The Phoenix Suns made their much-anticipated return to the NBA playoffs this year and with it came a spectacular run to the Finals. Although they ended up losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, the Suns have a core of stars in place that can run it back next year.
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges all excelled in the postseason and, should they stay together, will make Phoenix one of the favorites to reach the championship series again. Although it would seem obvious that they should all return, leader Chris Paul has a player option in his contract for next season.
If he declines, there will most certainly be huge offers on the table for him from the likes of the LA Lakers and New York Knicks. However, it seems more likely for now that he will return to play for the Phoenix Suns on a long-term deal.
Since the Suns fell short this campaign, they will inevitably be looking to make adjustments to their roster. Despite all of the success they have enjoyed, there is always room for improvement and while it could seem harsh to part ways with players who have helped them return to the pinnacle of NBA basketball, playing in the league is a cutthroat business.
Three Phoenix Suns assets that could be utilized in trades this summer
Since the likely scenario is that Paul re-signs with the Phoenix Suns, that leaves them with just their midlevel exception to work with in the offseason. They could use it to bring in one or two veterans or a worthy starter.
Phoenix struggled in the paint in the playoffs. When Dario Saric was injured, their inability to replace DeAndre Ayton's dominance was painfully clear for Suns fans. They need another rim protector on a team-friendly deal such as JaVale McGee but will also be looking to add a backup point guard with Cameron Payne entering free agency.
Although there are exciting times ahead for the Phoenix Suns, they need to be shrewd in the marketplace if they want to continue their upward trajectory. We have therefore chosen three assets they could part ways with to do that.
#3 29th pick in 2021 NBA Draft
The Phoenix Suns have become accustomed to having a high draft pick in recent years but could decide to move their 29th pick this year in a trade package. Currently in a win-now window, it makes a lot of sense for the franchise to focus on bringing in a player that can provide meaningful production to a team that came so close to winning it all.
With the draft happening on Thursday evening, however, the Suns are going to have to act fast. This week we have already seen the New Orleans Pelicans giving up their lottery pick to improve their roster in attempts to keep superstar Zion Williamson happy. A similar move made by Phoenix, along with one or two other assets, would not be surprising.