Opinions have floated over the past few days that the Phoenix Suns would potentially insert themselves as the third team to facilitate getting Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio Spurs to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Leonard is reportedly disgruntled with the Spurs and wants a trade as he enters the final year of his rookie extension
While the Spurs and Lakers could conceivably make it a simple two-team deal, there are reports that Gregg Popovich does not want Luol Deng’s contract nor does he want to deal with the Ball family. A separate report also suggested that LeBron James is not interested in teaming up with the Ball family. Lavar Ball recently went on the offensive and said that there’s nothing LeBron could teach his son anyway.
So could the Suns make everyone happy?
No, the Suns are not going to acquire Kawhi Leonard, unless the Spurs want Josh Jackson and some pocket lint. And maybe not even that, since Leonard could be just a one-year rental.
But could the Suns acquire Lonzo, allowing the Spurs bring in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma and free agency flexibility while the Lakers get a top-5 player in the league who would likely spend the rest of his career there?
Evan proposed a three-team trade that would work under the salary cap and get Lonzo Ball to Phoenix without giving up anything of long term value except free agency cap space.
I’m just going to throw this one out there, because if Kawhi wants to join up with LeBron and PG this could actually happen. pic.twitter.com/FuRdBty9ZE— The Bright Side (@BrightSideSun) June 15, 2018
- Suns acquire: Lonzo Ball, Luol Deng’s contract (2 years left)
- Suns send out: Tyson Chandler (expiring), Jared Dudley (expiring) and Brandon Knight (2 years left)
With the deal, the Suns would have roughly the same $18 million to spend this offseason or next, but would otherwise be out of free agency while absorbing the contracts of Ball and Deng.
Evan spent some time delving into this last Friday.
Kawhi Leonard officially wants out of San Antonio. How will that impact the Suns, if at all? https://t.co/SdhJYgyaQm— The Bright Side (@BrightSideSun) June 15, 2018
Zo, or No Zo?
He and I later had a text exchange around the pros and cons of adding Lonzo Ball to a core of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and Deandre Ayton.
*Note: Both Evan and I agree that the Suns would only do this deal with they take Ayton. If they alternately take Luka Doncic, there’s no longer any need for Ball.
I’ve decided to post the text exchange word for word, because I think this epitomizes the divided nature of loving or hating the idea of Lonzo Ball.
Dave: Regarding that three teamer. Why would the Suns want a player that neither LeBron nor the Spurs want anything to do with???
Evan: Because he fits with the Suns. Assuming you’re talking about Lonzo.
Dave: Yes. That’s who I’m talking about. When the best of the league can’t stand him is he a good asset? Makes no sense.
Evan: I mean, he would fit very well with Booker, Ayton and Jackson and is a cost controlled asset for 5+ years. Lonzo-Booker-Jackson-Ayton is the best young core in NBA
Dave: Ball fits with both the Spurs and Lakers too. Even with LeBron. We are making separate points.
Evan: If you’re referring to his family and how they could factor in, I don’t really care. He was my No. 2 prospect last year and would love to have him. Hard to deny how attractive Phoenix would be with those four all together, even with LaVar Ball
Dave: See. And my opinion is that’s ALL that matters (the non basketball stuff). Probably a generational thing.
Evan: Passing on the opportunity to acquire a franchise point guard in some capacity because what his father says would be very disappointing. McDonough also loved Ball last year. Either way, I think he’s not in LA next year if all of them want to join up
Dave: I also don’t think a franchise player shoots 36% overall and 45% on FTs. With an incredibly awful shooting motion.
At that point, we realized we would always agree to disagree.
On one hand, Lonzo Ball would bring necessary passing, rebounding and defensive (steals) skills to the Suns.
On the other hand, he would bring poor shooting and a lot of drama to the valley sport scene and potentially a lot of headaches for the Suns organization.
What say you, Suns fans?
Would you add Lonzo Ball to a core of Ayton-Booker-Jackson, with the only cost being no huge free agancy signings next two years?
This poll is closed
Yes! Do it.
No Lonzo, no how, no way