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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns visit the Chicago Bulls as both teams recover from the trade deadline

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NBA: Phoenix Suns at Chicago Bulls Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (18-39) at Chicago Bulls (28-29)

When: 6:00 PM AZ Time

Where: Windy City

Watch: Fox Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM Arizona Sports/KTAR


Welp, the trade deadline came and went and both the Suns and the Bulls are arguably worse.

The Bulls are still trying for the playoffs, while the Suns are looking forward to the Draft.

The Bulls

If you thought the Suns had a bad day yesterday, check out a team that really rolled the dice: the reeling Bulls kept Jimmy Butler and traded stalwart Taj Gibson and not-yet-a-good-NBA-shooter Doug McDermott to the Thunder for... second-year point guard Cameron Payne and some flotsam.

Sure, the Bulls desperately needed a better playmaker, but some would say they didn’t get it in Cam Payne. Some would say Payne is a better dancer than lead guard.

But hey they DID something right? They didn’t just sit on their hands and give away a fan favorite for NOTHING. They got Cam Payne, who they might just call the best player coming or going. (Sorry Suns fans, low blow).

The remaining Bulls are still the guys who found a way to lose by 18 points to the 18-39 Suns two weeks ago, a second loss to the Suns this season, in the middle of losing three straight games by 18+ points before closing the pre-All Star schedule beating both the Raptors and Celtics.

The Bulls will hope Cameron Payne can run a better offense than Jerian Grant, Michael Carter-Williams or Rajon Rondo could.

Let’s see tonight.

The Suns

I am guessing that Jared Dudley will now get many of the backup SF and PF minutes behind Marquese Chriss and T.J. Warren, until Dragan Bender returns in late March or early April (if at all).

But this is also a chance for Alex Len to play a bit more, ahead of his RFA status this summer, and for “Big Sauce” Alan Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. to get a bit of playing time as the season winds down.

If Watson moves Devin Booker into more of a backup small forward role, that would free up some guard minutes for his buddy Tyler Ulis. Otherwise, Ulis still has the same roadblocks he’s had all season.

Prediction

Just watch, with appropriately low expectations.

Eric Bledsoe is still a beast. Devin Booker is still improving month to month. T.J. Warren needs to find his groove again. Marquese Chriss has a chance to blossom as big as he can handle this year.

And the team will still play hard on most nights.

So there’s that.

Go Suns!