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Most free agent signees become trade eligible Dec. 15. Here’s how it affects the Phoenix Suns

The 2017-18 NBA trade deadline is Feb. 8, 2018

NBA: Phoenix Suns-Press Conference Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we’re officially into December, and that means a slew of players are soon to be trade eligible. On Dec. 15, the majority of players who signed free agent contracts over the summer can be traded, opening up more trade possibilities for teams looking to wheel and deal.

What will that mean for the Phoenix Suns? Simply put, there will be more names for general manager Ryan McDonough to consider when inquiring around the league, but it doesn’t necessarily provide a quick fix for what ails the team.

Clearing the big man logjam and finding an upgrade at point guard are Phoenix’s most pressing needs. Below are the players who will become trade eligible for each team and a brief rundown on how the expanded roster of trade-eligible players affects — or fails to affect — the Suns. (Exceptions to the Dec. 15 date are listed in parentheses; no-trade clauses or similar provisions are denoted with NTC.)

Note: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio), Robert Covington (Philadelphia), Norman Powell (Toronto), and Josh Richardson (Miami) will not be eligible to be traded before the Feb. 8, 2018 trade deadline. Stephen Curry (Golden State), James Harden (Houston), John Wall (Washington), and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City) will not be eligible to be traded during the 2017-18 league year.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks

Luke Babbitt

Dewayne Dedmon

Ersan Ilyasova NTC

Mike Muscala (Jan. 15) NTC

Isaiah Taylor (Jan. 17)

The lowdown: There are no targets here amongst the new players for Phoenix. At best, one of these players could act as salary filler in a deal for Dennis Schroder — if Atlanta is interested in surrendering its last significant player asset.

Boston Celtics

Aron Baynes

Gordon Hayward

Shane Larkin

Daniel Theis

The lowdown: The Celtics would probably have no issue making Shane Larkin available, but he’s no upgrade over the point guards Phoenix already has in its stable. Marcus Smart could get bundled in a deal; however, it’s unlikely Boston moves any significant pieces that might alter team chemistry. If it ain’t broke….

Brooklyn Nets

Tyler Zeller

The lowdown: Waiting for Zeller’s deal (less than $2 million) to become trade eligible should be no hindrance to making a swap in the present if desired. Spencer Dinwiddie is the only healthy player on the Nets’ roster who fills a pressing need for Phoenix, but with Jeremy Lin likely lost for the season and D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely, he’s filling a pressing need in Brooklyn, too.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets

Michael Carter-Williams

Julyan Stone

The lowdown: Carter-Williams could be a stopgap option at point guard for the Suns, especially considering he has only played in half of Charlotte’s games thus far. He’s a little older (26) and has been trending in the wrong direction, but a one-year rental of a former Rookie of the Year might be worth a gamble in a season like this.

Chicago Bulls

Cristiano Felicio (Jan. 15)

Justin Holiday

Nikola Mirotic (Jan. 15) NTC

The lowdown: Mirotic could help the Suns as a big man who can shoot (presuming he can still shoot straight after The Incident). But he’s not worth the Suns surrendering a young player or asset to acquire. Would Chicago take one of the logs jamming up the center position in return for Phoenix taking a peeved Mirotic off their hands?

Cleveland Cavaliers

Jose Calderon

Jeff Green

Kyle Korver (Jan. 15)

Derrick Rose

Dwyane Wade (Dec. 27)

The lowdown: Cleveland doesn’t seem sure of which direction it wants to head in going forward from this season, making a trade with them difficult. They could use a Greg Monroe to provide scoring around the basket, but they have nothing Phoenix wants — well, almost nothing — and that doesn’t change on Dec. 15.

