Trade Value and Trade Potential of Suns Assets


So, when I posted a breakdown of what I thought the Suns would be doing in terms of the draft and free agency this offseason a few weeks ago, a lot of the feedback was about how likely the Suns were to make offseason trades, and how this would drastically affect free agent moves and what we do in the draft. So I thought I would break down the trade value and trade potential of the various Suns assets in a similar way to how I broke down free agent targets and draft targets: paint a picture of the options available. Like when dealing with draft and free agent acquisitions, there are really infinite trade possibilities and, as such, this is just a breakdown of what I think some of the more likely ways of moving our assets are.

At the very bottom of the post is a handy chart I put together, looking at what I perceive to be the trade value and trade potential of all of the Suns assets (draft picks through 2014 included). Sorry it is at the bottom, but because I created it outside the application, it doesn't play nice with the formatting.

A brief explanation of the chart and its logic. The left-right value is attempting to capture how much interest there would seem to be in a player. A lot of this I based upon consideration of a player's contract, his position, and his production. The top-bottom value is based upon how much a player could feasibly fetch in return in a trade. This took into account again contract, but also the depth of the position across the league that the player plays, and the teams that would seemingly be most interested in acquiring this player. IF YOU WANT TO SIMPLY SEE THE END RESULT, SCROLL DOWN TO THE CHART. ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE CHART! Also, if you want to see a discussion of a particular player, simply scroll until you see their picture.

So, without further ado, here we go. Buckle your seat belts.

The Picks

The Suns' pick next year is likely to be at least mid-lottery. Both of the Suns' picks, then, have relatively high values. Lottery picks, even in weak-ish drafts like this one, are a valuable commodity. The 2014 pick is seen as having a high potential primarily because of the popular perception that next year's draft is projected to be so much deeper, meaning that the pick has more potential value in a trade today. That being said, it seems much more likely that the Suns' 2013 lottery pick is moved: I would not be surprised to see the Suns move down and acquire multiple late lottery/mid teens picks, especially if we end up at 6 of 7. I would be surprised if the Suns moved their pick for next year or moved up in the draft.

The 2014 first round pick from Minnesota is a little harder to grade. It is lottery protected (top-13) next season, but if the Timberwolves can finally get healthy, this pick could feasibly fall in the high teens/low twenties. This is a useful asset as a toss-in in a trade, but given the uncertainty surrounding the pick, it doesn't seem like something teams are going to be actively pursuing until next season.

The 30th pick in this year's draft doesn't have a ton of value, due to the draft's overall shallow depth pool. However, it could still garner something from a competitive team that needs one more piece, especially if that piece is a rotation big, as this year's draft is particularly deep in that regard. A team in win now mode, like the Spurs, is probably the most likely to actually pursue this pick. It is also likely a toss-in asset in any larger trade or any trade down.

2nd round picks are swapped all the time, but we already swapped our 2nd round pick, and the pick we currently have is very low value.

Point Guards

Goran Dragic



Dragic provides something of an immediate conundrum for the front office and Ryan McDonough. He's not a superstar, and likely never will be. He is, however, the best player on the team and the most valuable. He's got definite pros as a player: he's an above average distributor, an active architect of the offense, and can carry the scoring load when necessary. However, he also has cons: he's only an average defender, he is not terribly efficient as a scorer, and he still turns the ball over too much.

The biggest problem with Dragic that the front office faces is that, given the depth of the PG position right now, there are very few teams that would seemingly be interested in Dragic. Only 4 teams can be said to be realistically desperate for a starting caliber PG: Sacramento, Utah, Dallas and Orlando. The Lakers, Hawks and Pacers are all potentially looking for a point guard, but a starting caliber point guard is likely not on their radar.

Utah (2013 starter Mo Williams/Jamaal Tinsley) has few assets they would seemingly be willing to part with other than Alec Burks, but they really need consistent point guard play, and the Utah front office is notoriously secretive and unpredictable. Any trade with the Jazz would likely involve Burks and at least one of their two first round picks (14 and 21). An interesting potential move would be Burks and the two picks for our lottery pick and Dragic, though I imagine some BrightSiders just had a panic attack.

