The 2017 NBA Draft is just around the corner and teams have begun making their moves to improve their rosters. The Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and L.A. Clippers have been linked to separate trade rumors involving their marquee players, including Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Kristaps Porzingis, and DeAndre Jordan.
Devin Booker and the No. 4 Pick for Kristaps Porzingis
Arizona Sports reports that the New York Knicks asked for Devin Booker and the Suns’ No. 4 pick in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis. Booker isn’t just the focal point of the Phoenix Suns’ offense, he has become the face of a struggling franchise trying to regain relevancy in the ultra-tough Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Knicks’ versatile forward Kristaps Porzingis has been frustrated by his team’s inability to win even with a lineup filled with superstars.
Why Trading for Porzingis Makes Sense for the Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns need a power forward, there are no two ways about it. As good as Marquese Chriss was last season, the Suns still needs that dominant forward that demands a double-team. Having Porzingis on board would solve that immediate problem.
Often described as a younger, more athletic version of Dirk Nowitzki, the “Unicorn” is a legitimate power-forward, a stretch 4 even, due to his ability to consistently hit from the outside. He can also play the 5 and could potentially cause a lot of mismatch problems if he is to be paired with Marquese Chriss or/and Dragan Bender. The Porzingis-Chriss-Bender troika, all of them young, long, athletic, and versatile, would give the Suns a solid foundation for the future.
Why Trading for Booker Makes Sense for the New York Knicks
Devin Booker has played for Jeff Hornacek when the latter was the Suns’ head coach, so there is already a bond between them. In theory, introducing Booker to the triangle offense favored by Phil Jackson would be easier since Booker would essentially be taking over Kobe Bryant’s spot in the triangle and some basketball pundits have already noted the similarities between Booker and Bryant.
Like Bryant, the 20-year-old Booker can create his own shots, has a solid post game, and isn’t gun shy as evidenced by his 70-point outburst in Boston last season. That being said, Booker would provide the Knicks a constant outside threat who can open up the lane for Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony.
Who Wins the Trade?
No one since this trade probably will not happen. Both Devin Booker and Kristaps Porzingis have the makings of a franchise player, that much is clear. In Booker’s case, he may already be one, so this further reduces the likelihood that this trade would push through. As tempting as the possibility of Porzingis lining up with Chriss and Bender, the Suns would be hard-pressed to let go of Booker — especially if the Knicks want that No. 4 pick.
Tyson Chandler and the No. 4 Pick for DeAndre Jordan
A Tyson Chandler for DeAndre Jordan trade would seem a lopsided win for the Phoenix Suns and a head-scratching move for the L.A. Clippers. However, factor in Phoenix’s No. 4 pick in this year draft, then this trade suddenly becomes viable. However, according to Sports Illustrated, the Suns have backed off from the Chandler-Jordan trade talks. Still, had the deal pushed through, it would have made sense for the two teams involved.
Why trading for DeAndre Jordan Makes Sense for the Phoenix Suns
DeAndre Jordan is the legitimate center that Phoenix has lacked since the glory days of former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Needless to say that Jordan would give the Suns that solid rim protector and rebounder. With Jordan, the Suns would be able to play big with Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender splitting time at the 4-slot. A starting lineup consisting of Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss, and DeAndre Jordan would allow the Suns to compete against the best in the West.
Why Trading for Tyson Chandler Makes Sense for the L.A. Clippers
Granted that Tyson Chandler is six-years-older than DeAndre Jordan and possibly past his prime, his trade value hasn’t dropped that much. Couple it with the fact that Chandler’s salary is decidedly lower than Jordan’s, having the latter’s paycheck from the books would pay a dividend in the long-run, especially if the Clippers want to be a landing spot for LeBron James. And oh, that aforementioned No. 4 pick is not too shabby also.
Who Wins the Trade?
Both the Phoenix Suns and the L.A. Clippers would have won this trade deal if it pushed through. The Suns would have a “win-now” team that would also afford them the time to develop their younger talents with Jordan in tow. The Clippers would have a chance at acquiring the services of LeBron James while snagging a high lottery pick in a talent-laden draft class.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]