Dallas Mavericks

Maxi Kleber

Nerlens Noel NTC

Dirk Nowitzki NTC

Jeff Withey

The lowdown: Nerlens Noel bet on himself this past summer, signing the qualifying offer from Dallas. Since then, he has been practically welded to Rick Carlisle’s bench as questions regarding his work ethic have bubbled up. Nothing changes here between Phoenix and Dallas by mid-month.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets

Richard Jefferson (Jan. 19)

Paul Millsap

Mason Plumlee (Jan. 15)

The lowdown: Emmanuel Mudiay gets mentioned a lot in rumors between these two teams, and it makes sense with Denver happy to have Jamal Murray running the point. Mudiay has talent, but Denver won’t give him away for free. A salary-shedding deal involving Greg Monroe for Mudiay and either Mason Plumlee or Kenneth Faried could be enticing for the capped Nuggets, but Phoenix would have to believe Mudiay is their answer at point to take on long-term salary like that. Mudiay has yet to make a convincing enough argument.

Detroit Pistons

Reggie Bullock

Langston Galloway

Eric Moreland

Anthony Tolliver

The lowdown: Avery Bradley and Ish Smith are two intriguing names on Detroit’s roster, but it’s unlikely the Pistons move either of them with the way they’re playing. A deal remains unlikely here for Phoenix.

Golden State Warriors

Omri Casspi

Kevin Durant NTC

Andre Iguodala (Jan. 15)

Shaun Livingston (Jan. 15)

JaVale McGee NTC

Zaza Pachulia NTC

David West NTC

Nick Young

The lowdown: The Warriors are playing for chips, and their roster reflects that. The Suns aren’t, and their roster reflects that, too. Moving on….

Houston Rockets

Tarik Black

Bobby Brown (Dec. 25) NTC

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute


P.J. Tucker

Troy Williams

The lowdown: Phoenix had Troy Williams on their Summer League roster in 2016. They could potentially work a small deal to bring him back from a Houston team looking like a legitimate threat to Golden State in the West. They don’t have the playing time available to develop players like Williams. Beyond that…nope.

Indiana Pacers

Bojan Bogdanovic

Darren Collison

Damien Wilkins

The lowdown: The Pacers have some intriguing talent, but the Pacers likely feel the same way about those guys. They’re playing surprisingly well this season after Paul George’s departure and would want something good to break that up. There’s just not a deal that makes sense here.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers

Danilo Gallinari

Blake Griffin (Jan. 15)

Willie Reed

Milos Teodosic

The lowdown: Injuries have hurt the Clippers badly to this point, and the rumblings have already begun. Is Doc Rivers on the hot seat? Is a rebuild imminent? If things don’t improve for LA, everything might soon be on the table, including Blake Griffin. The Suns would find themselves in excellent position to exploit the Clippers’ misfortune if things don’t look rosier by the middle of January.

Los Angeles Lakers

Andrew Bogut (Dec. 19)

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Tyler Ennis

The lowdown: It’s a well-known fact the Lakers want to clear cap space to make a run at a couple of free agency’s biggest names next summer. None of the players who become trade eligible for the Lakers on Dec. 15 hinder that plan, but Phoenix could still facilitate some cost cutting — for a price.

Memphis Grizzlies

Mario Chalmers

Tyreke Evans

JaMychal Green (Jan. 15)

Ben McLemore

Wayne Selden

The lowdown: The Grizzlies are in turmoil, and the rumors suggest Marc Gasol could soon be asking out of Memphis. However, Phoenix had a hard enough time including the nearly 28-year-old Eric Bledsoe in its future plans. A soon-to-be 33-year-old Gasol? Unlikely. No one else on that roster fits Phoenix, either.

Miami Heat

Udonis Haslem NTC

James Johnson

Jordan Mickey

Kelly Olynyk

Dion Waiters

The lowdown: Unless the trade with Miami involves a time machine trip to undo the Goran Dragic fiasco, there’s little worth Phoenix’s while.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks

DeAndre Liggins (Jan. 10)

Tony Snell (Jan. 15)

Jason Terry (Dec. 18) NTC

The lowdown: The Suns already tried a trade with Milwaukee this season, getting Greg Monroe in return. What are the odds the Bucks reconsider moving Malcolm Brogdon if Phoenix tries again? What if McDonough sends a cookie bouquet?