The Mavericks (2013 starter by committee) have next to no assets of real worth to offer in a trade for Dragic. Bernard James and Jae Crowder (and potentially Brandan Wright if they re-sign him) all have role-player value, but aren't going to cut it in a trade for Dragic. Mark Cuban would have to wheel and deal, likely dealing a player (probably Crowder), the lottery pick this season (projected 13) and cash if he wanted to land Dragic.

Sacramento (2013 starter Isaiah Thomas) has DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, as well as young assets in Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson, Toney Douglas and Jimmer Fredette. They also possess the #6 pick in this draft. They really need solid play out of the point guard position, and Evans and Thomas cannot provide that. Given the recent sale of the team, however, I don't know how active the team is going to be on the trade market. Any trade here, however, would likely have to include Evans/Thornton and Thomas, however.

Orlando (2013 starter Jameer Nelson/Beno Udrih) seemingly would have the most to offer in return for Dragic, and also the most need for him. Point guard was their biggest weakness last season. They have young assets in Nikola Vucevic, Kyle O'Quinn, Andrew Nicholson, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless and Doron Lamb. Their lottery pick, likely top 3, is probably off the board. A trade would have to include at least one of these players, maybe two, Jameer Nelson, and a future conditional first rounder.

Overall, I don't think the chances of Dragic getting moved are very high. He's the best player on very bad team, which normally doesn't speak to great job security in the NBA. But the market just isn't there for him. The two teams that could use him the most and are in win-now scenarios seem to have little to realistically offer, while the younger teams seem like they are looking for more long-term prospects, just like us. This leaves Dragic at a Medium Value/Low Potential rating.

Kendall Marshall



I don't think anyone is really out there asking about Marshall's availability for a trade, which is somewhat disappointing for an 11th pick one year removed from being drafted.

That being said, it wasn't all negative last season. He showed that he can be a really steady distributor of the basketball. If he can cut his turnovers down and play even a modicum of defense, he has staying power as a backup, a la Jamaal Tinsley.

Because of his age and his rookie contract, he has some value as added money and developmental potential in a trade featuring other players.

That being said, I'd be surprised if he was moved. This leaves him at Low Value/Medium Potential.

Shooting Guards

Jared Dudley



Dudley isn't the most traditional of shooting guards, but since that is largely where he played this last season, he's going to be lumped here. He had somewhat of a disappointing season, and was largely unable to take the reins of the team, largely confirming what many of us thought beforehand: his perfect role is probably as a 6th man.

Now, being lumped in with the shooting guards has its advantages for Dudley. He actually grades out as a very solid 2 guard in the league, at least partially because of how weak the position is overall, with aging stars declining (Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson) and young players not developing the way teams had hoped (Eric Gordon, Iman Shumpert, Alec Burks). Dudley is a lights out spot up shooter from beyond the arc and with deep twos, and he established this year that he is a more than willing distributor. All is not fabulous, however: he is a fairly underwhelming athlete, which translates into subpar rebounding and defense generally. Some of this is mitigated when playing at the 2 guard because of his size advantage, but its still a concern.

What type of team does Dudley seem to fit? He would have a lot of value on a team that lacks a legitimate outside shooter. While he could be seen as a starting shooting guard, he also would be a great asset for any team looking for an offensive minded 6th man. This makes him a valuable commodity, and really any team could use him. In particular, the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Nuggets, Bulls, 76ers, Pacers and Hawks, given their current 2 guard situation, seem like possible destinations.

With Memphis (2013 starter Tony Allen), Dudley is likely a 6th man G/F. He would basically be a replacement for Jerryd Bayless, and would be the scoring threat on the second unit, more or less in charge of the offense. He could also potentially be the starter, depending on how the situation with Tony Allen plays out in free agency. The most intriguing prospect that the Grizzlies would potentially make available is Ed Davis, but Donte Greene, Jon Leuer and Qunicy Pondexter are all interesting as well. The Grizzlies, however, do not have any picks to offer until next season.

The Mavericks (2013 starter OJ Mayo) look like they may be parting ways with Mayo, which leaves them with a scoring gap at 2 guard. With the Mavs, Dudley projects as a starter. The Mavs don't really have any assets, though Jae Crowder is somewhat reminiscent of a young Dudley (think defensive minded rather than offensive). However, their late lottery pick, in conjunction with Crowder, may be enough to turn some heads in the front office.

