8:10pm: Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports hears the Suns aren't expected to participate in any major deals (Twitter link), so it appears they may not bite on Smith after all.
7:55pm: Having already participated in a smaller deal this evening, acquiring Marcus Morris from the Rockets, the Suns are discussing a proposal for Josh Smith that would send Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and a first-round pick to the Hawks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. Woelfel adds that Phoenix is the primary contender for Smith, thought to be the biggest name with a reasonable chance of heading elsewhere.
Such a trade would eat into the Hawks' cap space that they've prioritized for next summer, since Gortat and Dudley are signed to long-term deals. Still, the move would leave them enough room to add a max player through free agency. They've been looking for a "quality young center" in return for Smith but perhaps would settle for Gortat, who just turned 29 and is on a reasonable deal that pays him $7.26MM this season and $7.73 next year. Dudley would also be an economical pickup, as he's set to make $4.25MM through 2016. The swingman has been a part of several rumors lately, prompting him to express his desire to stay in Phoenix. He can't veto a trade, however, so the Suns can move him out if they find a deal they like.
The Suns, wary of their ability to re-sign Smith when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer, were reportedly out on Smith as of this weekend, but perhaps they've become more willing to take the risk. If they trade for him and can't convince him to stay, they'll have cleared about $12MM in cap space for this summer, if nothing else.
The All-Star game is in progress and if you take a look at the Western Conference team, you'll notice that the Suns are not among the teams represented. Phoenix is 17-36 and their splash page of their website invites fans to come and get acquainted with the Suns players, which is a great idea in October, but says quite a bit about the state of the team in February. There are bright spots for the Suns, however, and Jared Dudley is among them.
Dudley's contract is a solid value as he'll earn $4.25MM per season through 2014/15 with a player option for the same amount in the following year. His game may be unspectacular, but he brings hard-nosed play and quality outside shooting at a reasonable price, making him an attractive bench piece for several teams. The Knicks, Jazz, and Grizzlies are all said to have varying degrees of interest and it makes perfect sense for the rebuilding Suns to listen on offers.
However, as a rebuilding team, its not always easy to find quality players that, you know, actually want to be there. While many players in Dudley's position would probably be pushing hard for a mid-season trade, the forward said this weekend that he wants to help turn things around in Phoenix.
"I don't care what anyone tells you. If you're on a team that's losing the way we are, people should be frustrated, annoyed, but still upbeat at practice to want to get better...I am frustrated that we're losing. I'm tired of seeing the same mistakes. But I'm willing to put the work in to make those mistakes be very limited, if not at all," said the 27-year-old.
As a quality, reasonably-compensated complementary piece, Dudley holds a good amount of trade value. At the same time, he's exactly the kind of player (and contract) that a rebuilding club would probably like to keep around. Should the Suns trade him this week?
Phoenix forward Jared Dudley has seen his name come up in connection with several teams as the trade deadline approaches and it would make sense for the lottery-bound club to explore a deal. However, Dudley told Jim Coughenour and Kris Habbas of SB Nation that if he had his way, he says he'd stay with the 17-36 Suns.
If push comes to shove, the 27-year-old says that he'd rather go to a contender than another losing ballclub. But, in Dudley's mind, staying put after the trade deadline would be the best outcome possible.
"It's easy to be in a good mood when you're winning," he said. "When you're losing, you need to stay in the gym, stay on guys. You never want to leave. I'll be the first one to tell you that if I had to leave, I don't want to go to a team that's bad...Phoenix, city-wise, is one of the top five destinations to go to, so why not just stay here and just get better?"
Dudley has averaged 11.5 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 29.3 minutes per contest this season. Last week, Chuck Myron examined the Boston College product as a trade candidate. The Knicks and Jazz are among the teams that have been linked to Dudley.
Already today, we've passed along a few trade rumors from Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game and Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. Now, it's Chris Broussard's turn, as the ESPN reporter has published a lengthy Insider-only piece on the latest rumblings from around the league. Here's what Broussard has for us:
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld shares a number of trade rumors and updates in his latest NBA AM piece, so let's dive right in and round up the highlights....
The Suns wouldn't be averse to trading any of their players, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports wrote today, and as they target Iman Shumpert, Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward and others, Jared Dudley is a name that keeps coming up on Phoenix's end. The 27-year-old swingman is again performing close to the level he attained in last season's career-best campaign, and with an affordable long-term contract, he could be a fit for teams looking for a steady, if unspectacular, role player.
Dudley has been linked to the Knicks and Jazz in recent days, and the Grizzlies were reportedly insisting that Dudley be included in any offer that would have sent Rudy Gay to the Suns. Among those three teams, he would probably make the most sense in Memphis, where his long-range accuracy (he's made 38.9% of his treys this season) would help a squad that's last in the league in three-pointers made this season. Dudley could provide depth for the Grizzlies, who've continually reduced their forces to shed salary. Even now that Gay is in Toronto, the Grizzlies could slide Dudley's $4.25MM salary into the $7,489,453 trade exception they received in last month's three-team deal, and still have plently of room on the exception and under the tax line to add someone else. The hangup there would probably be over what the Suns would get in return, since Memphis doesn't have much in the way of draft picks to surrender, and giving up a player to get one in return wouldn't solve the team's depth issues.
