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Inside the Suns: A new trade rumor, Rui Hachimura, keeping Saben Lee

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

Charlotte Hornets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Kate Frese/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 - I recently read an opinion that the Suns might be interested in trading for Indiana’s Myles Turner (who seems to have been on the trading block for years) to play along side Deandre Ayton. What are your thought on this?

GuarGuar: I really have no interest in acquiring Myles Turner to play alongside Ayton. It would really really hurt our offense long-term and quicker 4s would be a problem for us defensively. I really have no interest in Turner given this current roster. He is not what we need.

OldAz: I don’t see it. First, when I looked up Myles Turner to check my assumptions before answering, I saw articles connecting Turner to a LOT of teams, so I could certainly see him being dealt. However, for the Suns to play him next to DA, they would likely have to move DA to a PF role. This is something they have shown zero interest in and spent no time developing in the past. I really can’t see that changing because a decent center is available. Personally, I would make this move as I think DA would fit nicely as a PF, but it is more of a benefit for the future than it would be this season. DA would need to seriously work on his long distance shot to make it work.

Ethan: I’m still in the camp of “Myles Turner could be a good Phoenix Sun”, but I’m very against the idea of pairing him with Ayton. I don’t like it due to the fact that it would imply that we would be trading for him with the intention of giving him a deal this summer that he would like. I believe that any deal he would like wouldn’t be a deal that the Suns would like. If we’re aiming to get Turner to replace Ayton... I don’t hate it. Don’t think it makes great sense, but I don’t hate it. If we’re getting him so that we can play them together in the future, I’m out.

Philip: Let’s assume that Turner continues making roughly what he’s making this year, $17.5 million. With DA making $33 million every year, the Suns would be spending north of $50 million on two big who probably would not share the floor in any meaningful moment in the playoffs.

That would be an inexcusably horrible use of salary space.

So, to Myles Turner, I say, “No, thanks.”

Rod: I don’t see it happening but I kind of like the idea of the pairing IF they could get Turner without giving up much in return. It would give the Suns a very big frontline that shoots from well outside of the paint (Turner is shooting 39.1% from three on 3.9 attempts per game) while also improving their rebounding and interior defense.

Salary-wise, the Suns could make this trade work for Crowder and Shamet (or Saric, Payne, Craig... all of them work in the trade machine when paired with Crowder) but I’d be hesitant to add a future 1st round pick (even with protections on it) which would certainly be a deal breaker for the Pacers. Turner is on an expiring contract ($18 mil this season) and will want a big payday this offseason which I don’t think the Suns will want to pay unless the pairing turned out to be a slam dunk success... which I have many doubts about it being.

Because of that, there’s no way the Suns should give up a lot to get it done. Hopefully there are even better trade options out there that we haven’t heard about yet.

Q2 - It seems that the Suns “missed out” on trading for Rui Hachimura. What are your thoughts on this?

GuarGuar: I’m ok with missing out on Rui. He’s been pretty mediocre to below average for the majority of his career. The potential is there but he’s been very very inconsistent, which is not what this team needs. I won’t lose sleep over missing out on him.

OldAz: I have heard it said “Never let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.” If the trade deadline passes and James Jones is left holding a bag of Crowder, then this phase will become very insightful. People will howl and call for James Jones’ head on a platter for missing out on a player like Rui in order wait for a perfect deal that never came. However, if Jones actually pulls off a trade for a good rotation player for Crowder, other expiring deals and picks, then we will all be very grateful that he passed on any deal for Rui.

Ethan: I think it’s fun to get excited about getting a young, lottery talent who maybe was mishandled in the developmental first couple of years in the NBA. It’s the same reason some random Grizzlies fan was probably pumped when they traded for Josh Jackson. My thinking here is that if the trade was simply losing Jae and getting Rui, it just wasn’t enough from the Suns’ brass. I think the Suns want to use Jae (and his money) as a part of something bigger. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved to trade a guy who’s sitting at home for a young talent who’s eager to prove people wrong, but my gut is telling me that if they REALLY wanted Rui, they would’ve made it happen.

Philip: This is like missing out on placing a futures parlay on DraftKings. There just can’t be clarity about what you missed for some time.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that Rui Hachimura was the key to the Suns leaping into title contention this year. I’m also not going to sit here and pretend like it’s no big deal. Time will have to tell.

Rod: I’m not losing any sleep over it. Hachimura would have been a good pickup but he’s headed for restricted free agency, might be expensive to keep past this season and I’m not convinced he would have made a big difference on the Suns. My opinion could change depending on what James Jones does between now and the trade deadline though.

Q3 - Saben Lee’s 2nd 10-day contract will be up at the end of the month. Do you think the Suns will use their open roster spot to keep him or just let him go?

GuarGuar: I think we will end up keeping him unless James Jones needs that roster spot for a trade. He’s been a great energized for this team and has had some nice games to help get us wins. I like the guy but I understand if we can’t sign him due to an incoming trade.

OldAz: I think they will. It is just too hard for me to imagine a scenario where any trade the Suns makes would bring in more players than are being shipped out. And even if it does, Lee could then be released to make the deal work. S. Lee has played well and I think the more likely scenario is that a trade opens up more roster spots by sending out multiple players and getting one player back. This might then lead to the conversion of the 2 way deals for DWJ or Ish.

Ethan: Lee has done more than enough to earn a roster spot, I’m just worried about the implications that it could have on the trade deadline. He’s honestly shown to be better in flashes than some of the current guards who are under contract (you can guess if you’d like). I’m not a cap/free agent genius (and I don’t even pretend to be), but I’m curious if keeping that spot open would allow them to consider a larger volume of trades that are being thrown out there. Again, I know NOTHING on this so feel free to bash me in the comments about Larry Bird Rights, Luxury Vinyl Taxes and the sort. Just a simple man sharing his thoughts.

Philip: With all due respect to Saben Lee, I would be surprised to see the Suns fill that roster spot with a 10-day player. The Suns have been slow to fill that spot, assumingly leaving it open for trade flexibility. Unfortunately, I think Saben Lee’s role this season will have been to help fill minutes as the Suns got progressively healthier.

Rod: As much as I like him and his game, I really doubt that the Suns use that empty roster spot to keep him. Now once the trade deadline has passed, they might decide to bring him back but that will depend on what they do (or don’t do) before that arrives. Of course, if Jones has the green light to do so, they might go ahead and sign him now even if they might have to waive him later depending on what happens at the deadline.

A while back, someone suggested that the Suns waive one of their current two-way contract players (Washington/Wainright) and sign Lee to a two-way but Jan. 15 was the deadline for signing two-way contracts so that’s not an option.

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, “Do you think that Deandre Ayton will still be on the Suns’ roster next season?

54% - Yes.

46% - No.

A total of 580 votes were cast.

This week’s poll is...


Are your hopes for the Suns making a significant trade higher now that the new owner will take over before the trade deadline?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (520 votes)
  • 14%
    (86 votes)
606 votes total Vote Now

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