The Nuggets (2013 starter Andre Iguodala) are perhaps the least likely to make this type of move: they drafted Evan Fournier last year, and are actively trying to retain Andre Iguodala. However, if they cannot retain Iggy, Dudley seems like a fair consolation target. Denver has young assets in Fournier, Jordan Hamilton, Quincy Miller and Julyan Stone, as well as the 27th pick in this year's draft. A combination of one or two of the aforementioned players and the late first rounder might be enough to land Dudley.

The Bulls (2013 starter Rip Hamilton/Marco Belinelli) struggled at the SG position this season. While Belinelli continued his adequate 6th man scoring production, he is not a starting caliber guard, and Hamilton is increasingly showing his age. With the Bulls, Dudley projects as a starter. What the Bulls lack, however, is the intriguing young talent that is likely to make a trade like this work. Jimmy Butler is their best asset, but he's likely untouchable after his fantastic playoff performance. That leaves only picks, and with the Bulls picking at 20, there isn't much value to be had.

The 76ers (2013 starter Damien Wilkins/Jason Richardson) might have actually been a playoff contender with better production from the 2 guard spot. The SG position is currently the oldest on the team, and pretty desperately needs an upgrade if they are going to compete. Young assets that could potentially be available include Evan Turner, Arnett Moultrie, Justin Holiday (brother of Jrue, a D-League monster but relatively unproven at the NBA level) and Thaddeus Young, and they also possess a late lottery pick (likely 11). They could potentially be in the market for a starting center, as well, as the Bynum saga winds down.

The Pacers (2013 starter Lance Stephenson) might seem something of a stretch, given their current playoff run and the at least somewhat acceptable development of Stephenson and rookie backup Orlando Johnson. However, this was by far Indy's weakest position this season, and an upgrade at least seems like a possibility. The team is somewhat lacking in young assets, but Stephenson and Johnson are likely available, as well as their 23rd pick in the draft. A trade would likely have to include one of those two, the pick, and perhaps a second rounder.

Finally, for the Hawks (2013 starter Devin Harris/Lou Williams) a true catch a shoot threat could potentially be a good complement to the slashing Jeff Teague and the high post threat of Al Horford. Whether a starter or a 6th man behind Lou Williams, Dudley would be a real threat. The Hawks to some degree lack young, available talent, with John Jenkins (at the moment a poor man's Dudley) the only real player worth anything. However, the Hawks do possess the 17th and 18th picks in the draft, which could have interesting trade value for the Suns if international players who would remain in Europe next year are available (Rudy Gobert, Giannis Adetokunbo).

Dudley's particularly reasonable contract, and the dearth of talent at the SG position, make him a legitimate trade chip. While the possibility of him being moved isn't great (largely for those same reasons), I would not be surprised at all if he is moved, which leaves him at a Medium Value/Medium Potential rating.

PJ Tucker



Tucker is a weird one to grade. His trade potential is high, primarily because he is the kind of energy/effort guy that almost any team would want. Its true that his stats weren't particularly good, but they also weren't particularly bad: averaging his positional ranking among shooting guards who played at least 20 games and at least 10 minutes a game (69 players) he came in 53 ins TS%, 24 in Win Score, 6 in Defensive Rebound Rate, 34 in Usage Rate and 48 in Effective Field Goal %, for an average of around 34, or a top tier second unit player.

His weaknesses are notable: he's not a prolific scorer, nor an efficient one, and he's not exactly a great athlete.

However, he's a stingy defender, a fantastic rebounder, a does many of the little things on the court that coaches and superstars love.

He would be a good addition for teams that don't need him to score, but could utilize his energy. While any team could realistically use him, there are a few teams that tend to pursue players like Tucker: San Antonio, Miami, and both Los Angeles teams.

San Antonio (2013 starter Danny Green) might not seem obvious, what with Ginobli providing backup minutes for most of the season. The future is uncertain with Ginobli, however, and if he isn't retained a move to a more defensive minded backup guard doesn't seem unlikely with the departure of Stephen Jackson as well. It wouldn't seem terribly unlikely that a win-now team like the Spurs would move this years first (28) for a more proven commodity.

Miami (2013 starter Dwayne Wade) thrives with players like Tucker. Tucker would be a third string 2 guard, but given the age and health concerns for both Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade, he would likely be a useful insurance policy. Miami doesn't have a pick, but they do have an interesting prospect in Jarvis Varnado (who McDonough should be familiar with from his time with the Celtics), as well as Chalmers, who has developed into something of a hybrid guard for Miami.

