The Phoenix Suns are bound to do something this time around. Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Suns are actively on the phones looking for ways to improve their already impressive squad. No doubt that Emeka Okafor‘s expiring deal will be in the mix and although the Suns want to use their draft picks for a star, they could also be in play. Let’s take a look at a few targets that the Suns could consider.
Ah yes, the rumor that won’t go away. First it was imminent, then the Los Angeles Lakers wanted too much for him, then the Suns were nervous about his balky groin and now we’re here. Would anyone be surprised if this deal went down at the last minute? If the Suns can get him for the Okafor contract and perhaps the worst of their first-round picks, I’d think they’d be willing to pull the trigger.
There is that one major caveat — Gasol’s health. If healthy, the Suns would be foolish NOT to take a risk on him. They have plenty of assets, need another big man and Gasol wouldn’t be a long-term commitment (unless they wanted him). Playoff experience and an upgraded interior presence for an expiring deal and a crapshoot of a late first-round pick? Do it.
If the Sixers expect to get a quality first-round pick for Turner, they’re sorely mistaken. If anyone were willing to give them one, the deal would have been signed long ago. The fact is, the market for Turner is not exactly hot right now. He’s a hard worker and he’d provide a nice defensive addition next to a soon-to-return Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker, but offensively he’s all over the board.
Putting Turner in a position to succeed, next to guards who can set him up better than Michael Carter-Williams has, could be a career saver for the former No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA draft. If the Suns could talk the Sixers into throwing Spencer Hawes into the deal, the Suns could kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps a change of scenery is just what Turner needs right now.
I really don’t want to see the Suns turn Okafor’s big expiring deal into a bad draft pick, but that might end up happening. The fact is, we have to be patient with the Suns. They’re set up so well for the future that it would be foolish to give up too many assets for a player that isn’t going to be a big help.
One of the best deadline moves of all could be simply getting Bledsoe back healthy. It’s not going to change the fact that the Suns still have a lingering problem in the middle, but don’t forget that Bledsoe is capable of scoring 20 with four rebounds, six assists and two steals each and every night. That extra layer of offense, plus his terrific perimeter defense, can cover up a lot of mediocre interior play.