Phoenix Suns: Trade Deadline Wishful Thinking

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Phoenix Suns

December 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe (2) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Feb. 20 is tomorrow and the Phoenix Suns, expected to be one of the most active teams before the trade deadline, have yet to make a major move. With Emeka Okafor‘s expiring contract and a couple of draft picks stored up, general manager Ryan McDonough has plenty to offer potential trade partners. With Eric Bledsoe still injured and the Suns fully locked in for the playoff race, Phoenix is in dire need of another star piece.

Unfortunately, the big-name players the Suns would really like to get a hold of aren’t likely to be dealt before the deadline. A couple of guys are wishful thinking at this point, especially since the picks the Suns have are likely to be in the middle of the first round at best. However, since all we have to go off of right now is speculation, why not dream big until the Suns make an actual move, especially since ill-advised deals for Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph haven’t happened?

Guys like Gordon Hayward and Greg Monroe were considered for this piece, but ultimately ruled out for a few reasons. In Hayward’s case, he’s a versatile wing who’s averaging 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. That kind of balanced game, along with his good defense, would make him an improvement over P.J. Tucker. Unfortunately, Hayward will be a free agent over the summer and signing him to the kind of deal other teams may give him isn’t smart.

As for Monroe, he’s an extremely gifted offensive big and he’s only 23 years old. Monroe would easily be the best center Phoenix had if the Suns traded for him, but there’s a big problem: Monroe’s defense is atrocious. The one area the Suns need to improve on is their defense, which is giving up 101.8 points per game (23rd in the league). A stretch 4 or a defensive center is what the Suns really need, but Monroe doesn’t really fit those needs. Bledsoe’s return will elevate the Suns to a dangerous playoff threat, but if Phoenix truly wants to contend for a title one day, they need to upgrade while maintaining as much of their core as possible. Here are four players the Suns should be currently daydreaming about.

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