Minnesota Timberwolves

Aaron Brooks (Dec. 21)

Jamal Crawford

Marcus Georges-Hunt

Taj Gibson

Shabazz Muhammad NTC

Jeff Teague

The lowdown: Aaron Brooks is a third-string point guard in Minnesota, but the Suns aren’t that desperate.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans

Tony Allen

Ian Clark

Dante Cunningham (Dec. 24) NTC

Jrue Holiday (Jan. 15)

Darius Miller

Jameer Nelson (Jan. 22)

Rajon Rondo

The lowdown: The Pelicans are teetering between legitimate playoff team and full-on fire sale. If they slip in the standings, do the Suns make a run at DeMarcus Cousins, knowing he could bolt over the summer? Maybe they pick up Rajon Rondo, just so the fans can remember what it’s like to have a point guard who can facilitate offense for others.

New York Knicks

Ron Baker NTC

Michael Beasley

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Jarrett Jack

Ramon Sessions

The lowdown: Is Kristaps Porzingis available? No? K bye.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Nick Collison NTC

Raymond Felton

Patrick Patterson

Andre Roberson (Jan. 15)

The lowdown: The disappointing Thunder certainly possess talent, but they possess nothing that makes sense where Phoenix is concerned.

Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo

Shelvin Mack

Jonathon Simmons

Marreese Speights

The lowdown: Orlando has to figure out what to do about Aaron Gordon next summer, specifically how far they’re willing to go into the red to keep their restricted free agent. The Suns could take some money off their books for some sweeteners, but the burdensome deals are trade eligible today.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers

Amir Johnson

J.J. Redick

The lowdown: Both Amir Johnson and J.J. Redick signed one-year deals with Philadelphia, so their money isn’t an issue. The Suns would probably have at least passing interest in former Arizona Wildcat T.J. McConnell, but the Sixers won’t be parting with him until they at least get Markelle Fultz back healthy. Oh, and the Suns would be interested in Fultz despite his mysterious shoulder injury. Just throwing it out there.

Phoenix Suns

Alex Len (Dec. 23) NTC

Alan Williams

The lowdown: The Suns aren’t trading Alan Williams unless they have to. He’s a solid role player on as team friendly a contract as you’ll ever see. But if the center rotation isn’t sorted out, perhaps Alex Len could surrender his Bird rights and agree to a trade sending him somewhere he believes will give him the opportunity he seeks.

Sacramento Kings

Vince Carter

George Hill

Zach Randolph

The lowdown: If the Suns had any interest in winning, perhaps acquiring veteran George Hill to run the point would make sense, considering his questionable fit on a young (read: bad) Kings squad. But with a contract that averages $19 million over each of its three years, Sacramento would have to surrender first round picks well into the next decade for Phoenix to bite.

San Antonio Spurs

Pau Gasol

Rudy Gay

Manu Ginobili

Joffrey Lauvergne

Patty Mills (Jan. 15)

Brandon Paul

The lowdown: Dejounte Murray makes more sense than Patty Mills for the Suns at point, but the Spurs see Murray as a potential successor to Tony Parker. Doubtful they just send him away.

Toronto Raptors

Serge Ibaka (Jan. 15)

Kyle Lowry (Jan. 15)

Alfonzo McKinnie

C.J. Miles

The lowdown: Toronto could use a strong rebounding center, but it’s not clear what Phoenix would want/could get in return that makes sense from their end.

Utah Jazz

Joe Ingles (Jan. 15)

Jonas Jerebko

Royce O’Neale

Thabo Sefolosha

Ekpe Udoh

The lowdown: The Jazz have managed to tread water after losing Gordon Hayward over the summer and dealing with key injuries this season. They’ll probably give this core group a full season before making any decisions about a future direction.

Washington Wizards

Jodie Meeks

Otto Porter Jr. (Jan. 15) NTC

Mike Scott

The lowdown: Nothing here that the Suns need.

Trade eligibility data gathered from and the ESPN Trade Machine.

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