5 moves the Suns could make ahead of the NBA draft

With their crowded backcourt and young core, the Suns often find themselves in the middle of NBA trade rumors.

It's the hottest time of the year for the rumor mill, and between the team's older contracts and its top-5 pick, Phoenix is again involved in theoretical trade propositions.

In some of the posited scenarios, the Suns are the third team in the deal, basically used to spread out cap hits while they get out from under pricey contracts. With an impossible $125.5 million still due to Brandon Knight, Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley over the next 3-4 years, moving a contract or two could be worth it.

But according to some league reports, Phoenix is working to acquire Chicago star Jimmy Butler, likely using that No. 4 pick in this week's draft as a chip.

What are the Suns' best options heading into the draft?

1. Go after Butler

If the Suns have the chance to bring in a player as good as Jimmy Butler, they should pull the trigger. The price would be the No. 4 pick, but Butler is a real two-way star fairly early in his prime. He could help lead the young Suns into a more successful era.

2. Move off veterans

Two summers ago when the Suns brought in Tyson Chandler, they did so to entice LaMarcus Aldridge to come to the Valley. It didn't work out and it's not working out. Jared Dudley got $10 mil to ride the bench last year and will continue to do so as the Suns give minutes to younger players.

While the team would probably love to get Brandon Knight's $56.5 million guaranteed off its books, it's not likely another team will sign up to take on that contract. To unclog that backcourt logjam, the Suns would have to move Eric Bledsoe.

3. Bring in Kevin Love

Love's status has dropped since moving from Minnesota to Cleveland and working in a system where he doesn't dominate the ball anymore. Phoenix might be a good spot for him, with Devin Booker able to work off the ball.

He could be available as part of a three-team trade for the Cavs to appease LeBron James before he hits free agency again next summer.

But long-term, would Love stay in Phoenix? That's questionable. And he'd be taking minutes away from younger players in Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss.

4. Draft a point guard

Acquiring a guard through the draft could clear up some of the Suns' backcourt problems and force them to move off other contracts, like Bledsoe's or Knight's if possible, to clear room for the new addition. If UCLA's Lonzo Ball falls into Phoenix's lap, it would have to take him, but Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox is an intriguing prospect at the No. 4 pick, too.

5. Acquire a small forward talent

This may be the Suns' most likely path, given the difficulty of negotiating a trade and the team's current roster. Either Jason Tatum of Duke or Josh Jackson of Kansas should be there for the Suns at No. 4.

Jackson is the more enticing talent for many around the league, with more visible athleticism, but Tatum is a polished scorer for a player who played just one year of college ball.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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