Woj: Suns could get in on Jimmy Butler trade, eye T-Wolves’ Jeff Teague

Sep 26, 2018, 10:49 AM | Updated: 4:35 pm

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague, left, drives against Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Canaan (2)...

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague, left, drives against Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Canaan (2) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

The Phoenix Suns have large salaries to shape an array of trades, plus a need for a starting point guard. So with Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler asking for a trade, that could lead to an opportunity for the Suns to get involved, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Sources of the writer said Wednesday that Phoenix’s desire to trade for a point guard “could factor into … trade discussions as a potential third-team partner” as the Miami Heat have reportedly risen to the top of Butler’s wish list. The Suns could find T-Wolves starting point guard Jeff Teague available if Minnesota desires Heat point guard Goran Dragic in a Butler trade, Wojnarowski adds.

That possibility has so far not gone much further than Phoenix checking in on how it could get involved in a Butler-centered deal, Wojnarowski reports. He added the cost from the Suns’ standpoint was too high, while 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s John Gambadoro reported that the Suns had not inquired on Teague specifically.

That’s a lot of ifs, but Phoenix has already been linked to Minnesota backup point guard Tyrus Jones. Wojnarowski confirmed the Suns’ interest in Jones on Wednesday as well.

Teague averaged 14.2 points, 7.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves last season while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. The 30-year-old is making $19 million in each of the next two years, with the 2019-20 season coming on a player option he would likely pick up.

With three or more teams potentially required for a Butler deal to work itself out, it’s hard to lock down what else the Suns would need to include.

Considering Miami’s lack of intriguing assets, Phoenix could potentially sweeten the deal for Minnesota with draft picks or the inclusion of a young player.

Financially, large sums of money would be exchanged in some way, and the Suns have several expiring contracts to help a Butler deal go through.

Center Tyson Chandler is making $13.6 million and could viewed as a cap asset to be waived by Minnesota, which would be hitting the reset button with any move. If he went to the Heat, the situation could be enticing, as he could play as center Hassan Whiteside’s backup for a potential playoff team.

Phoenix has the pieces to absorb Chandler’s departure with rookie first overall pick Deandre Ayton and backup Richaun Holmes still on the roster.

As far as piecing together the financial math in any deal, the Suns also have the $7.5 million contract of forward Darrell Arthur on the books. He was acquired in the trade of Jared Dudley to the Brooklyn Nets this summer and due to an undisclosed medical issue is not with the team as it goes through training camp in Flagstaff this week.

Butler has demanded a trade from the T-Wolves, but the team’s front office led by coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has been resistant to trading him and cold while speaking with suitors seeking a trade for Butler. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has been active pushing for a deal in agreement with Butler’s demands.

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Woj: Suns could get in on Jimmy Butler trade, eye T-Wolves’ Jeff Teague