The Phoenix Suns are feeling good right now, coming off an impressive comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings and boasting a three-game winning streak. Good vibes are starting to penetrate the team, and this is due to the cohesion that is beginning to occur as more playing time has happened with the Big Three.
It is what we’ve been waiting for all season.
It takes time to understand how and where your teammates will be on the court together. Spacing and timing, who you can rely upon to knock down a shot and who sets solid screens. Chemistry is what we are beginning to witness.
When Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Grayson Allen, and Jusuf Nurkic are on the court, the team has a 127.9 offensive rating in 126 minutes played. Their net rating? A cool +14.4.
It’s hard to fathom where the Suns would be without Grayson Allen thus far this season. His offensive performance has been elite, which is part of the reason he is a desirable asset that the Suns are rumored to be shopping. That’s the rumor, per Jake Fischer.
From Jake Fischer’s piece on Yahoo! Sports:
Phoenix continues to be mentioned as one of the more active teams on the trade market, hoping to find rotational upgrades behind its Big Three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal. The Suns have explored what the combination of Grayson Allen and Nassir Little could bring back to The Valley, sources said, though the Suns have only four second-round picks at their disposal, and Allen has been arguably Phoenix’s most important player this season behind Durant and Booker.
You gain nothing if you let GA walk this off-season, outside of possessing his Bird rights (which means the Suns could pay him more than any other team could). But are they willing to is the question.
Based on Fischer’s report, and knowing that Allan has the most desirable contract on the team coupled with a transferable skill set, Phoenix is testing the market. They are asking the question and seeing what they can get.
Just a few days ago, I stated that I believe that the Suns should move off of Allen’s contract for numerous reasons.
It does expire at the end of the season. His value will never be higher than it is right now. Eric Gordon is a player with a very similar skill set.
But man, I don’t know about that anymore. I was in the building last night when he made nine three-pointers, tying a Suns’ record that he joined just two weeks ago. What he brings to the team is more than a desirable skill, it’s a necessity if Phoenix wants to win basketball games.
Seeing what Allen does and how he executes with that first team offense is exactly what you need to complement the Big Three. Durant, Booker, and Beal are going to generate gravity that opposing defenses must account for as they do everything they can to stop them. Who’s benefiting? Grayson Allen. Or “gRAYson ALLEN” as some have taken to calling him.
gRAYson ALLEN.— Jon Tran (@2018Jontran) January 17, 2024
Every time he shoots you have a feeling that it’s going to go in. And 48% of the time, you are correct.
The Suns are doing their due diligence by analyzing the market and having high-level conversations, but will they actually pull the trigger on the move? Time will tell if these rumors become actuality.
A fan base that once rejected the possibility of having Allen on the team due to his reputation will be in an uproar if he is moved. He is the one consistent thing that the Suns have had going for them throughout the entire season, and hitting the reset button at this juncture is troublesome.
Short-term greed versus long-term greed, right? The long-term move is to move off of Allen and gain an asset or two in return, building a sustainable roster for the future. But in the short term, I honestly believe that he gives you the best chance to win the championship with this roster.
What could Phoenix garner in return? What would be as impactful as an outgoing Allen/Little duo? We’ll have to wait and see.