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Suns reportedly trade 6th pick to Minnesota for Dario Saric, 11th pick

Dario Saric #36 of the Minnesota Timberwolves moves against Shaquille Harrison #3 and Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Timberwolves defeated the Bulls 199-94. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns traded their first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday in exchange for a pick five spots later and power forward Dario Saric, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

It’s the second reported trade in the span of an hour for GM James Jones, who has now made his first two trades since becoming Phoenix’s permanent general manager. The other trade moved wing T.J. Warren and the 32nd pick for the Indiana Pacers for cash.

The Suns acknowledged later Thursday that the team was in discussions to make trades, but wouldn’t comment further, adding that trade discussions would likely be complete after the moratorium ends on July 6.

Thus, the Suns traded both of their two picks in Thursday’s NBA draft but got one first-rounder in return.

Saric spent the first two years of his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and established himself as a stretch-four who could shoot and pass well. Over those two seasons, he averaged 13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27.9 minutes per game 48.4% shooting from 2-point and 35.5% from 3.

Last year, between Philadelphia and Minnesota, Saric averaged 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.0 minutes per game.

Phoenix giving up the sixth pick likely takes them out of position to draft point guards Darius Garland or Coby White.

With extra cap space from Warren and the Suns trading down from a spot they could have drafted one of the top point guard prospects, it appears they are determined to add a veteran presence at the position.

Ayton and Ray Spalding are the only frontcourt players under contract for the Suns next season, with center Richaun Holmes and power forward Dragan Bender set to hit unrestricted free agency. Saric now joins that duo.

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