Potential Point Guard Options for the Phoenix Suns

June 9, 2019

When it comes to teams with the most future potential in the NBA, a team that is now commonly talked about is the Phoenix Suns, with players like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton showing that they can perform at a very high level at a very young age.  The Suns have their wing players all set with players like Mikal Bridges and T.J. Warren, and Kelly Oubre Jr. is more than likely to re-sign with Phoenix this summer.  However, one position is in dire need of being filled this summer: the starting point guard role.  Elie Okobo and De'Anthony Melton both are better suited to a bench role and shouldn't be starters, and the same can be said for Tyler Johnson, who would likely be better off as a backup shooting guard to Booker.  Many names have been in circulation for Phoenix this off-season, so let's take a look at some of them and what it would take to get them in Phoenix.

 

 

Free Agency

 

Thinking off free agents specifically, the Suns are more than likely not going for a big name such as Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, and it's hard to imagine D'Angelo Russell winding up anywhere except Brooklyn as he is a restricted free agent.  This leaves the Suns with a pool a veteran point guards that shouldn't command a high paycheck.  One name that stands out to me is Darren Collison, a 10-year vet who has spent the last 2 seasons with the Indiana Pacers, who are rumored to let Collison go this off-season. Collison can shoot the 3 efficiently, which is something Phoenix desperately needs help with, and is a decent defender that has made it to the leaderboards in steals in the past.  Another option to consider is Patrick Beverley, who constantly makes waves with his defensive intensity and gritty style of play.  I believe Beverley will remain with the Clippers, but he is still someone the Suns should still pursue.  Other names to watch out for are Cory Joseph and T.J. McConnell, but I believe those two are better suited to come off the bench, as Collison and Beverley are better floor generals.  If the Suns want to snag their point guard through free agency, those are a couple of low-cost options they could take.

 

How to sign Collison: 2 years, $15 million

How to sign Beverley: 2 years, $17 million

 

 

Draft

 

The Suns are open to trading the #6 overall pick for an experienced veteran point guard, but if they keep the pick, they are still left with some very good options.  They could take Coby White from North Carolina, who lit up the scoreboards in his lone season with the Tar Heels but may be a reach at #6.  They could draft Jarrett Culver, who led his Texas Tech team to the NCAA Championship game against Virginia and was dominant all season long, but he may be better suited as a shooting guard in the NBA and not as a point guard.  Then there is Darius Garland, the point guard who briefly played at Vanderbilt before suffering a season-ending injury in January.  Garland is a terrific ball handler who can easily create his own shot and consistently hit the three, and can pesky with his quick hands on the defensive end.  I personally think Garland would be the best option for the Suns at #6 if they decide to draft a point guard and not take another big man like Brandon Clarke, but Culver would also be a good option for Phoenix.

 

Trade Scenarios

 

 

Lonzo Ball

 

One of the hottest names on the trade block now is Lonzo Ball, as the Lakers may draft a point guard with the #4 pick in the draft, and Ball was already on the rumor mill before the draft lottery.  Ball hasn't had a whole lot of experience in the league so far, only playing 99 out of a possible 164 games, so the durability concerns are there.  But there is so much potential at stake with Lonzo, especially when it comes to being a floor general.  He is the type of point guard who can get the ball to the big man with ease, and new head coach Monty Williams will definitely try to fit Deandre Ayton more in next year's offense.  Combine that with Ball's incredible defensive prowess and on-ball tenacity, and Ball is a great fit for the Suns.  There are concerns about his shooting, but that is something that can be worked on and fixed, and he did slightly improve in 2018-19.  The Bulls and the Suns are the 2 teams heavily linked to Ball, so here is a potential deal the Suns could offer:

 

Suns Receive: Lonzo Ball, 2020 2nd-rd draft pick

Lakers Receive: Josh Jackson, 2019 #6 pick

 

 

Spencer Dinwiddie

 

The Brooklyn Nets have a point guard dilemma to address this off-season.  Spencer Dinwiddie and Shabazz Napier are both still under contract with the Nets, but breakout all-star D'Angelo Russell is a restricted free agent and likely to demand big bucks, and rumors of the Nets actively pursuing Kyrie Irving seems like a reality.  If the Nets can sign Irving and Russell back on the team, then Dinwiddie will likely be the odd man out and hit the trade block, where the Suns should definitely look into him.  Dinwiddie is 6'6, which is tall for his position and could wreck havoc on smaller guards on defense.  He also had a career year shooting the ball, averaging over 4 more points per game in 2018-19 than in 2017-18, while also playing the same amount of minutes.  He also has the tendency to get hot and take over games quickly, just like he did against Houston last year.  Personally, I believe he would be a better fit next to Devin Booker than D'Angelo Russell would be, as Dinwiddie could help take some defensive pressure off of Booker and mask his inefficiencies on the defensive end. Here's what a possible deal for Dinwiddie could look like:

 

Suns Receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, Alan Williams

Nets Receive: T.J. Warren, 2019 #32 pick, 2020 2nd-rd pick

 

 

Jrue Holiday

 

The priciest of the point guards to trade for, Holiday also comes with the perfect skill-set and the reputation of a leader and a floor general as well.  He is coming off of arguably his best season yet, where he averaged over 21 points and 7 assists per game and was named to the All-Defensive 2nd team.  His three-point shooting may have been down this year but he is a 36% three-point shooter over the span of his career, and is also among the league leaders in steals and assists every year.  As many know, the Pelicans are looking to deal Anthony Davis even more after landing the #1 pick (and potential superstar Zion Williamson), and they could continue this fire sale by dealing Holiday as well.  His defensive presence would be essential to Phoenix, and he wouldn't have to worry about scoring the ball as much with players like Booker, Ayton, and Kelly Oubre in town next year.  He'll be able to create shots for other teammates, something a Suns point guard hasn't been able to do consistently in a long time.  Like I mentioned before, it will take a package to convince New Orleans to trade him based off of his career success, contract and salary, so here is a possible deal that could work:

 

Suns Receive: Jrue Holiday, Kenrich Williams

Pelicans Receive: T.J. Warren, Tyler Johnson (expiring contract), Elie Okobo, 2019 #6 pick, 2021 2nd-rd pick

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