The Phoenix Suns are reportedly thinking about a big trade with disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard on their minds. According to The Ringer, the Suns are considering offering the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft for him.
Would it be a wise move for the Suns to go after Kawhi Leonard?
NBA teams started lining up and NBA trade rumors began flying the moment it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio. News that the Suns may get involved in a Kawhi Leonard trade is the latest of the NBA trade rumors to circulate.
In the report, Wojnarowski suggested that Kawhi Leonard wants to leave the Spurs for Los Angeles, preferably the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Spurs will likely do what is in their best interest versus giving Kawhi Leonard the trade he may want.
If the Phoenix Suns were indeed to offer the No. 1 pick, the Spurs would listen intently. What comes into question is how interested are the Suns when it comes to giving up their future for a trade?
As in all NBA trade rumors, the usual suspects of the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Los Angeles Lakers are the teams mentioned the most as destinations for Kawhi Leonard. Some NBA teams may balk if the Spurs’ asking price becomes too expensive, including the Suns.
For instance, according to the Boston Globe, the Celtics would have to relinquish either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum in order to acquire Kawhi Leonard. It would be costly for the Celtics to give up players such as Brown and Tatum, but it could be the Spurs’ price for doing business.
The cost for the Suns to trade for Leonard could be higher. The Spurs could ask the Suns for their No. 1 pick, as well as a developing young player. It would be someone who the Suns would not care to part ways with.
Some people are hoping that the Phoenix Suns act as the Boston Celtics have when it comes to a big NBA trade.
Mortgaging the future is not something the Celtics are most known for. Despite having a lot of trade assets the Celtics have been frugal. Nevertheless, the Celtics put together a strong offer for Kawhi Leonard in February, according to CBS Boston. Any hesitation on the Boston Celtics part, however, opens the door for another team to step in.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 16, 2018
As preposterous as it may sound to some, the Phoenix Suns provide a strong case for a Kawhi Leonard trade. The Suns offer proximity to Los Angeles and a city which acts as a small market.
Playing in a small market is important to Kawhi Leonard who seldom speaks to the media. Playing for the Suns would allow Leonard to remain out of the spotlight for at least another season. Without any word from Kawhi Leonard or his representatives regarding a contract extension or re-signing, however, why would the Suns give up their future?
The Suns have some solid young players to build around in Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, and Josh Jackson. In order to get Kawhi Leonard, however, Jackson may wind up going in the Suns’ trade with the Spurs.
There are conflicting reports regarding the Suns’ interest in Kawhi Leonard, as Bleacher Report is citing that the Suns will not offer the No. 1 pick. Instead, the Suns would act as a facilitator for a three-team trade.
Come on Suns fans. We went through this last year with Kyrie. You don't trade top assets for Kawhi with him able to walk away after one year. It's not smart business.
— Noone’s No. 1 Pick (@Espo) June 15, 2018
The thought of the Suns helping other teams out is nice, but they can simply rest on their laurels and hope that they are drafting the next NBA superstar.
According to Arizona Republic, Deandre Ayton is suggesting that he will be the No. 1 overall pick. The Phoenix Suns are likely going to be his new team. Ayton has the potential to be as good as Joel Embiid in the next couple of years. It is difficult to fathom why the Phoenix Suns would bypass him for one season of Kawhi Leonard.
As always, NBA trade rumors dominate this time of the year. However, this one regarding the Phoenix Suns and their interest in San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard could be more of a smokescreen than anything else.