Suns Trade Watch

The firing of Alvin Gentry demonstrates that the front office has either (1) changed to a rebuilding agenda, or (2) is finally being honest about their rebuilding agenda. We should expect the Suns to attempt to get younger or obtain more draft picks in the near future. Let's take a look at who is likely to stay, and who should be packing their bags.

Jermaine O'Neal

The signing of the ancient O'Neal never made any sense for a rebuilding team, unless he was meant to be some kind of teacher. He has apparently been some kind of leader in the locker room, evidenced by his status as a team captain.

While O'Neal started the season with a resurgence (thanks Aaron Nelson!), his play of late has tailed off, as he has been plagued by a chronic back problem, which makes him an unattractive trade target. His value as a mentor is seriously questionable as well, as he has led the league in technical fouls for a good part of the season, been seen throwing gatorade on an opposing player, and recently rumored to have been in a public argument with the GM.

The best the Suns could probably get back for O'Neal at this point is a second round pick, and that is only because he's 6'11" and knows the game.

Trade Value: Ultra-Low

Likelihood of Trade: High

Most Likely Scenario: Buyout

Goran Dragic

The team's best off-season acquisition has failed to be the savior of the franchise. This shouldn't surprise anyone, but that doesn't mean fans aren't disappointed, nor that the front office wouldn't see him as movable. In fact, the same front office already traded Goran once.

By all accounts, Goran was Gentry's guy, and Kerr's guy, and even though Babby re-inked him (at a discount), I wouldn't say that he was Babby's guy, or even Blanks'. There is a possibility Goran asks for a trade with Gentry's departure. There is a possibility the FO wants him out as well, as he is a vestige of prior regimes. And, Goran's trade value is actually pretty good based on his production and the discount contract that he signed to come here.

I would rate his likelihood of being traded higher, but there aren't many teams out there looking to ink a new starting PG mid-season, nor do the Suns have a replacement waiting to take over those responsibilities. Nor is Goran young enough to be viewed as 'young talent' to build around.

Trade Value: Good

Likelihood of Trade: Low in the short-term. High in the long-term.

Most Likely Scenario: Stays for Now, floated in trade talks during the offseason

Jared Dudley

Dudley has remained a class act and a consistent contributor despite the team's short-comings, as well as a bit of a media magnet and face of the franchise. He's on a very favorable contract. Do the Suns want to move him? Absolutely not. But you have to give up something to get something, and Dudley is a very attractive piece to many teams. Dudley would absolutely have to be an outgoing piece in ANY trade for a star. The question then, is whether Babby will try to trade for a playmaker prior to the deadline.

Trade Value: High

Likelihood of Trade: Low

Most Likely Scenario: Stays. With Rudy Gay trade talks dead, and the Kings entire roster frozen due to a change in ownership, there isn't a 'star' out there for the Suns to pursue, unless you count the re-surgent Carlos Boozer. Please God, no.

Marcin Gortat

Earlier in the season, apparent conflict with coach Gentry looked like it could be a catalyst for Marcin to change teams. That is no longer the case. While Gortat hasn't increased his trade value without Nash by his side by showing us an ability to create for himself, he also hasn't sabotaged his trade value with his play this year, posting a career high in blocked shots, solid rebounding numbers and decent ppg despite no plays actually being run for him. Gortat is a viable NBA big-man entering the prime of his career, on a reasonable contract, and there are plenty of suitors for his services.

Trade Value: High

Likelihood of Trade: Medium

Most Likely Scenario: Stays for now, floated in trade talks at year end. Big men don't grow on trees. Unless a deal comes along for a star, or a very high draft pick, Gortat will remain a Sun until the FO feels pressure to 'get something back' for him before they decide NOT to pay him for his next contract.

Channing Frye

We have absolutely no idea what's going on with Channing, and I'm not sure the Suns know yet either. While he is out for medical reasons, his salary is covered by insurance, which is attractive to owners trying to save money. If his condition doesn't get better, the Suns will get a medical exception, and his salary will no longer count against the cap, which could make him essentially an expiring contract. On the other hand, if he does come back, his contract is less-than-favorable and you have no idea what production you'll get from him.

Trade Value: Low

Likelihood of Trade: None

Most Likely Scenario: Robert Sarver continues to enjoy the benefits of having $6M worth of salary floor money covered by insurance.

Wesley Johnson

By Wesley Johnson, what I really mean is "expiring contract." About $4M comes off the books for Johnson at year end. Could the Suns be tempted to move that to a cost-cutting team in exchange for a real player? The stated plan is to pursue a FA, but after the recent events, will anyone want to come to Phoenix?

Trade Value: Expiring

Likelihood of Trade: Low

Most Likely Scenario: Wesley expires, and nobody misses him.

Michael Beasley

A change of scenery did NOT work wonders for Beasley this season, as he has posted career lows across the board, and led the league in plus/minus, in the bad way, for a large part of the season. In a recent interview, former GM Steve Kerr implied that no future GM would be willing take a chance on Beasley after his (lack of) performance here.

There are only two scenarios in which Beasley gets moved in a trade. (1) Gets traded for someon else who is also a team cancer. (2) Find someone desperate to get under the tax line to take him in exchange for a bigger contract (e.g. Bulls).

Trade Value: Negative

Likelihood of Trade: Very Low

Most likely scenario: Stays. Gets more playing time. Either improves, and stays, or doesn't, and gets cut and his cap hold stretched.

Shannon Brown

Shannon Brown has been exactly what he was last season, just in greater quantities. Is there a market for an inefficient scorer who does little else, but has name recognition and throws down occasional highlight dunks? History says yes. There's also the matter of his cap number making him the perfect 'throw-in' in any trade the Suns decide to make.

Trade Value: Medium

Likelihood of Trade: Medium

Most Likely Scenario: Traded in the Offseason. The Suns will be looking to get younger, and Shannon will be looking for someplace to showcase his skillz until he can get that 'next big contract.' Phoenix is no longer a good place to showcase.

Sebastian Telfair

Telfair has shown great improvement over last season, playing tenacious defense and avoiding sabotaging the team by taking too many low % shots. He isn't winning us games, but he isn't losing them for us anymore. As a journeyman PG, there is some value in him for a team with an injury at PG, perhaps. The Suns, meanwhile, have little use for a decent backup PG now, with Marshall needing minutes to develop.

Trade Value: Low

Likelihood of Trade: High

Most Likely Scenario: Traded. It would save the Suns money to trade him, even if they traded him for nothing, which makes it a likelihood.

P.J. Tucker

Tucker's minimal salary versus valuable output makes him a likely throw-in in any big trade, although the Suns would prefer to keep him.

Trade Value: Low

Likelihood of Trade: Medium

Most Likely Scenario: Stays. I don't think the Suns will find a good trade at the deadline, although they're likely to move Bassy and/or O'Neal in one way or another.

Morris, Marshall, and Garrett

They're the future, man... we can't trade 'em! Also, nobody wants them.

Trade Value: Non-existent

Likelihood of Trade: None

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