For the rest of the this series, I’m going to make each part about each specific team, rather then trying to cram everything into one article. Let’s take a look at the Suns, and how they did during the trade deadline.
Everyone was asking what the heck the Suns were doing after trading away Goran and Zoran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Ennis, and Miles Plumlee pretty much just for two picks and Brandon Knight. I think they made the type of move that will be looked in hindsight as a great move, just like Magic in the Dwight Howard trade. Everyone said it was a bad deal for them, until suddenly it wasn’t, when Dwight left the Lakers and Andrew Bynum didn’t play a game for the Sixers. I’m not saying Thomas isn’t going to play solid for the Celtics, or that Dragic is definitely leaving the Heat this summer, it’s just I see a similarities in the trades.
Basically the Suns got a point guard that’s between Thomas and Dragic in skill level that they can actually resign this summer, while also getting two first-round picks, and a solid older player in Danny Granger. John Salmons from the Pelicans was included as well, but he’s going to be waived immediately. To me that sounds like an awesome deal. I laugh when people say “Why did they go and pay Thomas so much last summer just to trade him”. News flash; NBA players only get paid twice a month. Just because you sign someone to a big deal doesn’t mean you are the ones paying for it, it just means that someone somewhere is going to be obliged to pay him whatever he signed for.
Combined, Thomas and Dragic make almost $15 mil this year. With Dragic wanting a huge contract this summer, they could both be owed over $20 mil next season. Would you seriously rather have $20+ mil on the books for those two next season, or pay Knight around $10-12mil, with an extra $10mil in free agency for a forward or center, plus two first rounders? Pretty obvious which is better.
Those two first-round picks from the Heat are going to end up being looked at as a complete steal by the time they are conveyed. You can read about how I feel about them more in the Heat article, but let’s just say I expect them both to be top-15, and the Heat to be regretting giving up so much for Dragic, even if he is a solid upgrade from what they had at the point.
Grade: A-. I was going to rate this higher, until I remembered they had to give up Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis, both young players that I think will be assets to the Milwaukee Bucks. Even so, they kept their present as well as future in tact with this trade, and in a couple years, those Miami picks will be worth quite a bit in trade talks. A good day for the Suns indeed.