The Phoenix Suns for some reason keep losing PGs as much as Raymond Reddington lies to his daughters. For a team that once housed a potent duo with Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe, the Suns are now thin at the one position teams cannot afford to be weak at.
Heading into the 2018 NBA season, Phoenix will go with one of their two rookies, De’ Anthony Melton or Elie Okobo as their lead guard. Not a smart move if they’re trying to contend which is why the Suns should make a trade for PG Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets.
The reason for this trade is simple. The Suns have retooled their roster the last two seasons with young players over veterans. In the process, they have lost games but gained some experience along the way. What Dinwiddie will bring to this team is a floor general they haven’t had since Steve Nash ran the show. Dinwiddie will never amount to the greatness Nash displayed, but the Suns need a player willing to pass first and shoot second.
Over the course of his career, Dinwiddie has averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 assists while splitting time with the Detroit Pistons and the Nets. However, Dinwiddie came into his own in 2017 with Brooklyn while filling in for the Injured D’Angelo Russell.
While his numbers won’t scream Russell Westbrook or even All-Star reserve, Dinwiddie will prove to be the perfect fit for a team in need of a leader. One glance at their roster and you can see that the Suns are built to run. While starting a rookie could be viewed as a wise choice, management has to see the window of opportunity the Suns are facing out West.
Despite finishing the season with the worst record (21-61) in 2017, they have found a way to make the necessary moves for that to not happen again. Gone is Knight and his injuries. The Suns will be led by the high-scoring Devin Booker, the up and coming two-way player Josh Jackson, the seasoned vet, Trevor Ariza, and the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft Deandre Ayton.
With the West in sort of limbo after the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, the Phoenix Suns could be in prime position to sneak into the 8th spot. Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron, the Timberwolves with Jimmy Butler, and the Thunder with Westbrook are all threats but the youth the Suns have could be troublesome for teams.
As good as Knight and Bledsoe were for the Suns, they also carried triple duties. The duo was forced to be the scorers, facilitators, and defenders while in The Valley. But a player like Dinwiddie has to focus on distributing the ball to his weapons. A look at his assists while with the Nets will suggest he’s no better than Elfrid Payton when passing but his talent in Brooklyn is nowhere on the level that he would have in Phoenix.
In 2017, the Suns finished the year ranked 21st in points scored, 30th in three-point percentage, and 29th in assists. While Payton did provide the Suns with 11.8 points and 6.2 assists, the season was well over by the time his trade from Orlando went through. Adding Spencer Dinwiddie early will give the team time to gel.
If age is a deciding factor, Spencer Dinwiddie is only 24 years old and going on his 4th season in the NBA. He fits right into the Suns’ youth movement. As for the Nets, they have Russell and Shabazz Napier so losing Dinwiddie who will become a free agent at the end of 2019, will not be as great of a loss as one would think. If the Suns are looking toward a future floor general, they why hand the keys off to a rookie who will struggle, when you can give the torch to someone who has been in the flames already?
There have been a few big names floating around the Suns’ camp but those same names will cost the team more than they are willing to give up. While taking on Dinwiddie could be a risk down the road, it’s worth noting that he will make only $1.6 million in 2018. If he has a stellar season, then the Suns will have a decision to make regarding his future. But if the Suns are willing to fork over a 2019 second round pick, then why not swing for the fences before the season starts?