After an impressive start to the season, the Phoenix Suns are once again struggling, currently sitting in the No. 13 spot in the deep Western Conference with a 14-23 record. If they are still serious about ending their playoff drought this season, the Suns should prioritize surrounding the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, with more star power before the February trade deadline. According to Dan Bickley of Arizona Sports, the Suns should consider trading DeAndre Ayton to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Karl-Anthony Towns.
“We hear it all the time. Robert Sarver is a changed owner. Misunderstood. No longer meddling. Cares deeply about the community and the plight of all Suns fans. It’s time to prove it. It’s time to trade for Karl-Anthony Towns, embracing all the risk he represents. That includes a painful, premature dissolution of our marriage with Deandre Ayton, the polarizing conundrum who churns out exquisite statistical lines while having minimal impact on most NBA games. They need a splash, a new kind of energy.”
When they selected him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Suns thought that Ayton would be the player that would help Booker carry the Suns to the NBA Finals and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, though he’s posting incredible numbers in his second season in the league, Ayton hasn’t made a major impact on the court for the Suns. As Bickley noted, Ayton is not yet physically ready to validate his status as the No. 1 pick.
With his current performance, Ayton obviously still needs plenty of time to unleash his full potential. However, if the Suns want to prevent Booker from leaving Phoenix, trading Ayton for a proven All-Star like Towns makes a lot of sense.
Compared to Ayton, Towns has already established himself as one of the most dominant big men in the league. Towns isn’t just a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, facilitator, and rim protector, but he would also give the Suns a legitimate threat from beyond the arc, who could play either the center or the power forward position. This season, Towns is averaging 26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 blocks, and one steal, while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Timberwolves have yet to make Towns officially available on the trading block, but with Minnesota currently struggling this season, reports are circulating that the 24-year-old big man is growing unhappy with the team. Once the Timberwolves start listening to trade offers for Towns, expect the Suns to make a move.