Since being selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker has managed to turn himself into an All-Star caliber player in the league. Unfortunately, despite Booker’s explosive performance almost every night, the Suns remain one of the worst teams in the Western Conference. In order to have a realistic chance of ending their playoff drought, the Suns should highly prioritize surrounding Booker with quality players in the 2020 NBA offseason.
One of the players that they could target on the trade market this fall is Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers. In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report included the Oladipo-to-Suns deal on his list of realistic offseason trades NBA fan bases won’t see coming after the 2019-20 season. The potential acquisition of Oladipo won’t make the Suns an instant title contender in the deep Western Conference, but Buckley believes that pairing a healthy version of him with Booker would at least put Phoenix back into the playoff race next year.
“He’s a risky investment given his future uncertainty and recent injury woes (49 appearances between this season and last), but his best-case-scenario version puts the Suns at least in annual playoff races, if not eventually fighting for home-court advantage in the first round,” Buckley wrote, referring to Oladipo. “His defensive versatility would make life easier on Booker, whose shot creation would keep Oladipo from having to do too much. Deandre Ayton could turn this into a star trio with similar two-way growth as he displayed this season, while Kelly Oubre Jr. would fill in all the glue-guy cracks. This could be an interesting quartet sooner than later.”
Oladipo would undeniably be an intriguing acquisition for the Suns, giving them an All-Star caliber shooting guard who could ease the load on Booker’s shoulders on the offensive end of the floor. Aside from being a very reliable scoring option, Oladipo could also help improve the Suns’ defensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 18 in the league, allowing 108.7 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. However, though they are hesitant to give him a huge payday, the Pacers are still expected to demand something valuable in return in any potential deal involving Oladipo.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Suns would be sending a trade package that includes Ricky Rubio, Mikal Bridges, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Pacers in exchange for Oladipo. If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Suns, but also for the Pacers. In exchange for Oladipo, the Pacers would be acquiring a new backcourt partner for Malcolm Brogdon in Rubio and a three-and-D wingman in Bridges. With the Suns’ current standings in the Western Conference, the 2020 first-round pick has a strong chance of becoming a lottery pick which would enable the Pacers to add another young and promising talent to their roster.