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Phoenix Suns Trade Target: Wendell Carter Jr.

If the Magic are willing to part with WCJ for DA, the Suns should jump on the opportunity.

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Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The trade target series continues as we explore potential players the Phoenix Suns can seek out to join their squad entering the 2022-23 season. The premature offseason discussions continue here on Bright Side and we are once again proposing different trade scenarios that would benefit the team, hopefully putting together the right combination of players that could equate to the first championship in franchise history.

Ready for another trade scenario?

While some trades I have proposed don’t necessarily make like a Doors’ song and light my fire — I’d rather the Suns keep Deandre Ayton — I know that he possibility of him staying are most likely not a reality. When I explore a potential transaction to bring Wendell Carter, Jr. from Orlando to Phoenix, however, I am at peace with letting Ayton go.

Carter was a fellow member of the 2018 NBA Draft, being selected 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls. After two-and-a-half season in the Windy City, the 6’10” center was dealt to the Orlando Magic at the 2021 trade deadline.

In his first full season in Orlando, Carter posted 15 points and 10.5 rebounds on 52.5% shooting, adding 70 makes from beyond the arc while making 32.4% from beyond the arc. As Garrett Townsend from Orlando Pinstriped Post stated, “[Wendell Carter, Jr.] emerg[ed] as the team’s most valuable player this season and establishing himself as a vital part of the rebuild moving forward”.

Townsend added:

Although WCJ was obviously higher up the chain of command in Orlando than he had been at his previous stop, he proved deserving of the extra chances by routinely doing more with them. He anchored the team’s defense by hauling in 29.1% of all defensive rebounding opportunities – a 4.5% increase over his previous best mark – while finishing 13th league-wide in the total number of contested defensive rebounds collected (157). He flashed genuine play-making chops with a 15.4% assist rate, 18th among all centers who played at least 41 games. He also earned the distinction of coupling an increased usage rate with a decreased likelihood of a turnover – a combination that suggests genuine improvement. Despite missing 20 contests he even set a career-high in games played with 62, a number that would certainly have been greater if the outcome of Magic games were even remotely relevant.

It’s clear that the Magic fanbase enjoys having WCJ on the roster.

He is an affordable big man, and signed his rookie extension with the team last October for $50M over the next four years. The question is whether or not the Magic want to continue to build their team with the affordable WCJ or opt to take on Deandre Ayton and his bigger contract in a sign-and-trade scenario. They would have to see DA’s potential and value it more than what Carter, Jr. contributes.

Here is one simple scenario:

Do you think this works? If not, what trade scenario do you believe could land WCJ in PHX? Is he a good fit with the Suns?

Let us know in the comments!

In an effort to bring awareness to his foundation, McGee is hosting the Water for Life Charity Softball Game on June 22 at Chase Field. The event will have some of our favorite Phoenix Suns players competing like Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, James Jones, and Cam Payne.

If you are interested in attending, click here.

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