Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Is CP3 coming to The Valley? The answer may come today.
Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.
In case you haven’t already heard, the NBA’s trade moratorium ends today at 2 PM Arizona time. At that point, any of the pre-draft trade rumors you’ve read about could be made official.
Trade season begins Monday afternoon, sources tell ESPN. Teams were informed the NBA’s moratorium will end at noon ET and deals can begin to be consummated.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
For us Suns fans, the big one centers around the trade with OKC that could bring Chris Paul to The Valley. All of us – both supporters and non-supporters of the trade – are eager to get the news on whether it will actually happen and the terms of the trade. Hopefully, we will find out via Woj or Shams or fellow Suns fan and podcaster Flex From Jersey before then but the reality is that 2 PM may come and go with it still up in the air.
•Nothing is done! OKC wants more than Suns are willing to offer!
•Suns will not include Cam or Mikal in this trade per source
•Suns holding firm for good reasons!
•Still negotiating and I believe Suns are in a great spot as I stated this morning.
— FLEX From Jersey (@cruzfe13) November 15, 2020
I will say if Cam Johnson is involved it’s because we have another player coming along with CP3. I’m not a fan of trading Cam Johnson but I can absolutely confirm he’s what’s holding this thing up! This is extremely Fluid right now! Nothing is Done!
— FLEX From Jersey (@cruzfe13) November 15, 2020
If this trade happens, all we really know is that CP3 is in and Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr. are almost certainly heading out. It won’t be that simple though. Draft picks and other players could also be on the move with perhaps a third team involved. Hopefully the Suns will stand firm on not including Cameron Johnson in the trade even if that turns out to be a deal breaker and causes it all to fall though.
With all the trade rumors flying around the fact that the NBA is also going to take place on Wednesday night has been kind of staying below the radar. Now the question isn’t who will the Suns select with the 10th pick but will the Suns still have the 10th pick – or any pick – in this draft. If the CP3 trade goes through, perhaps the 10th pick goes to OKC as well leaving the Suns with zero picks in the draft or one of OKC’s late 1st rounders (25th & 28th) in exchange.
As Thursday rolls around, the deadline for the Suns to decide on the team options on Frank Kaminsky and Cheick Diallo arrives. It’s also the deadline for them to tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents Dario Saric and Jevon Carter.
And then free agency starts on Friday with teams able to actually sign free agents to contracts on Sunday.
The Dec. 22 start of the 2020-21 season is approaching rapidly and there is going to be a frenzy of activity between now and then. The Suns roster could be very different in just a week… or not. I’d say it depends very much on which way that first domino – aka the Chris Paul trade – falls.
One other interesting change that the NBA is making this season is to Two-Way contracts.
Here are how two-way contracts are changed according to the league memo:
-Two-way contracts “will be paid a flat salary of $449,155”
-Two-Way contracts will not have the 45-day service limit; replaced with 50-game active list limit
-No deadline to sign two-way contract players
— T.J. McBride (@TJMcBrideNBA) November 15, 2020
While those contracts were often an afterthought before, they could play a bigger role for teams this season. Expect the Suns to look to sign players with more than just “potential” to Two-Ways this time around. As teams can carry up to 20 players going into training camp, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them use those extra roster spots on Exhibit 10 contracts which are non-guaranteed but can be converted into a standard regular-season contract or a two-way deal. Two-Ways will still not count as part of the salary cap.
It’s going to be a very interesting and busy week but rest assured that the Bright Side crew will do our very best to keep you all informed and up to date on all the breaking Suns related news.
Fantable Questions of the Week
Q1 – If the Chris Paul trade does happen AND he stays relatively healthy (plays at least 60 of 72 games), what are your expectations for the Suns this season?
GuarGuar: If we have a healthy Chris Paul I am 100% expecting the playoff drought to end this season. He would be a massive addition to this team. He would help Booker and Ayton a ton in their growth. Short term and long term I think this would be a great deal for the franchise.
Sun-Arc: I would hope we make the playoffs with a healthy Chris Paul. What I think may hamper their effort (beyond potential CP3 health issues) would be a lack of depth. If we trade Oubre (with Rubio) in a trade deal, we will be bringing back a lot more salary with very few players on the roster. There would only be SIX players on the roster before the draft and other FA moves.
CP3, Book, Jerome, Bridges, Johnson, Ayton. That’s all we’d have under contract. And only $19m to cover the other 8 players required for the minimum roster.
Having one draft pick, that makes seven players needed. If we get Grant/Wood/Gallo (as Dave suggested), we might have just $2m left for 6 more players with what ever the cap allows.