Th Lakers (2013 starter Kobe Bryant) were a mess last season, and project to have serious problems at the 2 guard while waiting for Kobe to return. Realistically, they probably need a scorer more than a defender at the position, but since the pickup is likely a temporary one, a player like Tucker is perhaps the best option, one willing to platoon the position with Steve Blake and Andrew Goudelock. The Lakers' best asset is probably Jordan Hill (likely would require a pick with Tucker), but a swap for Goudelock or Earl Clark (the prodigal Sun returns) are possibilities.

The Clippers (starter Chauncey Billups/Eric Bledsoe) really struggled at time on perimeter defense. Billups looked old defending more explosive players, and Jamal Crawford has never heard of this thing you call defense. With Billups' contract expiring and Willie Green's non-guaranteed, bringing in a solid wing defender to back up the soon to be (almost inevitably) starter Crawford. The problem is, the Clippers lack any real trade assets other than their 1st round pick at 25.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tucker was moved, because of all the desirables he brings to a team. That being said, he isn't worth all that much. A developmental rotation player or a very late first/early second round pick are probably all he would fetch in a straight swap. He seems more likely to be moved as part of a bigger trade than almost any player on the roster, though. For that reason, I rate him as Low Value/High Potential.

Shannon Brown



Shannon Brown's 2012-2013 was a season to forget. He posted his lowest TS% since 07-08, and saw his ORtg fall below below 100 for the first time since 07-08. There were some bright spots: his Steal % increased modestly, and his Assist % actually increased substantially. These help mitigate what was otherwise a negative season.

Brown continues to provide what he has always provided: low efficiency, high volume scoring. He provides little defense and marginal rebounding. He fits on a team that needs an offensive spark on an otherwise defensively oriented second unit (think the role of Earl Boykins on the 10-11 Bucks, where he played with Larry Sanders, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, etc.).

There are a few teams like this at the moment. One potential target is the Celtics, with their second unit featuring Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger and likely Fab Melo. A second possibility could be the Warriors, whose second unit looks likely to lose Brandon Rush and Jarrett Jack to free agency but otherwise features Festus Ezeli, Andris Biedrins and Draymond Green.

Boston (2013 starter Paul Pierce) features a lot of backup 2 guards, but none of them have really worked as a scoring threat. If Avery Bradley moves back to the backup PG role with a healthy Rondo, that leaves Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams as the potential shooting guard core. That doesn't elicit much excitement, as Lee has been something of a disappointment in Boston and Crawford and Williams are arguably less useful versions of Brown. The problem is, a trade with Boston would likely be for a marginal talent like Crawford, or a second round pick in next year's draft.

The Warriors (2013 starter Klay Thompson) are an interesting option. Brown would provide a scoring threat off the bench that this season was provided by Jarrett Jack (likely to be lost to UFA). With Brandon Rush also likely a victim of free agency (player option for $4 million, market value likely slightly higher) a player who can create his own shot, if somewhat inefficiently, and lead a second unit offense becomes more valuable. The Warriors don't have a ton of available talent or picks this season, but Scott Machado is an interesting player that could be had for cheap.

I would really be surprised if Shannon Brown was traded this offseason as anything more than a toss-in. The fact that one even struggles to find a team that could use his particular skill set speaks to his lack of overall value. For this reason, Brown is rated as Low Value/Low Potential.

Small Forwards

Michael Beasley



Oh, how the...well, if never quite mighty, than at least heady, have fallen. Beasley's value became almost non-existent this season, as he showcased how a player can almost singlehandedly orchestrate a teams disastrous fall into an offensively inefficient black hole. While he is still young (24) and arguably was playing out of position (probably more naturally a 4), his atrocious season and recent troubles with the law make him an unlikely trade target for any team.

Teams with a heavy handed veteran presence in the locker room could potentially control Beasley. Also a team that theoretically would want to play him at the 4. One team immediately comes to mind: the Clippers. Other possibilities include the Mavericks, Spurs and potentially the Grizzlies.

