So many questions, so few answers. So few outs. So few options. This is the state of affairs for the Phoenix Suns as they are teetering on the edge. After a 14-point loss — after leading by one point entering the fourth quarter mind you — on Christmas Day to the Dallas Mavericks is just another in a long line of frustrating performances by the Suns.
I’ve been hammering home this point ad nauseam here on Bright Side and it feels as if we become Dark Side.
Like the Suns themselves, there’s no joy or happiness in watching the way that they are playing basketball. I cannot say that I’m excited when I see that there is a game scheduled. I’ve gone to a dark place, and I desperately need reasons to smile.
Grayson Allen gave us a reason on Monday night.
Allan has been one of the few bright spots for Phoenix since joining the team as a part of the Deandre Ayton trade. He is a prime example of why we believed that DA could and should be moved. If you break apart Ayton’s contract into pieces, there was a chance that those pieces could outperform what the former number one pick overall provided.
That is exactly what has occurred.
Jusuf Nurkic has been a quality center for Phoenix. Nassir Little has shown his upside and athleticism on numerous occasions. And Grayson Allen might be the steal of that deal with how he has played in Phoenix.
In 24 games played for GA — all starts — he has averaged 13 points and 4.5 rebounds. Oh, and 45.4% shooting from beyond the arc.
On Christmas night, Allen was the gift that we were waiting for under the tree as he carried the Suns, who were down by 10 points at halftime, to a one-point lead entering the fourth. He scored 19 points in the third quarter and made eight three-pointers in the game.
Grayson was on FIRE from beyond the arc last night— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 26, 2023
His 8 three-pointers…
☄️ tied his career high
☄️ tied the NBA record on Christmas Day
☄️ set the Suns record on Christmas Day pic.twitter.com/r8oZVrCC3l
It was his best game of the season in every capacity. His hustle, shooting, and willingness to simply take over. It’s what the Suns have been missing this season.
It has been the Devin Booker and Kevin Durant Show this year and no one consistently has stepped up to assist them. In theory, that should be Bradley Beal, but theory is not reality. Brad has played a mere six games total and only 24 minutes with Booker and Durant. So somebody else has to step up. Grayson Allen can be that guy and has experience as a starter performing in such a capacity.
But this is where that bright spot takes a dark turn.
There is no room for improvement for the Phoenix Suns seeing as they are a second-apron team that does not have many outs as it pertains to acquiring new players. All they can do is try to navigate the remainder of the season with what they have unless they want to make a trade. My guess is Book and KD aren’t on the market, nor should they be.
One of the highly tradable contracts, and most valuable given how he’s performed thus far this season, is that of Grayson Allen. Allen is making $8.9 million and is an unrestricted free agent next season. Those are very appealing contractual aspects to possess and contenders will come knocking to obtain a guy like GA.
His stock is up and if you want to improve the team via a transaction, Allen is one of the only viable contracts you can dish out that an opposing team will be remotely interested in. You’re not going to find many lining up for the $6.3 million that Nassir Little is making. Jusuf Nurkic is an option to move on from as well, but it all depends on what you were getting back and if that team needs a physical big man.
I know it is the high of having him score 32 points for the Suns, but I would like GA on this team. He can be the fifth starter because he can actually knock down a wide-open three-point shot. It is a possibility that the Suns do nothing with him, that he simply goes somewhere else once his time in Phoenix is up.
Whatever trade machine scenario you come up with, whether is it somehow adding Alex Caruso or snagging Clint Capela, you cannot replicate what Allen has provided. 45.4% from three? Where are you finding someone to shoot at that clip? Phoenix needs complimentary shooting and they have received that in Allen. And then some.
The option exists that he could walk at the end of the season. That is simply the risk you must take.