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NBA Trade Deadline 2018: Suns have more assets to flip

How should the Suns approach this season’s trade deadline?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

With an unbalanced roster that can tip too young or old on a given night based on injury or availability, the Suns have an opportunity to create flexibility now and in the future at the 2018 trade deadline.

SB Nation’s head basketball honcho Seth Pollack put together a few questions for us to answer regarding the Suns’ potential movement in February. I think there’s a lot of interesting things to consider at this year’s deadline, even though Eric Bledsoe’s early departure and Jared Dudley’s limited playing time will complicate things a little more at the deadline than one might have expected during training camp.

1. With the trade deadline approaching do you consider your team to be a “buyer” or a “seller”?

The Suns will almost surely be a seller. They have a young team that has shown promising signs and sit far enough from the playoff race that they would be incorrect to try and convince themselves that they are a piece away from competitiveness. The team would benefit more at this point from more time for young guys like Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson than any of the older players sticking around.

2. What are the top tradable assets on your team’s roster and/or what players are “untradeable”?

Troy Daniels and Greg Monroe stand out as two decent veteran assets for a playoff team. Monroe is an expiring contract with microwave scoring potential and, obviously, size. Daniels has been tremendous as a shooter for most of the season. He’s finally growing into the well-rounded player that we all hoped he would be after watching him in the first round for the Rockets several years ago. His contract extends into next season at $3 million.

At this point, only Devin Booker is truly untouchable. He is the only player on the team who could reasonably become the focal point of a title team. The Suns seemingly considered Jackson to be untouchable over the summer when they reportedly refused to include him in a deal for Kyrie Irving. After a frustrating rookie season, one would assume Jackson has slipped into the second tier with the rest of Chriss, Bender and TJ Warren.

3. What holes do you think your team would try and fill at the deadline?

Well as of now, the Suns likely have multiple picks in 2018, 2020 and 2021 drafts. Looks to me like they have a 2019 first-round draft pick-sized hole then. Picks should be the focus for this team in any potential trade.

4. What’s your “dream trade”?

I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming about trading Troy Daniels to the Wolves for Miami’s 2019 second-round pick and Cole Aldrich. So much time.

Seriously though, the Suns have nearly $9 million in cap space currently, meaning they could take on unwanted salary from other teams (which they’ve reportedly been interested in doing since the summer) in order to fetch a better asset than those they’d get just for their guys.