After sending Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic, Narrir Little, Keon Johnson, and obtaining Grayson Allen from the Milwaukee Bucks, it does not appear that Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones is content with the roster as currently constructed. Rumblings and rumors are percolating and the water in the cup that is roster construction is vibrating like when a tyrannosaurus rex is near.
Phoenix does have a conundrum before them as they currently have two too many players on the team. You are permitted to carry 15 players, along with three two-way contracts, at the start of the season. They are at 17, plus two two-way contracts.
While they can’t combine the incoming assets into a trade – there will be no Grayson Allen plus Nassir little for insert-player-name-here – there are still speculations floating about that Phoenix might make another move.
That move? It is a name that has been linked with Phoenix all summer long, Indiana Pacers point guard T.J. McConnell.
We also discussed Boston’s chances at acquiring “Jrue Detective,” as well as Phoenix’s ongoing interest in Pacers guard T.J. McConnell, per sources. https://t.co/rza3P4raHm— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) September 28, 2023
McConnell would fill one obvious need for the Suns: having a true point guard. He’s played 8 seasons in the NBA, four with the Philadelphia 76ers and four with the Pacers, and has posted a respectable 7.1 points and 5 assists in 22 minutes played.
Currently the only true point guard on the team (and I’m not sure how “true” he really is) is Jordan Goodwin, who the Suns obtained from the Washington Wizards in the Bradley Beal trade. Outside of Goodwin, Phoenix rosters numerous wings and hybrid players. The addition of McConnell would make sense and strengthen the play making and distribution from the second team unit.
The question becomes what can Phoenix package together that is sexy enough for Indiana to want to move off of McConnell? This is the team that did not budge when the rumored ‘Ayton of Turner and T.J.’ offers were made earlier this summer. T.J. is slated to make $8.7 million next season and is partially guaranteed in 2024-25. Phoenix isn’t a team overflowing with assets at this point, either.
Phoenix could potentially stack numerous veteran minimum contracts together, but the majority of those are not movable until December 15 and aren’t truly appealing. Indiana surely does not want a four-for-one deal.
The Suns could flip newly acquired Grayson Allen and that may be the best option available, possibly for both teams involved. The unappealing reality is that Allen is an unrestricted free agent next offseason. Indiana wouldn’t be looking for a mid-season rental.
James Jones tends to find a way, however, and we will continue to monitor this. It might not be a move that is made before the season. Based on where the Indiana Pacers are slated in the Eastern Conference around the trade deadline could dictate their willingness to move their point guard from the university of Arizona. This could be the opportunity for Phoenix to get the prize that they have desired for quite some time.