To no surprise, it sounds like the Phoenix Suns are keeping themselves busy the week of the NBA Draft, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The Suns have discussed forwards T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson in several separate trade packages, as well as the No. 6 pick, league sources said.
Jackson and Warren both currently sit in a logjam on the wing alongside rookie Mikal Bridges and restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. Bridges proved himself as a reliable cog next to Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton while the Suns are expected to do their best to bring Oubre back.
That has the future of Jackson and Warren questioned, who are both also looked at as two of the most logical players for the Suns to move in order to open up salary cap space. If the team were to bring back Oubre on his expected price tag of at least eight figures, Phoenix will have little to no remaining cap space left to fill holes on the roster at point guard and power forward.
Warren, 25, dramatically improved his 3-point shot in the 2018-19 season to 42.8% on 4.2 attempts a game. To go along with his steady scoring of 18 points per game, Warren changed his game. But what the forward has always been is limited in other areas, particularly as a defender and playmaker, averaging 1.1 assists per game over his five-year career.
The former first-round pick in 2014 signed an extension in the summer of 2017 that has him due to make an average of over $11 million each of the next three seasons. The Suns’ inability to get much versatility out of Warren, with him averaging just 4.0 rebounds per game as mainly a power forward last season, opens up the possibility of Warren’s departure.
The 22-year-old Jackson is the lesser-proven of the two players, but could still be sold on his potential as the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In two seasons, Jackson’s inefficiency as an offensive player has plagued his overall effectiveness, shooting 41.5% from the field and averaging more turnovers (2.0 per game) than assists (1.9) in 156 career games.
Should he stay, Jackson’s erratic decision-making on both ends and continued off-the-court flareups give the Suns a real choice to make on Jackson’s team option for the 2020-21 season of $8.9 million. He will make just over $7 million next season.