The deal that sent Eric Bledsoe from Phoenix to Milwaukee in November may go down as one of the biggest in-season trades of 2017/18, but the Suns are unlikely to make another splash before the deadline, according to general manager Ryan McDonough. As Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic details, McDonough downplayed the idea of his team completing a major trade by February 8.
“If we do make a move, it will be positionally to fill a short-term need,” McDonough said. “There’s nobody we can sign or trade for that’s going to come close to replicating half of Devin Booker’s production. Nobody out there is 22 years old and like Davon Reed, who we’re really high on. So we’re most excited about getting those guys back [from injuries].”
Trading a veteran player like Tyson Chandler or Jared Dudley would make sense for a rebuilding team like the Suns. However, McDonough values the leadership those players bring to the locker room, suggesting that even in the midst of a rebuild, “you want to keep at least a few good vets around and we’re happy with those guys.”
Chandler is one of three solid centers on the Suns’ roster, and has been competing for playing time with Greg Monroe and Alex Len. Since Phoenix acquired Monroe, there has been a belief that McDonough would like to move one of those three centers, but the GM wouldn’t even concede that the team wants to clear that logjam. As Bordow writes, McDonough noted that the Suns don’t want to be shorthanded if they trade a center and then one of their remaining two gets hurt.
“I get that it’s a challenge for Coach [Jay] Triano and his staff [to find minutes for all three], but at the same time that’s what good teams do,” McDonough said. “They have depth and balance and manage the minutes and manage the situation even if it’s not perfect for anybody involved.”
If the Suns do make a trade in advance of the deadline, it’s “probably” safe to assume that it won’t come at the expense of minutes for their young players, per McDonough.