing another pick or two could give the Suns flexibility to package two late picks to move about high in the second round.
Suns receive: Nets’ 27th pick in 2017, forward Trevor Booker
Nets receive: Suns’ 32nd pick, guard Brandon Knight
Like any trade involving Brandon Knight, his value at this point might not be so high. In theory, he’s more talented than Booker, whose contract is sent to Phoenix and will expire after the 2017-18 season.
The Suns move up five spots from their first second-round pick; that’s assuming it doesn’t take moving back to trade Knight in this scenario. If that’s the case, maybe Brooklyn hands Phoenix the 57th pick and takes 32 off Ryan McDonough’s hands.
For the Suns, dumping Knight obviously is about long-term salary relief and an ill fit for the current roster. They could then try to flip the physical power forward Booker to a playoff team in need at the 2018 deadline.
The biggest question here is whether the Nets would like to take on Knight’s deal. Their front office led by Sean Marks is more savvy than leadership groups of the past, but there’s no doubt the team with the least talent on the roster could use a gunner who can get his own shot even if Jeremy Lin is already in place alongside projects like Caris LeVert, Archie Goodwin, Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead.
Adding another first-rounder
Suns receive: 15th overall pick this year
Blazers receive: Suns’ 2018 first-round pick (via Miami)
Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports the Trail Blazers would like to trade one of their three first-round picks this year. A roster locked up beyond the luxury tax threshold — and with so many players on long-term deals — needs flexibility, and the tax hits by adding three draft picks will hurt more considerably; including salaries and tax, it could be about $14 million, per Deveney.
This is simply about the Blazers trading a relatively even pick — if you believe Miami is no worse than a borderline playoff team next year — and getting one year closer to having more cap room (not to mention more relief via the rising cap).
Portland also owns the 20th and 26th picks, and the middle of the first round is a tier where the 15th-best player in one team’s opinion could be valuable as the 25th-best to another.
For the Suns’ purposes, there are defensive Indiana wing OG Anunoby (his stock could be hurt by a down year and injury), North Carolina shooter Justin Jackson plus centers Jarrett Allen of Texas, Harry Giles of Duke and Justin Patton of Creighton that could go anywhere from 15-25.