My concern is we will have poor bench depth and end up with similar problems to last season. This could make the playoff run more difficult or, upon making it there, the run quite a bit shorter.
SDKyle: In a word? Playoffs. No more excuses or justifications. If Booker, CP3 and Ayton can’t be a solid winning team, then this iteration of the Suns is not going to be a championship contender. If that team can’t make the playoffs, fiddling around and upgrading a couple of bench spots will never make it elite.
SouthernSun: That depends. If they acquire Chris Paul, do that after they’ve used their cap space on a good free agent or two, and get a decent veteran on a minimum deal, i fully expect a 4th or 5th seed and making it to maybe the 2nd round.
If they trade for Chris Paul and don’t make any other notable additions, maybe a 7th or 8th seed.
Alex S: Playoffs or bust. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that next year is boom or bust for the Suns if they acquire Paul. There would be too much talent and too many expectations to fall short of at least the eight seed. My prediction would be that the Suns would finish the 6 seed barring injuries and would play a competitive first round series (maybe could win!) depending on matchups.
Q2 – Setting everything else about the possible Chris Paul trade aside, some say adding him could do wonders to help Deandre Ayton become the best player he can be. Do you agree or disagree with this?
GuarGuar: I believe CP3 would be a massive benefit to Ayton and his long term outlook. I will say that if CP can’t get DA to be more aggressive, then we should stop expecting it to ever come. We know Paul will demand Ayton to be aggressive and as dominant as he can be. And so if the “Point God” can’t get Ayton to become more aggressive, it’s not going to happen. But I’m very confident Paul will get the most out of Ayton and be very good for his career.
Sun-Arc: I do think Chris would make Ayton a better player. Rubio has been too, I believe. As did Aron Baynes and, I hear, Kaminsky. But CP3 is more forceful than Rubio. Ricky may have warmed DA up for a guy like Paul to come in and bark like hell at him. I think that would be good for him in his third season. And few PGs, if any right now, are better at the PnR than Paul. If Chris can drill in the timing and positioning with Ayton this could be a big deal for his career.
SDKyle: I agree. Chris Paul is two things: one of the greatest passers of all-time and a fiery motivator known for refusing to accept less than his teammates’ best. There’s a chance Ayton wilts under that pressure, but if so it’s best we learn that now. But there’s a real chance Paul helps Ayton reach his full potential, and that’s an exciting thought.
SouthernSun: I completely agree. Ricky is a great guy. A nice guy. He’s friendly. He’s also a good basketball player. Savvy point guard. However, he simply can’t push Ayton in the way CP3 would. CP3 will bring out the dog in Ayton. If anybody can bring it out in him, anyway. I can’t wait to see it.
Alex S: I would agree with this but would also add that he could hinder Deandre with being too much. A relationship between polar opposites could take some time to gel,but as long as they both know that they have a similar goal in common CP3 should be able to get some “dawg” out of DA. Additionally, Chris’ playmaking with talented bigs speaks for itself.
Q3 – No matter who starts at PG this season, do you think that getting a potential “point guard of the future” in the draft should be a priority or is getting a proven backup vet PG more important?
GuarGuar: If we go with Rubio or CP3 as our PG next season, we absolutely need to get a solid backup point guard. And make sure this backup is capable of spot starting 10-15 games a season if needed. Both guys have injury histories, so we need to be prepared and not act surprised if it happens like last season. Is a rookie the best suitor for that job? I don’t know. Probably not. A guy like DJ Augustin would do wonders for us if we landed CP3.
Sun-Arc: We definitely need that PG of the future after the CP3 trade. Paul will last two years if we are lucky, but we can’t bet on any more after that. I’m not feeling very secure about Paul’s health staying all season for either of his contract years, so I feel getting as much of a “sure thing” back up PG as possible is a must. We would have done better last season with such a player too- so this statement is not rocket science.
The draft might be a way to get this player. Some mocks have Hayes dropping out of the top 9. If that happens, I think this should be our guy. Hopefully he can play backup and learn from Paul for two seasons. Some draftniks think Hayes could be ready in his first season too, though others do not. He’d be somewhat raw, but hopefully ready enough.
We could always grab a DJ Augustine anyway. But someone of his caliber or better becomes necessary if Hayes isn’t available. Guys like Kira Lewis or any of the PGs after him (including Terry) do not figure to be very playable in season one.
