After the 2020 NBA trade deadline passed with no movement from the Phoenix Suns, even though we heard reports revolving around Luke Kennard and Kelly Oubre Jr., what is the plan moving forward?
Well, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the Suns were offering Dario Saric to interested teams for a future first-round pick.
“Look, were they trying to trade Dario Saric? Yes, I heard they were looking to see if they can pick up a first-round draft pick for Dario Saric because they’re not bringing him back (next season),” Gambadoro said on Burns & Gambo Wednesday. “So, yes, the Suns were actively looking to see if anybody would take Dario Saric from them.”
With Saric toiling in no man’s land throughout the last month in their rotation bouncing around from heavy minutes to DNP-CD’s, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. When Phoenix acquired Saric on draft night alongside Cameron Johnson, the Croatian forward was expected to be a solid fit next to Deandre Ayton. That hasn’t been the case as Saric’s lack of defensive versatility and athleticism have been exposed when not hitting perimeter shots consistently.
So far this season, Saric is averaging 9.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 31.4% on three-pointers. If Gambadoro heard Phoenix was openly shopping Saric around knowing he’s not in their long-term plans, that deal from last June won’t look great the further we get away from it.
Phoenix owns Saric’s restricted free agent rights, but this news means it’s very unlikely they toss a qualifying offer. Saric has sat out the past few games with an ankle sprain, which includes no timetable to return thus far.
A quiet deadline indicates there should be some activity incoming from the Suns in June or July. Suns GM James Jones did all of his big moves on draft night, so should we expect the same once more? One of the first dominoes revolves around Saric, and Gambadoro’s intel indicates he’s not long to remain in Phoenix past the 2019-20 season.