After the 2017-18 NBA season officially ended for the Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker left a strong message, saying this would be the last year they would miss the Western Conference Playoffs. Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough echoed the same sentiment and added that it’s time for them to surround Booker with quality players who could help them bring the team back to their former glory.
The Suns mostly consist of young players, and with their goal to compete next season, they obviously need to add more star power on their team. According to Simon Smith of Hoops Habit, one of the areas the Suns need to improve on is the point guard position, wherein Kemba Walker of Charlotte Hornets could be the perfect trade target.
“With the selection of No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, the impending contract extension of rising star Devin Booker, and the addition of free agent Trevor Ariza, the Suns are certainly heading in the right direction. However, the one glaring weakness on the roster at present is the point guard spot. With a glut of players on the wing and in the forecourt, the Suns represent a terrific trading partner for the Hornets should Phoenix be willing to invest in Walker moving forward.”
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) July 9, 2018
In the suggested trade scenario by Hoops Habit, the Suns would send Josh Jackson, Tyson Chandler, and a 2019 first-round pick (top-10 protected) to the Hornets for Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. The addition of Walker will undeniably increase the Suns’ chance of ending their playoff drought next season.
He could form an explosive backcourt duo with Devin Booker and give the Suns another reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. In the 80 games he played last season, Walker averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.1 steals on 43.1 percent shooting from the field, and 38.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Suns won’t mind losing Josh Jackson, especially now that they have Trevor Ariza to serve as their starting small forward next season.
However, before giving up a trade package centered on Jackson to the Hornets, the Suns should first get an assurance from Kemba Walker that he intends to stay in Phoenix beyond the 2018-19 NBA season. Walker is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, and if he won’t be impressed in his first season with the Suns, there is a high possibility that Phoenix will be throwing away a promising talent like Jackson for a possible one-year rental.