The Phoenix Suns needed to clear more salary cap space to fit Ricky Rubio’s three-year, $51 million contract onto their books. Well, that cap-clearing move has finally happened.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns and Grizzlies have agreed upon a trade sending Josh Jackson, De’Anthony Melton and two future second-round picks.
The Grizzlies are trading Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter to the Suns for DeAnthony Melton, Josh Jackson 2020 second-round pick and 2021 conditional second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 3, 2019
Korver will never suit up for the Suns, as his contract is only partially guaranteed. Waiving Korver is how Phoenix will create the flexibility for Rubio. Carter will now enter into the Suns’ rotation as their fourth point guard, but Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro is reporting this means Elie Okobo will likely be moved as well.
While it is extremely likely the Suns will buyout Kyle Korver because it seems unrealistic to think any team will trade for him I do expect Jevon Carter to be on Suns roster as 4th PG - tough, hard nosed, pressures full court, high energy. Which means Okobo will likely be gone— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 3, 2019
During his stint with the Suns, Jackson failed to live up to extremely high pre-draft praise. Former Suns GM Ryan McDonough called Jackson the “perfect” fit next to Devin Booker as a defense-first Swiss Army knife. Well, Jackson never showcased much defensive versatility. Instead, he pivoted to becoming an inefficient shot-chucker who was quickly usurped by Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mikal Bridges. Once Phoenix selected Cameron Johnson at No. 11 overall, Jackson’s upcoming trade was signed, sealed and delivered.
Melton looks to have been the sweetener to offload Jackson, as Wojnarowski mentioned Memphis valued Melton during the draft last year. The former USC Trojan acclimated quickly with his aggressive defense, but his lack of scoring made him expendable in the eyes of management.
The Suns’ roster now looks to be set heading into the 2019-20 campaign, unless another move occurs:
PG - Ricky Rubio, Tyler Johnson, Ty Jerome, Jevon Carter, Jalen Lecque
SG - Devin Booker, Cameron Johnson
SF - Kelly Oubre Jr., Mikal Bridges
PF - Dario Saric, Frank Kaminsky
C - Deandre Ayton, Aron Baynes
The moves keep on coming for Phoenix, making this the fourth trade in under two weeks. Stay tuned to Bright Side Of The Sun for all the latest updates with the Suns kicking off Las Vegas Summer League on July 5.