The Phoenix Suns are preparing themselves for another year of success. We’ve seen them go to the NBA Finals. We’ve seen them set a record number of regular season wins for the franchise. Year three with Chris Paul running point for this team could be the most complete season yet for the suns. Nothing short of a championship is expected of this team.
James Jones was held hostage by the possibility of Kevin Durant joining the team this off-season and due to his valid interest in the superstar, the additions to the Suns roster have not been as dramatic or impactful as many may have hoped. Gone are JaVale McGee, Aaron Holiday, Frank Kaminsky, and (thankfully) Elfrid Payton. Enter Jock Landale, Damion Lee, Duane Washington, Jr., and Josh Okogie.
Not exactly a murderer’s row of top-tier additions. Or even mid-tier.
The question remains, and it is a simple one: Is this roster as constructed better than the roster put forth by the Phoenix Suns last season? Or is there still a piece that is needed to push past expectations and make a championship a reality?
The Utah Jazz are currently conducting a fire sale. Have you ever been to the Park & Swap on 40th St. and Washington? Lord knows it’s been years since I’ve been there, and I’m not even sure if it’s still going on. But my memories growing up and attending that weekend event reminds me of what the Jazz are doing. They are trying to sell everything, and if you have the right negotiation skills, you’ll get that pocket knife you’ve always wanted!
That pocket knife could be Bojan Bogdanovic.
The NBA world was shaken like a snow globe with the news that Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. The assets involved swirled around like snowflakes around Santa. While whispers about trading Mitchell have circulated throughout the offseason, the deal indicated that Utah is prepared to rip up the roster and start over.
Utah has now traded both of their All-Stars this off-season, sending Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July.
Danny Ainge has arrived in Salt Lake City and cleaned house. He is in the process of pressing the reset button, garnering draft picks and pick swaps, and building from the ground up. This offseason alone he has acquired a 2023 first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets for Royce O’Neale, 2023, 2025, 2027 first round picks and 2026 pick swaps from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Rudy Golbert, and now 2025, 2027, 2029 first round picks and 2026 and 2028 pick swaps from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mitchell.
The question is are they done dealing? Hey, the Suns have draft picks too!
There is an opportunity for the Phoenix Suns to step up to the merchants table at the Utah Jazz Park & Swap, begin no negotiations, and attempt to pick off a piece that could be valuable for this team.
That’s right. I’m off of the Montrezl Harrell thought process and have shifted my focus to “Bogey”, the 6’7” Bosnian who has 8 years of NBA experience. Let’s go down this rabbit hole, shall we?
Let us begin with what the heck has been going on this summer with Jae Crowder. Entering the final year of his 3-year, $29.1M contract with Phoenix we have seen some interesting activity from BOSSMAN99. It started with a cryptic Tweet on the first of August.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.!! I BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE… I WANNA CONTINUE GROWING.!— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) August 1, 2022
Okay, no big deal, right? I mean, he could be talking about a new fitted hat or a hot restaurant he tried last night and likes their crudite.
But, following the disappointment in not obtaining Kevin Durant, John Gambadoro reported that the Suns are seeking assistance at the power forward position. The position in which Jae Crowder plays…
Hearing the Suns will now turn their attention to try and obtain a post-up Power Forward. They have the cap-payer exception still available to them.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) August 23, 2022
Not good, at least for Jae.
Then the breadcrumbs of social media really begin. Jae began leaving us clues that presumably he is unhappy and wants to be elsewhere. He pinned comments on Instagram about being back in Miami.
Of course we could be reading too much into Jae’s social media actions, but when you consider he is on the last year of his deal and the Suns are looking to upgrade that area of their roster, it does make some sense.
The 32 year-old Bogdanović is entering the last year of his contract an is owed $19.3M this season. James Jones would have to get creative to move a couple of contracts Utah’s way to get a player who is an unrestricted free agent entering next year.
But he is worth it.
He is a career 39.2% three-point shooter. He is a seasoned starter and has averaged 18.4 points during his three seasons in Utah.
Bogey excels in off-ball movement, placing in the 98%tile in off screen share, which is the percentage of half court, non miscellaneous or putback scoring chances derived from off-screen scoring opportunities, per B-Ball Index. His movement would add another dimension to the Phoenix offense and would negate stagnation and constant pick-and-roll focused offensive sets.
His addition could stunt the Cam Johnson growth, the rightful heir to the starting power forward position. Knowing that Bogey is on a one year deal, and this time is in “win now mode”, outweighs that concern, plain and simple.
Take the shot, Champ. Get Bogey.