The first official trade of the 2023 NBA season took place on Thursday morning. No, it was not a blockbuster. However, one can hope that will break the ice and lead to some movement and substantial trade talks to heat up over the next few weeks.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room.
Rumors have been circulating about Rob Sarver’s impact on any potential moves the Suns make. Our own Dave King broke down that report and what it means moving forward, and I highly recommend you read that piece either before (or after) reading this one to fully understand the situation.
Windhorst: Sarver has veto power on any trade for player making over league average salary
The Suns sit at 20-21 and are on the verge of dropping out of the play-in with the Lakers sitting just a half game behind them. This begs the question of whether or not it’s even worth it for the Suns to take a stab at going “all-in” with Devin Booker on the mend.
In addition to Booker being out, Cam Johnson is still sidelined and now Chris Paul went down with hip soreness. Booker and Johnson are hopeful to return in the near future, and Paul’s injury doesn’t sound serious given the information we have now. They will get a return for Jae Crowder.
So with that being said, let’s dive down the path of contention. This team is still in the thick of it thankfully due to a mediocre middle-of-the-pack Western Conference.
Pascal Siakam, F- Toronto Raptors
Scale of availability: 4/10
If the Toronto Raptors actually decide to blow it up, then James Jones needs to get on the phone with Masai Ujiri immediately.
The beauty of Siakam is that he alleviates the offensive workload on Devin Booker and can guard multiple positions defensively. The duo of Booker-Siakam would instantly be one of the most elite, dynamic two-way forces in the National Basketball Association.
His rim pressure and ability to get to the free throw line would add an element that is sorely missed on this current Suns squad.
Siakam is averaging 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.5 assists on a 47/33/78 shooting split for the Raptors, putting together an All-NBA-worthy season.
Toronto would need a lot in return, including at least one of Ayton/Bridges along with Cam Johnson and multiple unprotected picks, and possibly even a pick swap or two. Adding a third team could make things really interesting as well. Let’s just sit back and see if this picks up any steam in the coming weeks.
Kyle Kuzma, F- Washington Wizards
Scale of availability: 8.5/10
Kuzma remains an option that should be intriguing for the Suns both in the short and long term.
Yes, he will enter the open market this summer, but getting a few months to evaluate his fit (for a team he wants to play for) could make an extension a possibility if they get creative financially.
It’s tough to imagine the Suns paying both Cam Johnson and Kyle Kuzma, but it’s not something you should entirely rule out either. There’s also a possibility that Johnson gets dealt in a package for Kuzma (unlikely) or in a larger blockbuster type of trade.
Kuzma is putting together the best season of his career from a volume and efficiency perspective. He’s averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game on a career-high 55.2 TS%. Phoenix desperately needs offensive firepower, and Kuzma fits that bill to a tee.
His fit between Ayton and Bridges at the four is intriguing and as mentioned before could be a suitable long-term fit if they sort out the financials.
Bojan Bogdanovic, F- Detroit Pistons
Scale of availability: 8.5/10
The Suns have been linked to Bojan in the past, and with the Pistons losing Cade for the season it makes sense for them to sell high on the veteran forward.
This one is plain and simple: Bojan gets buckets. The Suns need buckets.
He is averaging a career-high 21.0 points per game on an absurd shooting split of 49/42/89, nearly hitting the 50/40/90 club.
Malik Beasley, G & Jarred Vanderbilt, F/C- Utah Jazz
Scale of availability: 6.5/10
Vanderbilt and Beasley are more familiar names that have been connected to Phoenix time and time again.
Utah is more competitive than expected and they may try to keep these two around, but it is an opportunity for a team to sell high on a pair of players that were looked at as “throw-ins” in the Rudy Gobert blockbuster trade.
Beasley is third in the NBA in bench points at the moment and Vanderbilt is a wrecking ball of havoc on both ends of the floor. This combination improves the depth and addresses their weaknesses nearly to a tee.
While adding these two won’t raise the ceiling as high as some would like, it would solidify their status as a playoff team and give them a chance to compete with anyone in the West.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/W- Atlanta Hawks
Scale of availability: 7.5/10
No, this is not a typo. The “other” Bogdanovic makes sense as an offensive boost to the second unit should the Suns engage with Atlanta in a Crowder deal.
Bogdan is averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game for the Hawks after returning from an injury to start the season. He would provide an offensive boost to the bench unit and could also play alongside Devin Booker and the starting unit and create some dynamic offensive lineups when they get back to full strength.
Terry Rozier, PG- Charlotte Hornets
Scale of availability: 8/10
Reports from years past indicate that James Jones is a fan of Rozier, as Phoenix reportedly offered him the same offseason they signed Ricky Rubio.
Cam Payne has had a disappointing past twelve months between his poor performance and inability to stay healthy. It’s time for Phoenix to address the point guard position as a weakness, especially with Chris Paul aging.
Rozier is just pure offensive firepower that can swing a game when hot, which is something the Suns truly lack. He’s averaging a career-best 20.7 points to go with 5.2 assists per contest this season for Charlotte.
Suns fans — let us know who your favorite trade target is below and whether or not you think this team should still bother going all-in.
What’s your top trade target?
This poll is closed
Siakam, for picks + Ayton or Bridges
Kuzma, for 1-2 picks and salary
Bojan, for future pick + salary
Keep the picks, get lesser players