The Clippers (2013 starter Caron Butler) come to mind because they could potentially lose their backup PF and both their backup SFs to free agency or retirement this offseason. Beasley's versatility in being able to play both positions could come in handy for them. The strong locker room presence of Chris Paul, glue guys like Ryan Hollins and Ronny Turiaf, as well as potentially Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill and Caron Butler (who had a rocky road early in his career as well), could be enough to keep Beasley more focused on the court. Again, the Clippers lack any real assets, but as this would be almost akin to a salary dump, we could potentially trade Beasley and some cash for a second rounder to be rid of the contract and a perhaps unwanted distraction.

The Mavericks (2013 starter Shawn Marion) are in total rebuild mode, but the pieces that look likely to remain (Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand and Vince Carter) are all relatively high character guys at this point in their careers who have accomplished just about everything, and that could keep Beasley more grounded. The second unit could really use a strong potential scorer (considering it does not exist at this point). Again, no real assets, but a the 44th overall could probably be had if we tossed in some cash value.

The Spurs (2013 starter Kawhi Leonard) are a long shot, but if anyone could control Beasley it is Gregg Popovich, who managed to win a championship with the mercurial Stephen Jackson. The Spurs also project to needs a backup power forward next season. We would likely be swapping Beasley and cash to cover some of his contract for either a marginal prospect or the 58th overall pick.

Finally, the Grizzlies (2013 starter Tayshaun Prince). Why would a playoff team take a chance on a player like Beasley? Well, first, the Grizzlies are not an efficient team: their PPWS is actually right around the same as the Suns'. The make up for it with superb offensive rebounding. So Beasley's lack of efficiency is less damning. Second, the backups at SF fail to inspire any real offensive confidence: Donte Greene and Austin Daye don't really grade out a whole lot better than Beasley. Finally, the Grizzlies don't have a pick until 41 this season, so a trade is one of their better options for making small tweaks to the roster. A trade would likely include a swap of Donte Greene for Beasley, and could include us sending some cash back. We might be able to grab the 41st or 60th pick this season.

Any trade involving just Beasley is likely to be a swap for a marginal player/second round pick, and involve us covering some of Beasley's contract. He might be used as a salary balancer in some trade (including him and in return taking back less value). His contract is much too large, and his production far to inefficient, for him to be easily moved. For these reasons, I rate him at Low Value/Low Potential.

Marcus Morris



It is hard to really evaluate Morris' worth on the trade market. His unceremonious exit from Houston raises some red flags, and his play in Phoenix was far from good. Then again, with Houston he at times flashed some really solid potential, enough to indicate he might actually have a future as an NBA reserve. One wonders if perhaps Morris was just a victim of the rise of Donatas Montiejunas and Thomas Robinson in Houston.

Questions have begun to surface about Marcus' character, which could potentially limit his potential for being traded. It might also raise flags with other GMs that the organization is so willing to move an asset they just recently acquired, but new GMs have been known to do crazier things.

Who might be interested in Morris? The team would have to be in need of bench scoring from a 3 or a stretch forward, and not be that concerned about defense from that player. A few teams come to mind: the Nets, Cavaliers, Bucks, Wizards, Grizzlies and Trail Blazers.

The Nets (2013 starter Gerald Wallace) are in need of a SF that can actually stretch the floor, which is far from the strong suit of Wallace or reserve Tornike Shengelia. With sometime reserve Jerry Stackhouse going on 39, the Nets are likely looking for a replacement. The Nets have two interesting prospects: Shengelia, who is young (21) and a solid defender and rebounder, and MarShon Brooks (24), who fell from favor last year and averaged just over 12 minutes per game. A swap of Morris for one of those players seems the most likely move.

The Cavaliers' (2013 starter Alonzo Gee) weakest position last year was at small forward. They seem likely to draft a SF, but regardless, would still be in need a better bench option than Alonzo Gee if they want to really turn the corner. The Cavs don't have much available young talent (though Kevin Jones looks interesting at times and Wayne Ellington could potentially be available), so this trade would likely be Morris for a pick (they have 31 this season).

The Bucks (2013 starter Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) featured a lot of defensive specialists at the 3 and 4 spots this season, but not much in the way of offensive talent (minus the hot and cold Ersan Ilyasova). Morris would be an upgrade there. They have some young assets (John Henson, Ekpe Udoh) but I don't know how valuable they would be to us, or how willing the Bucks would be to simply swap them. This seems like a pick-for-player swap if it were to materialize (perhaps pick 43).

