The latest word from the NBA rumor mill suggests that the Phoenix Suns currently aren’t a prime candidate to acquire Jimmy Butler via trade. However, it appears that the Suns could reenter the conversation if Minnesota tries dealing the disgruntled forward/guard to the Miami Heat for Goran Dragić, thus making the Timberwolves’ current starting point guard, Jeff Teague, available for trade.
On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Phoenix could still become a major player in the ongoing Jimmy Butler trade talks as a “potential third-team partner.” This would be contingent on the Timberwolves sending Butler to the Heat for Dragić, though in a subsequent tweet, Wojnarowski added that there has been “no communication” on the possibility of Teague or Dragić being involved in a potential three-way trade. He did, however, suggest that things could change if Minnesota and Miami “go deeper” into trade talks.
As further noted by Wojnarowski, the Miami Heat are currently the “most engaged” team in the running for Jimmy Butler, as there have been no updates so far from the camps of the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets. With that in mind, Bleacher Report wrote that the Phoenix Suns going for a point guard but not chasing directly after Butler would be a sensible move for the team, as Phoenix is expected by many to be among the worst in the NBA in 2018-19, especially when it comes to their lack of a starting-caliber point guard. Currently, journeyman Isaiah Canaan is the most likely choice to start, while second-round picks De’Anthony Melton and Élie Okobo could also be in contention for the starting point guard job.
— ABC15 Sports (@abc15sports) September 26, 2018
Assuming the Phoenix Suns make Jimmy Butler’s potential move to the Miami Heat into a three-way trade and acquire Jeff Teague or Goran Dragić, Bleacher Report opined that both players, while tried and tested, would only be “stopgap” solutions at point guard. Last season, the 30-year-old Teague averaged 14.2 points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, while Dragić, 32, produced 17.3 points and dished out 4.8 assists per game for the Heat.
Instead of acquiring a point guard in his early 30s, Bleacher Report suggested that an even better way for the Phoenix Suns to upgrade their point guard rotation would not be to enter the Jimmy Butler trade talks in hopes of landing Teague, or even Dragić, but rather to trade for the Timberwolves’ second-string point guard, Tyus Jones. While he averaged just 5.1 points and 2.8 assists in 2017-18, Jones is only 22-years-old and could have “all the opportunity in the world” to blossom into a productive starter in Phoenix, the publication posited.