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Inside the Suns: Trade complications, buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Duane Washington Jr

Your weekly Inside the Suns analysis straight from the BSotS community who live and breathe the team.

Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.

Each week the Fantable — a round table of Bright Siders - give their takes on the Suns’ latest issues and news.

Fantable Questions of the Week

Q1 - Do you believe that the complications of the team being in the process of being sold will be a hindrance at the trade deadline (Feb. 9)?

OldAz: Yes. Midseason trades are already complicated enough, and even more-so with the play in tournament greatly shrinking the teams deciding to “blow it up” or trade away veterans on multi year deals. Any additional layers of approval process placed on JJ, as have been reported, will only add to this.

Philip: If Windy’s report is to be believed—and, I think it should be—it seems the answer is an obvious “Yes.” Sarver’s potential involvement adds additional steps to the already complicated process of completing a trade.

Plus, instead of focusing merely on basketball, as James Jones will be doing, Sarver (and Garvin) will undoubtedly weigh whether a deal markedly impacts the team’s value.

Rod: It very well could be a problem if you’re hoping for a big trade to happen. There are already rumors that Sarver still has veto power over trades and there may be an agreement between him and the potential new owners that they also want a say-so in any possible big changes in the team and/or dealing away what could ultimately be their future first round draft picks. It could lead to the Suns doing very little at the trade deadline.

Q2 - Under what conditions would you prefer the Suns to be sellers rather than buyers at the trade deadline?

OldAz: It depends on what is meant by “sellers”. To me, this means trading away multi year contracts of players who can help a team now, in exchange for future picks and young talent, preferably with a high ceiling. If this is what is being asked, then I don’t want to see this at all. This would mean trading Book, Ayton, Mikal, or CP3 for future picks and prospects. The Suns really don’t have any other players that could help a team now and garner any return of value (Cam J on an expiring deal is really not an option until he shows he is healthy). I am open to moving Mikal for the right return, but that should be a ready now starter or higher level player (not exactly a “seller” situation). The only “seller” scenario I would do is if someone wanted CP3 for picks and/or prospects. I would jump at this opportunity, but this simply isn’t realistic.

Philip: If the Suns endure another major injury to a major contributor (DA or Mikal), it’s probably time to sell. Yet, that begs the question: What does it mean for the Suns to be sellers?

Who among the proven, possibly-tradeable players (Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Deandre Ayton, Cam Payne) bring back a return that helps a team with a superstar in his prime? It seems like Suns fans are excited at the possibility of trading DA, but I want Suns fans to do think about this team without him. What about this team improves with a guy like Bismack Biyombo or Jock Landale starting at center? Who will the Suns bring in to fill DA’s minutes? There are genuine reasons, especially defensive reasons, to be frustrated with DA, but I’m not sure Suns fans actually want to see this team without him.

Maybe the whole idea of the Suns becoming sellers will be as simple as trading Jae Crowder for picks and/or young assets instead of proven players.

Regardless, it remains essential, like I mentioned a few weeks ago, for the team to have a clearly-defined, well-known direction.

Rod: I really wouldn’t prefer the Suns to become sellers (as in a blowup precursor to a rebuild) at the deadline under any circumstances. That doesn’t mean that I consider any players (except maybe Booker) as untouchable though. Any trade that has the potential to make the Suns better now is welcome but swapping our better players for cap relief and/or future draft picks to start another rebuild is just something I don’t want to live through again.

Q3 - Do you believe the Suns should eventually convert Duane Washington Jr’s 2-way contract to a standard NBA contract?

OldAz: Yes, but only after the trade deadline. If I understand this process correctly, on a 2-way deal DWJ can only play in 50 games, is not playoff eligible, and while he is under the 2-way deal he does not count as a roster spot. The Suns should be able to stay under the 50 games through the trade deadline and then convert him afterward if a roster spot is still available (or release a player to create that spot). He is certainly deserving of a permanent place on the team, but you also don’t want to add complications to any potential trade by filling up that last open spot on the roster before the deadline.

Philip: No. While I appreciate Duane’s ability to get buckets, I don’t see him especially the playoffs. The Suns won’t trust him to initiate the offense in big games. If Duane isn’t initiating, there are others who should fill the offball role before him: Damion Lee and Landry Shamet.

Rod: I believe it will eventually happen... but only if the Suns still have an open roster spot open after the trade deadline. He’s young, pretty talented and plays hard but his two-way contract limits him to playing in only 50 NBA games this season. He has already played in 26 and the Suns have another 39 games left to play. If one of the other guards gets moved in a trade, it will probably happen sooner rather than later... unless that trade also brings back an even better guard as part of the deal. Either way, the Suns definitely need to keep a good third point guard. I don’t trust CP3 or Cam Payne to stay healthy for long stretches of time.

As always, many thanks to our Fantable members for all their extra effort this week!

Last Week’s poll results

Last week’s question was, “Until Booker returns I expect the Suns to...”

06% - Win over 50% of their games.

17% - Win about 50% of their games.

53% - Win less than 50% of their games.

24% - Win FAR less than 50% of their games.

A total of 316 votes were cast.

This week’s poll is...


If Booker returns at the end of this month and the Suns can stay healthy they will finish the season...

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1st or 2nd in the West.
    (10 votes)
  • 25%
    3rd or 4th in the West.
    (139 votes)
  • 48%
    5th or 6th in the West.
    (260 votes)
  • 21%
    As a play-in team (7th-10th).
    (114 votes)
  • 2%
    A lottry team.
    (14 votes)
537 votes total Vote Now

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