ESPN’s Bobby Marks breaks down the state of the Phoenix Suns and shares his trade guide from the Suns’ point of view.
The 2024 NBA Trade Deadline is on Thursday, February 8th.
We’ve already seen one massive deal go down with Pascal Siakam getting traded to the Indiana Pacers. Expect to see plenty of movement as teams look to shake up their rosters for the final stretch.
Where do the Suns fall into all of that, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. We can provide you with Phoenix’s asset information and what they are and are not allowed to do.
Bobby Marks started his segment by saying: “The best trade asset Phoenix has is patience.” This is in regards to them not overreacting to the injuries or slow start and realizing their core is solid. Their foundation is strong, health permitted... and that remains a big “if”.
What can they do to maximize the surrounding roster spots? How can they set themselves up for success in the playoffs? These are the questions the Suns’ front office will have to address as they look to improve on the margins.
Phoenix is a second-apron team and can acquire players within 110% of their salary. They are allowed to aggregate contracts and can send $1.3 million in cash this season.
Marks: “You might as well go use that ($1.3 million) now, because once the offseason hits in April, Phoenix will not be able to use that anymore since they are a second-apron team.”
The Suns have four trade exceptions as well, and they must be used this season or they will expire. Once they get to the offseason, they won’t be able to send cash or aggregate contracts, so they need to make a move now.
They will be able to move their 2024 1st-round pick on draft night, but they cannot deal it beforehand.
As we all know, the Suns are top-heavy in contracts with Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker earning roughly ~$130 million.
Next in line are Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, and Nassir Little earning between $6.2 million to $16.9 million.
John Gambodoro reported that he does not expect the Suns to move Grayson Allen and that they are interested in re-signing him this offseason.
I do not expect the Suns to trade Grayson Allen. In fact if he keeps playing well I would not be surprised if they attempt to resign him in the offseason. For those thinking how? - they can keep him and pay him they would just have to pay the tax. https://t.co/bH1jomL172— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) January 17, 2024
Nassir Little is the prized trade chip from a contract perspective at $6.2 million. He is on an affordable contract over the next several years and still has youth on his side.
One name Marks mentions as a Phoenix target is Brooklyn Nets forward Royce O’Neale. In his mock proposal, he has Phoenix sending Nassir Little, Keita Bates-Diop, and three second-round picks to the Nets for O’Neale.
Adding a tough forward that can hit threes and defend multiple positions is something the Suns desperately need. While it may not necessarily be Royce O’Neale himself, someone in his mold makes a ton of sense.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks highlighted Royce O’Neale as a Phoenix trade target in his Suns trade deadline preview.— Zona (@AZSportsZone) January 18, 2024
BKN: Nassir Little, Keita Bates-Diop, Three 2nd round picks
PHX: Royce O’Neale
Dave King’s Breakdown
How to acquire
The buyout market is an option, though the Suns cannot acquire someone making more than $12.4 million if they go that route.
- CAN aggregate salaries this year, in and out
- CANNOT take on more than 10% more salary coming back in a trade of players
- CAN sign a guy who was bought out, but only if he made less than $12.4 million
- CAN use a trade exception to acquire a player from another team into a roster spot, but cannot be included with outgoing players. Has to be used by itself to acquire someone else’s player into the salary spot
- Dario Saric trade exception = $4.975 million, usable through 2/9/2024
- Cameron Payne trade exception = $6.5 million, usable through 9/7/2024
- There’s also small Isaiah Todd and Toumani Camara ones, but they are under $2 mil each