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Woj: Luke Kennard trade being discussed between Suns, Pistons

Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard (5) looks to pass the ball as Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers (25) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

The Phoenix Suns and Detroit Pistons are in talks about a trade centered around third-year shooting guard Luke Kennard, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Phoenix’s first-round pick, presumably for the 2020 NBA Draft, “is in play.” A package that is “gaining traction” could also include point guards Jevon Carter and Elie Okobo, Wojnarowski adds.

Kennard, who is 6-foot-5 and 206-pounds, is currently sitting out games due to bilateral knee tendinitis. He has missed the last 22 outings for Detroit.

In the 28 games and 25 starts he’s played this year, Kennard has put together his best season yet. He’s averaging 15.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 44.2% from the field, 39.9% from three and 89.3% from the free-throw line.

Kennard would certainly be a welcome addition to the Suns, if he’s healthy.

Injuries have piled up, and the guard depth has been lacking for Phoenix behind Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker. The recent move of sliding the versatile Mikal Bridges into the starting lineup to play smaller five-man groups has only added to the lack of perimeter depth.

Injuries to rookie Ty Jerome (calf) and vet Tyler Johnson (knee) have forced backup guards Okobo, Carter and even undrafted rookie Jalen Lecque into action during the Suns’ current road trip.

Kennard would immediately jump all of them to become the third guard if he were acquired.

A dead-eye shooter, Kennard also has enough play-making chops to take pressure off Booker and Rubio, the latter of whom has battled a number of injuries this season.

Kennard is also on a team-friendly rookie deal, making $3.8 million this season and $5.3 million next year before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Kennard, 23, was the No. 12 overall pick in 2017 out of Duke. He was drafted by then-Pistons general manager Jeff Bower, who is now the senior vice president of basketball operations for the Suns under GM James Jones.


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