The Wizards (2013 starter Martell Webster) had low efficiency play from the SF position last season when Webster was on the bench. With Trevor Ariza projected as the starter and Chris Singleton a non-threat offensively, the team looks like it could use a ranged threat at 3. An intriguing trade would be Morris for the enigma that is Jan Vesely. This seems like it could likely be a straight swap, and Vesely (who mostly played out of position last season at the 4), still has upside, which Morris arguably doesn't, even if he is the better player currently.

The Grizzlies (2013 starter Tayshaun Prince), for the same reasons they might want Beasley, could use Morris. A swap here could likely include Jon Leuer (if they included pick 55 or 60), Ed Davis (if we included a pick, potentially the 30), or a pick-for-player swap for a future pick.

The Trail Blazers (2013 starter Nicolas Batum) had an absolutely anemic bench last season. It was terrible. Claver, the nominal backup SF, didn't show he had any ability to play at the NBA level. Upgrading the bench is likely priority number 1 for the Blazers, and Morris would definitely be an upgrade. Likely swaps would be Will Barton, Claver, or one or more of their 3 second round picks.

Moving Marcus seems like a pretty distinct possibility. He has some value on the market beyond that which the rest of our young assets likely command. Yet Morris really doesn't seem to fit in with the teams future. Overall, I rate him a Medium Value/Medium Potential, though is value is definitely lower than Scola, Dudley or Gortat.

Power Forwards

Luis Scola



Scola has something of an odd skill set for today's NBA. He can't shoot from beyond the arc to save his life, but he's also not a slashing/post player in a Blake Griffin mold. Instead, he's an expert at the pick and pop, mid-range jumper game, which is increasingly out of fashion in the NBA. He's among the NBA's best mid-range shooters at the 4, however. His defense in general leaves something to be desired, and he's only a so-so rebounder. He is also relatively old (33) and not playing on an entirely favorable contract (will make $4.3 next season) for a rebuilding team looking to get younger. For a contender, this level of production to contract is entirely acceptable. This makes me think he is likely to be the number 1 trade target for new GM McDonough this offseason.

Who would be interested in Scola? Given his age and contract, it likely would have to be a team that is currently a competitor, and that could use a bench scorer or a solid, 25 minute a night power forward. It should also be a team that doesn't need a 3 pt specialist as, like mentioned before, Scola has a pretty terrible 3 pt shooting percentage.

That somewhat limits the teams that could be interested. I think the teams most likely to express some interest are: the Spurs, the Heat, the Knicks, the Grizzlies, the Clippers and, potentially, the Bulls.

For the Spurs (2013 starter Tim Duncan) a lot will revolve around how the situation at center plays out. If they lose Tiago Splitter and Duncan has to play more minutes at the 5, then Scola becomes a much more valuable asset. The Spurs don't have many young assets, but Aron Baynes, Cory Joseph or Patty Mills could potentially be combined with either a future conditional first rounder or this season's 28.

The Heat (2013 starter Udonis Haslem) could use a player like Scola, given the large dropoff in play from Haslem in recent years, but the logistics are a nightmare given their cap situation. We could feasibly swap Scola for Haslem and Jarvis Varnado and then negotiate a retirement buyout with Haslem, or with Joel Anthony, but those are long shots. The fit seems right here, but the logistics just don't work very well.

The Knicks (2013 starter Carmelo Anthony), like the Heat, are in a tough cap situation. Their best case scenario would be Kidd and Camby deciding to retire. They could use a backup 4 who is a little better at scrapping inside the arc, which they lost when Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas went down to injury. Feasibly, we could swap Scola for Camby and a pick (Camby has one more season guaranteed at roughly the same level as Scola) and negotiate a buyout with Camby, or alternately let him play out the season in a mentor role with the rookie big we are likely to have. There are more possibilities here than with the Heat, but the likelihood is still low.

The Clippers (2013 starter Blake Griffin) right now don't project to have a backup PF after they re-sign Chris Paul, unless Lamar Odom comes back for a much reduced salary (making $8 million in 2013). The only real asset the Clippers have that we might be interested in is the 25th pick, which make a trade unlikely, but not impossible if we are simply attempting to dump salary or are willing to accept a conditional first rounder next year as well (say, top 20 protected).

