Three darkhorse trade candidates to fill Suns’ point guard needs
The point guard market hasn’t been kind to the Phoenix Suns.
With a blatant gap at the position, general manager Ryan McDonough has been active in pursuing a starting caliber point guard to no avail. With names such as Patrick Beverley, Cory Joseph and Spencer Dinwiddie coming out of the woodwork as potential targets, as reported by 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro, the Suns have only scraped the surface of potential fits with the team.
With the regular season just around the corner, it’s go time for McDonough and the Suns. There are talented guards throughout the league without secure roles in the league that could potentially be pried from their teams.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Suns are only shopping second-rounders in hopes of acquiring a point guard. While their options are slim, there are still some under the radar targets to consider in their search.
Heading into his fourth season, combo guard Delon Wright has taken the necessary steps to become a valuable asset for the Toronto Raptors. Standing at 6-foot-6, Wright is a commendable two-way player with a knack for creating shots for himself and his teammates.
In his third season in the NBA, Wright put up an average of eight points, 2.9 assists and one steal in 69 games for Toronto. Under head coach Dwane Casey, who has since been fired by Toronto and hired by Detroit, Wright increased his three-point attempts to 2.2 per game and connected on 36.6 percent of his shots from behind the arc.
Acquiring a 3-and-D point guard to complement star shooting guard Devin Booker would open up the floor for the young offense to operate while bolstering the backcourt’s defensive upside.
Wright is in the final year of his four-year rookie deal and will hit the restricted free agency market in the summer of 2019. He’ll make just $2.5 million this season which would make him the eighth-lowest paid player on Phoenix’s current roster.
Adding Wright to the lineup would make a major statement about Phoenix’s commitment to defense. After signing small forward Trevor Ariza and trading for rookie Mikal Bridges, McDonough has clearly worked to improve the young squad’s perimeter defense. Trading for Wright would not only continue the trend, but could relieve pressure from Booker on the wing.
Washington will enter the season with a stacked guard rotation headlined by John Wall and Bradley Beal as the starters. After trading for guard Austin Rivers earlier in the offseason, the role available for combo guard Tomas Satoransky has diminished.
Satoransky surprised in his sophomore campaign with 7.2 points and 3.9 assists in his 22.5 minutes per game. With Wall sidelined for half of the regular season, Satoransky started in 30 games and provided a valuable spark to the Wizards’ offense.
The Wizards are in limbo after finishing last season as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. They were outmatched by the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs and spent the offseason retooling their squad while retaining their primary core.
Phoenix would greatly benefit from Satoransky’s passing and shooting from the perimeter. The lengthy guard has proven himself as a solid distributor and a knockdown shooter. He shot a stunning 46.5 percent from behind the arc, albeit on just 1.4 attempts per contest in the 2017-18 season and finished the year with an effective field goal percentage of 58.5 percent.
Like Wright, Satoransky is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will enter restricted free agency next summer. He’ll command just $3.1 million this season and may be on the block with Rivers absorbing many of his minutes as the probable sixth man in the nation’s capital.
Michigan product Trey Burke made waves with the New York Knicks after spending some time in Westchester ahead of the 2017-18 season. The high-volume combo guard returned to form during his 36 games in the Big Apple, putting up 12.8 points and 4.7 assists per contest.
The 25-year-old will make just $1.8 million on the back-end of a two-year contract with New York. While his scoring output, passing and ball handling abilities make him a valuable piece for the Knicks, the protracted recovery of power forward Kristaps Porzingis puts the Knicks in a difficult position.
It’s easy to suggest that the Knicks punt the season with their star player recovering from a major injury, but there’s hope for the young core in New York. With newly hired head coach David Fizdale taking over, guards Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay may take center-stage in the New York backcourt.
This makes Burke an interesting trade target for Phoenix. His defensive efforts are questionable, but the potential scoring output of Booker and Burke on the perimeter could prove successful for head coach Igor Kokoškov.