After reportedly failing to garner interest from the respective teams of Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and Terry Rozier, the Phoenix Suns are still looking for someone who could start at point guard in the aftermath of the trade that sent Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets. According to a new report, these prospects could include some tried-and-tested names, most notably Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers.
As quoted by Bleacher Report, Arizona Sports 98.7 reporter John Gambadoro discussed three targets the Suns have switched their attention to after failing to trade for top-tier veterans Lillard and Walker or promising youngster Rozier. Aside from Beverley, the Suns are reportedly interested in backup point guard Cory Joseph of the Indiana Pacers, and Spencer Dinwiddie, who emerged as a starter last year for the Brooklyn Nets.
Bleacher Report noted that Gambadoro was the same source who previously tweeted that the Suns were looking at the possibility of trading for Lillard, Walker, or Rozier.
With Knight, who missed the entire 2017-18 season due to injuries, now expected to back up Chris Paul on the Rockets, the team’s point guard rotation is severely lacking in experience, as rookies De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo will be competing for minutes against Isaiah Canaan and Shaquille Harrison, who have mostly played backup roles in their relatively short NBA careers thus far. Last season, the Suns got the most production at the position from Tyler Ulis and Elfrid Payton, who are no longer with the team.
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Assuming the Phoenix Suns aren’t able to trade for Patrick Beverley or any of the players they are now targeting, the team might be forced to give Canaan and Okobo the bulk of the minutes at point guard, given how Okobo performed well in summer league play and how Melton, who was acquired from the Rockets in the Knight trade, could be better at shooting guard than at the point. Bleacher Report added that Devin Booker, while able to play the point on occasion, is best used at his natural shooting guard position, where he could create his own shot and score from long range.
Although Patrick Beverley has emerged in recent years as one of the NBA’s better backcourt defenders, he could also come with his share of risks if the Suns trade for him. The 29-year-old Beverley, who has been used at both point and shooting guard, played only 11 games for the Los Angeles Clippers in an injury-shortened 2017-18 season, averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, according to his Basketball-Reference player page.