The Bulls (2013 starter Carlos Boozer) only fit here if the rumors are realized and Boozer is amnestied. If this happens, Taj Gibson projects as the new starter, and the team will need to somehow figure out how to replace Boozer's lost offensive production (hint: likely not with Taj Gibson). Scola and Boozer had remarkably similar seasons in 2013 offensively, so Scola could seemingly fit well. The Bulls don't have many assets, but do have the 20th pick in this year's draft, as well as Kirk Hinrich's expiring contract.

While I think Scola has to be at the top of the list of players to move this offseason because his value is never likely to be higher than it is now, as the list of teams suggests, I think the market will be tough. I rate him at Medium Value/Medium Potential.

Markieff Morris



Morris has limited value at this point. He has shown next-to-no improvement over the last few seasons, and is at this point a marginal bench player. His 42.7 EFG%, among the worst in the league among PFs, is an indicator of his offensive struggles, and these are only partially offset by his defense.

He's probably worth a veteran's minimum contract, but the problem is he's going to make $2 million next season. It is too much, given his level of production, and makes it really hard to think of a team that would realistically want him. I remember hearing rumors that the Timberwolves were interested in swapping Derrick Williams for Markieff before the season started, but those rumors have not resurfaced.

I think the only way Markieff gets moved is as part of a larger trade, where his contract can help even out salaries or where he can serve as a small developmental add-on to tip the scales. Otherwise, what he provides could likely be provided by a second round draft pick or an NBA journeyman for a fraction of the cost.

Channing Frye



Unfortunately, this is more or less the closest Channing came to the court this season. As much as moving Frye makes sense given his age (30) and his contract ($6 million through 2014-15), he is basically immovable with his medical condition. Once he is cleared, he could become a credible trade chip, most likely to an already competitive team. But the latest is still that he has not been cleared to play, and as time goes by the likelihood of him coming back seems to diminish.

I rate him as Low Value/Low Potential until he is medically cleared, and then only Low Value/Medium Potential once cleared until he can re-establish himself on the court. He could potentially be used as a salary balancer, but even this seems unlikely.


Marcin Gortat



Probably the most divisive player on the Suns' roster in the eyes of fans, Gortat had a pretty bad season compared to his career averages. When compared to centers who played at least 20 mins a game and at least 40 games this season, and averaging positional rankings in offensive rebounding rate, blocks per game, TS%, win shares, usage rate and % of field goals from assists (a pick and roll proxy), Gortat comes up right in the middle of the pack, 16 out of 33.

Gorat's strenghts really lie in pick and roll offense. As the pick and roll game of the Suns declined this season, he saw his usage rate and TS% decline. He doesn't have much of a high post game, and can't stretch the floor, so he relies on shots in the paint. His team defense is seemingly above average, but he often struggles in man coverage against the bigger, stronger centers in the league right now.

At 29, Gortat probably doesn't fit into a rebuilding project, especially given his discontent with the team's lack of results this season. His contract is expiring, so the Suns could very well be in a position where they either trade him for something or let him walk for nothing next offseason.

Where would Gortat fit? There are more than a few possibilities: Boston, Portland, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Dallas all come to mind.

Boston (2013 starter Kevin Garnett) have long been tied to Gortat rumors. A trade for Gortat would allow the Celtics to put Garnett back into his more natural PF position, something they have been attempting to do unsuccessfully since trading Kendrick Perkins. If Boston uses its amnesty on Paul Pierce or renegotiates his contract, the team suddenly has room to make a trade and absorb Gortat's contract. Boston has a few assets (Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger, Jordan Crawford, Avery Bradley) and the 16th pick in the draft this year, and a trade for Gortat would likely have to include at least one of the above players and the pick, though the amnesty of Pierce would make it so that the Suns wouldn't necessarily have to take a bad contract back in return.

Portland (2013 starter JJ Hickson) needs a center. They look likely to let Hickson walk, and Meyers Leonard still needs time to develop. The question is whether Gortat really fits. Fans and the front office alike were unhappy with the results of the Hickson experiment, yet a quick comparison ( shows that Hickson was better in almost every regard to Gortat last season. Portland's chief asset in a trade would likely be their lottery pick this season (which doesn't cut it), but is is also conceivable that they could offer the lottery pick and Leonard.

