EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Grayson Allen’s diverse offense has boosted 3-point shooting, trade rumors

Jan 18, 2024, 4:48 PM

Grayson Allen drives against the Hornets in a Suns win...

Grayson Allen #8 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Brandon Miller #24 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 29, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Grayson Allen’s name is being tossed around the rumor-mill less than a month before the NBA trade deadline because he’s on a reasonable, expiring contract for a team that has little else to deal. The Phoenix Suns guard also happens to be playing really, really well, helping his value to his current team.

Allen is leading the NBA by shooting 48.0% from deep. He’s taking on tough defensive assignments alongside Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

And yet it’s the shooting guard’s driving while playing with the Big Three of Booker, Beal and Kevin Durant that’s getting more run than ever. It’s helping diversify his own offense, but at a grander scale, it’s helping Phoenix tap into an offense that’s far from blossomed.

Allen is shooting 37.7% of his shots from two-point range, including a career-best 20.7% within three feet, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

It’s a small number, but every bit of balance appears to have helped his efficiency.

“It’s a little bit different style of play,” Allen said, comparing this team to his Milwaukee Bucks of 2022-23. “When we have four or five shooters spacing the floors and we get in the drive-and-kick, you can get multiple drives in, multiple actions, multiple kick(s). When you’re playing with Giannis (Antetokounmpo), 70-80% of the time, (the opponent is) going to have five people in the paint because of Giannis. … Giannis collapses five people into the paint. You don’t need to re-attack that.

“With us, creating a lot of kick-aheads, where I’m able to drive in transition, a lot of that swing-swing where I’m attacking the closeout. And in the last month or so (I’m) getting run off the three-point line a lot more.”

Sort of. He’s still getting up plenty of open threes.

Allen’s three-point attempts have bumped upward in eight games in January (7.5) compared to November (4.8) and December (5.6) as the Suns put its healthy stars around him.

The boost has come in the corners, where he’s taking 29.2% of his threes from, up nearly 9% from last year with the Bucks. Allen is shooting 55.9% from the corners, according to Basketball-Reference.

But to his point, he’s also driving and passing out of drives more. His overall assists per game have increased from 2.8 and 2.6 the last two months, respectively, to 3.3 in January.

Allen is qualified in volume for the illustrious 50-40-90 club of players who have shot above 50% overall, above 40% from three and above 90% from the foul stripe.

Only nine players in NBA history have reached that mark for a full season, including teammate Kevin Durant last year.

Overall, Allen is averaging 13.9 points and 2.9 assists per game — not to mention an impressive 0.7 blocks for a 6-foot-4 guard (he said that’s mostly off strong helpside defense).

Allen is paid $8.5 million this year, but if the Suns even end up paying double to him as a free agent, it could cost the franchise upward of $60 million or more, depending on how deep into the luxury tax they are.

Which is why trade rumors are circulating around Allen as the Suns aim to fortify their roster. Though it could be tough for them to trade one of their most reliable — and best — overall players.

“My name has been in someone’s tweet every year I’ve been in the league,” Allen said. “I hardly pay any attention to it. Usually, it brings a smile to my face because it’s a little funny. I’ve loved playing here this season, I love playing with this team, I don’t want to be traded. … Usually it means someone else wants you. Hopefully, that’s the case and it’s not the team you play for wants to get rid of you.”

“Leading the league in three-point percentage, I haven’t like really been paying attention (to) much,” he said. “I was just talking to my wife the other day about planning our All-Star break, not even thinking that about being a possibility. For now, we’re planning to get in a nice vacation.”

Bol Bol out for Suns vs. Pelicans on Friday

Suns head coach Frank Vogel said forward Bol Bol will remain sidelined with a right foot sprain.

Empire of the Suns

Head coach Frank Vogel and Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns react to referees J.T. Orr #72 and ...

Kellan Olson

Booker’s ejection, Eubanks’ altercation overshadow Suns’ win vs. Pistons

Wednesday's Phoenix Suns win over the Detroit Pistons sure was a bizarre way to send a team off to the All-Star break.

6 days ago

Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after a basket during the second half against the Sacr...

Kellan Olson

Royce O’Neale unlocks new gear of Suns’ small lineup in win vs. Kings

Royce O'Neale in Tuesday's win looked like a perfect fit for the Phoenix Suns' style of play and what they needed.

7 days ago

Thaddeus Young, Raptors...

Kevin Zimmerman

What Thaddeus Young does and does not do for the Phoenix Suns

The possibility of Thaddeus Young joining the Phoenix Suns has floated as a hypothetical among the team's fans seemingly for the past decade.

8 days ago

2024 NBA All-Star game signage featuring a Nike ad for Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and his ...

Kellan Olson

Devin Booker talks paying homage with release of Nike Book 1 shoe

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker discussed getting to spread his creative wings with the release of his signature shoe, the Nike Book 1.

9 days ago

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors makes a go-ahead three-point basket late in the four...

Kellan Olson

Suns fall in playoff-like atmosphere to Curry’s last-second 3 for Warriors

The Phoenix Suns got a playoff environment on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors and it did come down to the last possession.

10 days ago

Cory Joseph defends Devin Booker...

Kevin Zimmerman

Phoenix Suns are limited in NBA buyout candidate pool

There's a 14-man roster minimum in the NBA the Phoenix Suns are a player short of. They can potentially target the buyout market.

12 days ago

Grayson Allen’s diverse offense has boosted 3-point shooting, trade rumors