The Knicks are at the opposite end of the three-point spectrum from the Grizzlies, having made the second-most long balls of any team in the league, so Dudley would likely overlap with existing talent in the Big Apple. Still, too much outside shooting isn't necessarily a problem, and for a high-payroll team like New York, Dudley's contract could be a welcome value. He's set to make the same salary every year through 2016, though the final season of his deal includes an early-termination option. Finding cheap contracts wouldn't really seem like a pressing concern for the Jazz, who have only about $25.3MM in commitments for next season, but GM Dennis Lindsey and company, just like every team's front office, aren't going to turn down a value, particularly if they'd be swapping him out for Gordon Hayward's rookie contract.
Utah is in the bottom third of the league in three-pointers made, but perhaps the reason why Utah and other teams would hesitate to jump at Dudley is that he probably wouldn't really represent a significant all-around upgrade, particularly if he's in the starting lineup. The 22nd pick in the 2007 draft, Dudley set his career mark in points per game at 12.7 last year, his first as a full-time starter. He's at 11.5 PPG this year, with averages of 3.5 rebounds and a career-high 2.6 assists in 29.4 minutes per game. Those conventional statistics suggest mediocrity, and they're backed up by his 15.1 PER, right on the mark for an average player. His presence hasn't been able to lift the Suns out of last place in the Western Conference, and while he could be the missing piece on an established team, Dudley by himself is nothing special.
Teams that can utilize him as a fifth starter alongside a more explosive wing player or use him as a shooter off the bench seem like the right fits. Though his name is not often mentioned when the league's best marksmen are discussed, he's a career 40.5% three-point shooter, and nailed 45.8% of his attempts from behind the arc in 2009/10, the fourth-best percentage in the league that season. He seems like he could be a more inexpensive option for teams going after J.J. Redick, who's making $6.19MM this year in the final season of his contract. Dudley would be a long-term alternative who could also be much easier to obtain, considering the Suns are looking to deal while the Magic seem reluctant to part with Redick. Given the volume of Redick rumors we've seen this season, Dudley's team-friendly pact, and Phoenix's willingness to make changes, I think the Boston College product shouldn't get too comfortable in the warmth of the Valley of the Sun.
The last-place team in the Western Conference at 17-35, the Suns are lottery-bound, but with cap space to spare and a handful of movable assets, the club is expected to be active at the trade deadline. In his latest round-up of the trade rumors surrounding the team, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Suns have shown interest in Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward.
While it's not clear if the Suns and Jazz have engaged in discussions about a possible deal, Coro notes that Jared Dudley, who has been the subject of trade rumblings himself, could be a potential outgoing piece, with Marcin Gortat likely needed to make a deal for Jefferson work. Although Jefferson is set to be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, his Bird Rights would come along with him in any trade, giving his new team a bit of a leg up in re-signing him this summer.
For his part, Dudley is trying to avoid letting trade rumors faze him, pointing out that it's just flattering to be drawing interest.
"When my name came up before, I was a throw-in," Dudley said. "Now, I think I’ve worked on my game where I could be a good piece or asset for the Suns or any team."
11:18am: Woodson has spoken with Shumpert, but he can't assure him he won't be traded, Newsday's Al Iannazzone tweets.
"Sure, we talk to him and we show him love and we tell him he's a big part of what we're doing. Those are just trade rumors," Woodson said.
SUNDAY, 9:04am: Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears the Knicks are unlikely to bite on a Shumpert-for-Dudley deal.
SATURDAY, 7:53pm: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld adds on to Wojnarowski's report, saying that the Knicks would rather move Ronnie Brewer than Shumpert, but the Suns are intent on acquiring the second-year guard.
6:55pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phoenix Suns are pursuing a trade for Knicks guard Iman Shumpert. The Suns would offer a package including guard Jared Dudley and could possibly include a first-round pick as well.
Shumpert has been linked to the Suns since this summer, when they attempted to acquire him in a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for Steve Nash before Nash ultimately went to the Lakers. Saturday morning, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reported the Knicks' interest in Dudley, although Wojnarowski writes that New York is hesitant to do this trade.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports (via Twitter) that the New York Knicks are interested in trading for Suns swingman Jared Dudley before the February 21 trade deadline. It is unclear what sort of package the Knicks could offer.
Dudley was previously rumored to be part of a package the Suns were offering to the Grizzlies for Rudy Gay. Gay was ultimately dealt to the Toronto Raptors in January. Dudley is making $4.25MM this season, which would make it difficult for New York to put together an attractive enough package to land Dudley. It is doubtful Phoenix would be interested in veterans such as Steve Novak or Marcus Camby, and the Knicks have already traded away many of their future first-round draft picks.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com has posted his latest Weekend Dime column, which features updates on a variety of trade-related topics from around the NBA. Here are the highlights: