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Report: Look for Suns to be active, taking back quality players at trade deadline

Jan 28, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

phoenix Suns court

The Phoenix Suns are a playoff team. It wasn’t the plan management envisioned heading into this season — they had gotten Eric Bledsoe as a building block but they had a young roster with a lot of questions — but Jeff Hornacek has gotten the team to defend, share the ball and win.

Now, they are all in for the playoffs.

So when other teams are looking to sell at the deadline, the Suns want to buy and make a playoff push — and if we learned one thing from “Trading Places” it’s that it is good to be buying when everyone is selling in a panic. (Looking good Billy Ray! Feeling good Lewis!)

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The Suns have a lot of assets that could net them quality players at the deadline, particularly the contract of Emeka Okafor, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

Once Phoenix reached the midway point of its season on Wednesday with Okafor still sidelined with a neck injury, an insurance policy began to take over payment on 80 percent of the remaining $14.4 million on his 2013-14 contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Whoever deals for Okafor before the trade deadline will receive an insurance payout of $5.7 million – roughly $141,000 per game.

For the Suns, the appeal of Okafor’s financially friendly deal – armed with approximately $5 million in remaining salary-cap space – has general manager Ryan McDonough on the search to fortify his roster for a playoff run….

(Suns GM Ryan) McDonough has expressed publicly his willingness to explore using his draft picks, young assets and cap space to explore possible deals for All-Star-level players who could become available on the market.

The Suns have four first round picks in this draft and two in the 2015 draft — those are very valuable chips to trade.

Just something to keep in mind as you see trade rumors start to ramp up as we crawl toward the Feb. 20 deadline — the Suns could land themselves a quality addition just in time to make somebody’s life difficult in the playoffs.

  1. phx1311 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    This makes me sad but the suns will need “the guy” come playoff time.

  2. fnc111 - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Go Suns! But I’d just play it out and use that cap space this summer. Four first round picks are yummy too. Who wouldn’t want to play in Phx? Beats the cold.

  3. caeser12 - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    The Suns are definitely putting something special together. Good work going on out there.

    If my Knicks were smart they would be……………………….oh never-mind.

    Thanks Dolan, ruining the Knicks, and the Billion Dollar Comedy Club, formerly known as Madison Square garden, since 1994.

  4. DonKellyBaby - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    I don’t see the Suns being able to pull a trade for an Elite player but here’s one trade they could consider.

    Greg Monroe & Rodney Stuckey for two 1st round picks (Wizards & Pacers) and Okafor.

  5. sf49ers4 - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    They should trade for Pau Gasol; win-win both sides.

    • danfrommv - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      I thought the same thing. The Lakers can get Okafer (tank insurance), and one of their first and one of their second round picks they traded to Suns (stupidly, in retrospect) for Nash

    • savvybynature - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      The only thing worse than Pau’s transition defense is his contract. Not sure why so many seem to be under the impression that he is some hot commodity. It’s not 2008 anymore.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        Whats so bad about his contract, he’s a free agent after this season. If the Suns think they can make a little noise, trading for Pau would be great for them, use him for a playoff run, then use his money for a free agent in offseason.

  6. unfly - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    And PJ Tucker to the bench in 5, 4, 3, 2….

    • jbabbitz - Jan 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      You are 180degrees off. Tucker is their glue and best defender. Pound for pound their best rebounder

  7. tcclark - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Call Philly. Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Spencer hawes can all be had. We’ll just take some of those picks if you don’t mind

  8. shanelsweet - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    You can’t add 4 rookies this year and 2 rookies next year and think that your going to have a good team until several years later. Youth doesn’t win in the NBA. It’s a man’s league.

  9. sportsnut101 - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Not wise to add 4 first rd picks to ur roster in 1 yr
    But u can always sell or trade a 1st rd pick so that’s not an issue. Just don’t do what Minnesota did with there 4 picks. U see how that worked out. Rubio two yrs later nice player but could of had so much more

    Maybe they can swing. Okerfor for granger with pacers. Expiring deals n granger won’t be with pacers next season anyway.
    I wouldn’t mind okerfor n2nd pick for gasol

    They are a good young team playing hard. Why mess up the flow unless it’s for a deeper bench just don’t rock the boat unless it’s broken

  10. ProBasketballPundit - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Okafor’s expiring for Omer Asik and another small contract (to make the money work). Houston frees up a lot of cap space for next season and saves money this season; Phoenix gets a quality center to run pick & rolls with their two point guards.

  11. campcouch - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    So far they’ve made some smart moves personnel,coaching and financially. Hopefully this playoff frenzy doesn’t goad them into making a dumb move. It’s impossible to add 4 rookies to the roster unless they’re top 10 quality and you’re willing to jettison parts of the team that is currently winning.

  12. imthewiz77 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Thad Young to the Suns, he fits their system.

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