The Phoenix Suns – looking to desperately ship off Jae Crowder – should target Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
The search for a Jae Crowder trade partner marches on for the Phoenix Suns, and as we approach the one-month warning for the Feb. 9 trade deadline, pressure only mounts of general manager James Jones to land a deal and get his team some help.
Crowder has taken a valuable roster spot since the preseason, and with Devin Booker/Cam Johnson still out, Phoenix has struggled in the scoring department. They haven’t hit 90 points in either of their last two games and have lost their previous seven-of-eight heading into Friday night’s contest with the Miami Heat.
The amount of packages the Suns could get for Crowder is a bit difficult at this point in the year, for a variety of reasons.
On “The Lowe Post” podcast, ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Zach Lowe went through some different trade talks for each team, Phoenix included:
“I went through Crowder trades again last night and like really, the only one that I came up with that I guess would make half sense – and this would be is if this team goes like 2-7 and they’re out of it, they’re sinking in the bottom of the standings – is sending him to New York for Cam Reddish and a salary-filler,” said Marks.
“Maybe you get the Detroit or Washington first back which is pretty much heavily protected and who knows if New York will ever get that … I don’t see them getting a good, young player back that’s under contract. I don’t see that right now, and as you mentioned, for a guy that hasn’t played since the Dallas series last year, who the heck knows where he’s at here.”
The Suns have been linked with Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, yet Lowe had a different idea for the team:
“I’m stumped, man. Despite the fact that they have all these mid-sized contracts – they have all their picks, all their swaps – I mean this is why they were linked to Durant. Durant put them No. 1 on his now rescinded trade list … Do other teams find James Jones a little bit inscrutable to deal with in trades?,” asked Lowe.
“Not bad to deal with, just like what does he want, are they interested, are they aggressive at all, what’s going on over there? I legitimately don’t know what they’re gonna do. They are a team though – a name I thought of for them in the past … They would be on my list of teams watching the Raptors. If I can’t figure out anything to do with those picks, and I want to save my team, I want to save my team next season even, I would look at [OG] Anunoby a lot if the Raptors end up pivoting and rebuilding.”
That’s a very huge if, as the Raptors (16-22) have names such as Anunoby and Pascal Siakam on the roster among other players that may be trade-worthy.
The idea of adding Anunoby to Phoenix isn’t a new one. Earlier in the summer, Bleacher Report suggested the Suns would benefit from his presence.
Thus far, the 25-year-old has averaged 18.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per night. His defensive prowess would be very welcome in Phoenix’s lineup:
It’s no secret Suns general manager doesn’t necessarily covet draft picks like others in his position do.
Anunoby still has a few years left on his deal, too (table via spotrac)
This deal would ultimately depend on Toronto and how desperate they would be to find capital, but the Suns would do very well to find Anunoby in their uniform sooner than later.