SDKyle: It’s a good idea to be thinking about the PG of the future, but I don’t think its crucial to get him in the 2020 draft. Short-term I’d prefer this team try to win as many games as it can this year (especially if the CP3 trade happens) rather than try to develop a 19 year old. I think becoming a winning team goes a long way to solving this problem, because good point guards will want to come play with Booker and Ayton if they see a team actually winning a bunch of games.
SouthernSun: Proven backup vet is more important. As Suns fans, our entire basketball lives and entertainment has mostly been all about the draft for the better part of a decade. Who we will draft. How that player will do. What potential they have. Excuses for why they’re sucking. During that time, the good teams often find their “new” player for a position, when they need one, through the other two main avenues, trade or free agency. You don’t need to constantly have a something “of the future” for every position. Usually, the only teams that have a player “of the future” at every position are teams that suck and aren’t competing right now.
The name of the game right now is get Booker in the playoffs and keep him happy. The primary backup point guard should definitely not be a rookie. Get a veteran in there. With Paul’s age you’re going to want to have somebody who can spot start occasionally when Paul needs to rest near the end of the season to make sure he’s in solid shape for the post season.
Alex S: I can’t say that it’s a priority but it would certainly be ideal. A veteran should be getting minutes next year at the back up one, however I could absolutely see the Suns picking a point guard at #10 overall. Rubio or Paul would both be incredible mentors for a young point guard so having a years worth of mentorship would be very valuable.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable members – GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SDKyle, SouthernSun and Alex S. – for all their extra effort every week!
2019-20 Season Highlights
SUNS at HORNETS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | December 2, 2019
MAGIC at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | January 10, 2020
SUNS at SPURS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | January 24, 2020
Quotes of the Week
“We’re not the Suns of old.” – Monty Williams
“It’s a very exciting time in this city. I see a transformation coming.” – Devin Booker
News & Notes
Frontline Relief from Phoenix Suns Center Deandre Ayton. Signals AZ
Suns fans have strong reactions to revealed jersey honoring ‘The Valley’. Clutch Points
Phoenix Suns: Package will determine if a Chris Paul deal is worth it. Hoops Habit
Former Phoenix Suns’ Player Claims He Wasn’t “Star-Struck” Playing against Michael Jordan. Essentially Sports
2020 Draft Profiles | Phoenix Suns. Suns.com
Consensus Mock Draft: Big questions begin at No. 2. NBA.com
Draft & Free Agency Videos
NBA YouTubers Discuss Phoenix Suns Draft Possibilities
This Week in Suns History
On November 17, 2000, Jason Kidd tied the NBA record for turnovers in a game when he turned the ball over 14 times in a 90-85 Suns’ loss to New York. The only other player to have so many turnovers in a single game was John Drew of the Atlanta Hawks who committed 14 turnovers 97-95 loss to the New Jersey Nets on March 1, 1978.
Interesting Suns stuff
“Breakthrough” Episode 6 : Bubble Dominance
Why Chris Paul Is A PERFECT FIT With The Phoenix Suns | Phoenix Suns Free Agency
Former Phoenix Sun Charles Barkley was many things but a three-point sniper was not one of them. For his career, Barkley made only 26.6% of his 2020 three-point attempts. His percentage puts him in the NBA history books as the worst three-point shooter ever among players that attempted at least 2000 of them during their NBA careers. As a matter of fact, he is the only player to ever shoot more than 2,000 threes and make less than 30% of his attempts.
Previewing the Week Ahead
Monday, November 16 – Trade Moratorium ends at noon ET.
Wednesday, November 18 – NBA Draft.
Thursday, November 19 – Player/team option deadlines 3 pm ET.
Friday, November 20 — Free agent negotiations begin at 6 pm ET.
Sunday, November 22 – Moratorium ends/Players can sign contracts with teams beginning at 12:01 pm ET.
Important Future Dates
November 23/24 – Most Traded Player Exceptions (TPE) will expire.
November 26 – Okobo’s guarantee date.
December 1 – Training camps open.
December 22 – Opening night for 2020-21 NBA season!
??? – NBA trade deadline (TBD).
March 5-10 – Mid-season break (no All-Star game).
May 16 – Regular season ends.
May 17 to 21 – Play-in tournament for 7-to-10 seeds.
May 22 – First-round playoffs.
June 7 – Conference semifinals.
June 22 – Conference Finals.
July 8-22 – NBA Finals.
Last Week’s Poll Results
Last week’s poll was “If the Suns’ schedule is all or mostly against other Western Conference teams this year…”
64.4% – It hurts their chances to make it to the playoffs.
05.2% – It helps their chances to make it to the playoffs.
30.4% – It makes little or no difference in their chances to make it to the playoffs.
A total of 135 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is…