Cory Joseph, Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison, and T.J. McConnell are among the free agent point guard targets worth keeping an eye on for the Suns this offseason, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
While Phoenix has long been on the lookout for a starting point guard, the team doesn’t project to have the cap room necessary to make a run at top free agents like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, or D’Angelo Russell. Barring cost-cutting moves to create room, the mid-level exception figures to be the best weapon at the Suns’ disposal in free agency, so the veterans identified by Gambadoro as potential targets make sense. The MLE is projected to be worth about $9.25MM in 2019/20.
Gambadoro also writes that the Suns aren’t shopping the No. 6 overall pick for a veteran point guard, seemingly contradicting a Monday report from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. However, Givony’s story indicated that the Suns had made it known that they’d be open to moving the pick for the right player, which isn’t quite the same as having actively shopped it. The apparent discrepancy between the two reports may simply be a matter of semantics.
In any case, it’s clear that filling their hole at point guard will be one of the Suns’ top priorities this offseason, whether that happens in the draft, in free agency, or via the trade market. If Phoenix plans on using its mid-level exception – or opening up cap space – to pursue a veteran point guard, it would allow the team to use the No. 6 pick on the best player available, regardless of position.
On the other hand, if the Suns draft a point guard at No. 6 or trade that pick (or other assets) for a veteran guard, the club could address another position in free agency. Julius Randle is one non-point-guard free agent who has been recently linked to Phoenix.