Coming off a trip to the NBA Finals, in which they lost 4-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Phoenix Suns entered this offseason with one goal in mind — to add more reliable players to their bench.
The biggest thing that held the Suns back against Milwaukee was not just the fact that they had no answers for Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they really had no depth behind DeAndre Ayton.
When Dario Saric went down with his torn ACL in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Phoenix really did not have anyone they could put out on the court to give DeAndre Ayton the breaks he needed, which is why Ayton averaged 37.2 minutes per game the final five games of this series against the Bucks after averaging just 30.7 minutes per game during the regular season.
It may not seem like a lot, but those 7 extra minutes per game really drain a player, especially a big guy who is constantly attacking rebounds and battling with his opponents in the paint/low-post. Not only did the Suns add another big man to their roster in the offseason, but they added a 3x champion in JaVale McGee.
Clown him if you want because of his appearance on “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” but McGee has always been a really solid contributor, and Phoenix could end up being the best place he could have gone this offseason.
With Saric out, JaVale McGee will play a huge role for the Suns coming off the bench, but what about last year’s 10th overall pick, Jalen Smith?
However, recent reports suggest that Jalen Smith could be on the move in a trade. He only played in 27 games during his rookie season and never really got the chance to prove himself due to injuries, but Smith does possess some potential to be a lengthy frontcourt option that can spread the court.
Who should the Suns be targeting in a potential trade involving their recent first-round pick?