After initially breaking the news about the Phoenix Suns trying and failing to acquire a top-tier point guard like Damian Lillard or Kemba Walker, we have another update from Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro. According to Gambadoro, among the targets Phoenix is actively discussing in prospective trade talks are Patrick Beverley (Clippers), Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets) and Cory Joseph (Pacers).
Not only would Beverley, Dinwiddie, or Joseph be big upgrades to the current depth chart at point guard, but they could be short term investments towards preserving cap space next summer. As we stand currently, the Suns would be able to create a max slot by simply stretching Ryan Anderson’s restructured final year at $15.6 million.
All three of these options show Phoenix also plan on playing Devin Booker more often as the primary ball handler, because each has plenty of experience doing that and performing well. Beverley helped launch James Harden’s MVP trajectory, as did the floor spacing of Trevor Ariza and Anderson. Even in a rough development situation his first three seasons, Booker continued to take leaps forward. Now after going all in on shooting and defensive versatility around him with new head coach Igor Kokoskov, I don’t blame them if they believe Booker can go down the Harden path.
Following the introductory press conference for their 2018 draft picks, General Manager Ryan McDonough answered about Booker playing point guard by saying he could see their point guard handling the ball until they get past half court to ease pressure off him. That leans more in the direction of trading for someone versatile enough to play both backcourt positions, which all options mentioned can do.
If you want more coverage of how I could see the Suns acquiring one of these three, Brendon Kleen and I discussed Beverley, Dinwiddie and Joseph on Friday’s episode of Locked On Suns. Also, if the Suns want to push their 2019 salary cap room close to $45 million, they could send T.J. Warren’s 4-year contract out while taking back additional salary for this upcoming season.
However, moving Warren seems unlikely because Phoenix still has an incoming first-rounder from Milwaukee after the rough Eric Bledsoe split and all of their own second-round picks outside of 2021. For these three options, just the Milwaukee pick or multiple protected seconds likely gets it done.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski hinted after the Brandon Knight/Marquese Chriss trade that the Suns were actively pursuing a starting-level point guard before the regular season began. We now sit just over two weeks away from training camp beginning, so we should have an answer to this soon. Stay tuned to Bright Side Of The Sun as we hear of any more updates.