While no one aside from Golden State and Minnesota is figuratively eliminated from playoff contention in the Western Conference, the Suns weren’t exactly sitting pretty at the NBA trade deadline. The squad comes into Friday’s slate six games back of Memphis for the eight-seed, with more than a couple teams standing in their path. Honestly, it’s not the main concern of Phoenix. The team is in year one of yet another rebuild, but the Suns’ core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Ricky Rubio is locked up for the foreseeable future and the organization has taken more positive steps this season than in years past.
With that in mind, it’s not shocking to hear that the one move that Phoenix almost completed wouldn’t have been viewed as a trade that impacted 2019-20. According to several reports, the Suns came close to acquiring former lottery pick Luke Kennard from the Pistons, with the deal only hitting a snag when the protections attached to the first-round pick Phoenix would be sending back couldn’t be agreed upon. Kennard has missed Detroit’s past 23 games due to a knee injury, yet he’s averaged 15.8 points and shot 39.9% from 3-point range so far this season, making him a tantalizing trade target. I mean, there’s nothing ever wrong with adding more spacing around Rubio and more play-making around Booker.
Another rumor that made far less sense was that the Suns were looking to move on from Kelly Oubre. The 24-year-old is in the midst of a breakout campaign, averaging 18.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in the 49 starts he’s logged. Sure, a case could be made that Phoenix was attempting to sell-high on a 24-year-old wing in what was initially shaping up to be a relatively underwhelming market; yet it would appear that the bidding war the Suns envisioned never materialized. Still, Oubre could be a name to watch for at next season’s deadline, as his very affordable contract will be an expiring deal.