Over the weekend, the Suns struck a deal — which initially started as a failed three-team trade — that sent swingman Trevor Ariza to the Wizards in exchange for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers. The deal became official on Monday as both teams announced the move.
The Wizards reunited with a former player who has experience contending for the postseason. For the Suns, their return is more rooted in maintenance, head coach Igor Kokoskov told reporters (via Gina Mizell of The Athletic).
“We need somebody who’s gonna help us with maintaining,” he said. “A lot of games, we can’t go through the 48 minutes…We’re gonna find their roles. We definitely can use the talent and experience they have.”
Kokoskov’s comments are reflective of the Suns’ NBA-worst 6-24 record. It’s possible that Phoenix trades one or both of their new players closer to the trade deadline but in the meantime, they should help the Suns at least appear competitive.
Check out more Suns notes below:
- Kokoskov is an 18-year NBA assistant coach currently in his first season as a head coach. In that short stint, the Suns have made seven different roster moves, showing the team’s state of influx. As Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes, Kokoskov is involved in the process of all those moves. “NBA organization is a serious organization,” Kokoskov said. “I’m always asked for opinion and my job description is to run the team and coach the team and get us ready and prepared for Minnesota.”
- Jawun Evans, currently on a two-way deal with the Suns, has shown the ability to be an effective player in the G League. Ewans’ hope is to translate that success with Phoenix, where he was carved out a role off the bench, Cody Cunningham of NBA.com writes. “I just hope to bring grit to the team,” Evans said. “Somebody that on the defensive and offensive end, just to play faster and get everybody involved. Go out there and just have fun playing basketball.”
- Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic examines the Suns’ arena situation and why it might be one of the worst in the NBA. As various NBA franchise attempt to sway the NBA into new arenas, the Suns’ 26-year-old Talking Stick Resort Arena will be the oldest arena in the NBA not to be renovated or rebuilt in the past five years, Sanders writes.