Welcome to my trade target series as we explore potential players the Phoenix Suns can seek out to join their squad entering the 2023-24 season. The premature offseason discussions continue here on Bright Side and we are once again proposing different trade scenarios that would benefit the team, hopefully putting together the right combination of players that could equate to the first championship in franchise history.
Here we are again.
Every summer, I sit at my Lenovo computer and start pressing keys and being click-clacking away on the Fanspo trade machine. I research rosters throughout the NBA and attempt to find the trade scenarios that make sense. I think I’m 0-for-24 in my time with Bright Side as I attempt to predict the future, but one of these years I’ll get one right!
Playing GM is tough. It is going to be even harder this season as the Suns do not have many assets to part with. Draft picks? All the good ones are gone. Mid-level player contracts? Sign Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet up for this category, and those aren’t names that opposing teams are eagerly trying to add to their roster.
This year’s series might be short this year. The only viable assets Phoenix can move off of are Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul. And the fate of Chris Paul is TBD, seeing as the Suns have leaked that they may waive him. Big names. Big contracts. Big returns?
I’ll be playing devil’s advocate as I believe the Suns are going to have to move off one or both of those contracts. With the new CBA looming, the league is becoming a two-star lineup league. Having four $30M+ players on one team is down right irresponsible. Any team that does that will be standing in the kitchen with nothing but the second tax apron on.
So here is my first swing at the trade machine. Be gentle.
Yes, it’s very NBA2k. It’s very pro-Suns. But I’m just warming the ‘ole trade machine up in hopes that I get better at this thing as time progresses.
In this scenario, you are essentially banking on the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns executing sign-and-trades with their big name — but aging — point guards. Daryl Morey would have to sell James Harden on the idea of playing in Chicago and on being the reason why his addition would make that a championship caliber team. That would be a stretch.
Maybe Morey can give him a listing of local strip clubs, assuming Harden doesn’t have their locations saved as favorites in his Google Maps.
On the Philly side of things, they receive Chris Paul, a veteran who Daryl Morey has a history with the Houston Rockets. With new head coach Nick Nurse building out his coaching staff, renting the cerebral Chris Paul for a year would assist in his integration. Remember that CP3’s contract is not guaranteed in 2024-25, which does make it an appealing trade piece.
Tyrese Maxey is a young scoring star, and if the Sixers see the chance to improve his long-term skillset, they can look at what CP3 did with Devin Booker.
As for the Suns, Frank Vogel would be reunited with Alex Caruso, both of whom won an NBA Championship in the 2020 Orland Bubble with the Lakers. The Suns’ small forward needs would be met with the addition of DeRozan, although that mid-range would becoming insanely clogged.
Needless to say, I posted this on Twitter a couple of weeks back. Enjoy the comments and quote tweets:
What are your thoughts on this trade? No way it’s going to happen, right? I can add this to my list, going 0-for-25.
Stay tuned this month as I continue to throw trades out there in hopes that Mat Ishbia and James Jones tune in and see the value in one of them.