The Phoenix Suns have 14 players with a guaranteed roster spot with training camp right around the corner.
That leaves one spot open with plenty of options in free agency to fill that final spot. There’s a very real chance they are waiting on a certain something to happen before utilizing that spot.
There are ultimately two scenarios here:
- Phoenix trades for Kevin Durant and an additional roster spot or two opens along with the one they have now and they go sign 2-3 free agents to add depth lost in that trade.
- Phoenix doesn’t pull the trigger and has the one roster spot to fill, which they could conceivably keep open for the time being.
Bigs: Deandre Ayton, Bismack Biyombo, Dario Saric, Jock Landale
Forwards/Wings: Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Torrey Craig, Josh Okogie, Damion Lee
Guards: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Cam Payne, Landry Shamet
Two-Way Contracts: Ish Wainright, Duane Washington
Which Position makes the most sense?
Looking at their positional depth chart above, it seems as constructed that the guards and bigs are each one injury away from looking sort of shallow.
It is important to note that any Kevin Durant trade would likely include at least 2 of the players in the forwards/wings group along with possibly Dario Saric for salary matching purposes.
That would entirely change the “need” chart for the Suns when looking to add a couple players should that trade go down. So like everything this offseason, this answer depends on the resolution of the Kevin Durant saga.
Carmelo Anthony — Carmelo on the current roster does not make much sense. He should not be taking any minutes away from the Twins, nor is he a better player than Jae Crowder at this point in his career.
What I will say, though, is that Melo could be a viable option should the Suns have to trade 2 of those 3 guys in a KD trade. His floor spacing plus veteran presence and willingness to adapt to his new role late in his career could make it a worthwhile signing. He is also close with Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, so this is something that would not be surprising at all. Would I love it? No. There are worse options, though.
LaMarcus Aldridge — The veteran big man joining Carmelo in a post-KD trade that guts the Suns’ back-end depth to fill in the Saric role seems like the only path for him to join the Suns. Even then, I wouldn’t be counting on it.
No, we will not be putting him on billboards in Downtown Phoenix this time around.
Dennis Schroder — Dennis just can’t find a home and there’s a reason for it. I think he’s a talented player, but the locker room issues and his own perception of who he is just isn’t an ideal addition to a team that has established the culture that they have. I’ll pass on this one.
Rajon Rondo — Another reported locker room troublemaker that just isn’t worth it at this point of his career. While he doesn’t necessarily fit the bill of what Jones typically likes in a point guard, he can run an offense so I wouldn't entirely rule it out.
The old(er) bigs that don’t make a ton of sense or fit the James Jones mold: Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Hassan Whiteside, Tristan Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins.
Potential targets for depth: Ben McLemore, Jeremy Lamb, Tony Snell, Michael Carter-Williams
As you can see, there aren’t any true needle movers out there as you’d expect this time of year. This brief list of targets becomes a lot more relevant should the Suns make the blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant, but until then... that last spot will likely remain open.
Only time will tell. Who do you want the Suns to target for that final spot, Suns fans?