Oklahoma City (2013 starter Kendrick Perkins) had the worst center play in the league last season. Perkins was an offensive liability and his defense dropped off the map. It was so bad, the team was actually better with Hasheem Thabeet on the court with the other starters than with Perkins ( 5 man statistics). It seems almost an inevitability that the Thunder amnesty Perkins. I see no reason to include Perkins in any trade for Gortat: it isn't necessary to make the salaries even out, and it hurts the Suns more in the long run than actually keeping Gortat given Perkins' longer contract. Realistically, the Thunder could move Thabo Sefolosha (if they decide to retain Kevin Martin), Hasheem Thabeet, Perry Jones, Nick Collison or DeAndre Liggins to try to acquire Gortat. They also have the 12th and 29th picks in the draft. Some combination of the aforementioned players and picks could probably land Gortat.

Atlanta (2013 starter Zaza Pachulia) is free of Pachulia, and could be looking for an offensive upgrade at center. Bringing in Gortat could signal to Josh Smith that the team has a real interest in putting together a winner and help in continued negotiations there. Regardless, Gortat still projects as a nice pairing with Al Horford, who has a stretch game that could complement Gortat well, and with Jeff Teague, who runs a pretty solid pick and roll game. The Hawks have the 17th and 18th picks this year and John Jenkins, an interesting SG prospect, but not much else in the way of assets. The do, however, have a ton of cap space, even if they re-sign Josh Smith to a max contract (oh god).

Dallas (2013 starter Chris Kaman) is here because the Mavericks have holes at every position, and Mark Cuban has gobs of money. Kaman didn't produce much last season, and isn't likely to be brought back unless he takes a big pay cut (was making $8 million). The Mavericks, as highlighted, don't have many assets, but they do have Jae Crowder and Bernard James, as well as this year's 13th pick. It wouldn't surprise me if Crowder/James, the 13th pick and cash came in with this scenario.

There are some good options with Gortat. There are likely a few teams I haven't thought of who would be willing to take a shot at him. Part of the problem, however, is that given the depth at the 5 in this years draft (probably the most depth since 2000), a lot of the less competitive teams might be more interested in taking a shot at a draft prospect than the older Gortat. For this reason, I rate Gortat at Medium Value/Medium Potential.

Hamed Haddadi



Haddadi is the kind of player just about every team could use, but no team is actively pursuing. He provides a terrific rebounding presence off the bench with an almost unbelievable 19.9 total rebounding percentage. He's also a big plus defensively, altering shots and just in general taking up lane space.

His biggest weakness is he is absolutely atrocious on offense, with a 47.7 TS% and a far too high usage rate. But that's not really what you get a player like Haddadi for. He should be utilized as a defensive presence and rebounder. Nothing more, nothing less.

The only team I could see actively pursuing Haddadi would be the Heat. They have been in the market for a defensive presence in the frontcourt since the Big 3 were put together. Joel Anthony is not that. Chris Anderson was brought in midway through the season to take some of the burden, but he'll be 35 by the start of next season, and actually isn't quite as efficient a rebounder or shot blocker as Haddadi (I know, hard to believe, but true). Assuming we pick up Haddadi's option, he could be swapped for Jarvis Varnado or some future pick (2014).

I have Haddadi as Low Value/Medium Potential. He's the kind of player that teams would find useful in facilitating trades, and he does have some value to teams with need of second or third big off the bench.


Well, there you have it. This all breaks down into the handy little chart I mentioned at the beginning and that is featured just below this paragraph. This is certainly not an end-all be-all evaluation of the Suns' assets. In particular, I didn't deal with trades down or up in the lottery (up, in particular, because I doubt we have any assets a team high in the lottery would realistically want). What this is supposed to be is something of a long, drawn out and overly complicated way of thinking about the potential and value of Suns' assets in the trade market.

Thanks for reading this overly long post.

Trade Potential/Market





2014 1st Round (Suns)

2013 1st Round (Suns)


Luis Scola

Marcin Gortat

Jared Dudley

Marcus Morris

2014 1st Round (via Minnesota)

Goran Dragic


PJ Tucker

2013 1st Round (via Lakers)

Hamed Haddadi

Markieff Morris

Kendall Marshall

Shannon Brown

Michael Beasley

Channing Frye

2nd Round Picks

Trade Value

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