The Suns and Pistons are discussing a possible trade that would send Luke Kennard to Phoenix, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that a Suns first-round pick is in play.
Kennard, 23, is a career 40.2% three-point shooter and had taken on an increased role in Detroit this season, averaging a career-best 15.8 PPG and 4.1 APG in 32.9 minutes per contest. The 23-year-old has been limited to 28 games, having been sidelined since December 21 with a knee injury.
A third-year guard who will be extension-eligible during the 2020 offseason, Kennard could be a nice fit on a Suns team that has lacked reliable outside shooting. Phoenix ranks among the NBA’s bottom 10 teams in terms of both three-point attempts and three-point percentage this season, and the club’s most consistent long-distance threat has been a rookie, Cameron Johnson.
It wouldn’t be difficult for Phoenix to match Kennard’s $3.8MM salary — Wojnarowski suggests (via Twitter) that a potential package gaining some traction would feature Jevon Carter, Elie Okobo, and a first-round pick.. If the Suns are willing to part with their 2020 first-rounder, I expect they’d want to add some form of protection, since it currently projects to land at No. 11.
As Gina Mizell of The Athletic tweets, the Suns’ current VP of basketball operations, Jeff Bower, was the Pistons’ general manager when Detroit selected Kennard with the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, so he’s very familiar with the former Duke standout. Phoenix envisions Kennard as a floor-spacer who could complement scorers and play-makers like Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre, and Ricky Rubio, per Wojnarowski.