Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand is proving to be a competent front office executive by not making a horrible trade with the Phoenix Suns.
It’s no secret in the NBA that the Phoenix Suns need point guard depth. The team recently agreed to a contract with 19-year veteran Jamal Crawford, but yet are still lacking at the position. With such an obvious need, it would only make sense that the Suns would inquire about possible trades with other teams. According to Keith Pompey of philly.com, the Suns proposed what can only be described as a laughable trade offer for the Philadelphia 76ers reserve point guard T.J. McConnell.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) October 17, 2018
Before getting into the reasons why this was a horrible trade offer, there’s so much needed background information about the state of the Phoenix based franchise. The Suns’ front office is in flux due to the recent firing of former general manager Ryan McDonough. Former NBA player James Jones has taken over the Suns front office on the interim basis.
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On top of the rough front office situation, as mentioned before, the depth at the point guard position is one of the weakest in the whole NBA. Besides agreeing to a deal Crawford, who isn’t a starter at this point in his career, the Suns only have journeyman Isaiah Canaan and rookie Elie Okobo. Canaan is returning from a horrific ankle injury that he suffered last season against the Dallas Mavericks.
There’s an outside chance that star guard Devin Booker could be the team’s point guard this year, but asking a natural shooting guard to transition to a point guard is a lot to ask of the young player. With a depth chart like this, it’s no surprise that the Suns would pursue a stable point guard like McConnell.
The Suns obviously need a point guard, but if they were truly trying to acquire one, then they should have proposed a better trade package for McConnell than just one second round pick. In the past, I had written that the Sixers should consider trading McConnell to Phoenix. However, the hypothetical trade I proposed had the Sixers getting a second round pick and point guard Shaquille Harrison (Harrison was recently waived by the Suns).
McConnell is one of the top reserve defensive point guards in the NBA. He’s a high energy guy who can get teammates involved. In short, McConnell’s worth more than one second round pick. There were other packages that the Suns could have offered for McConnell.
They could have offered: a player and a second rounder, multiple second round picks or a protected first round pick. If the Suns would have came to the Sixers with any of those packages, it probably would have made Sixers general manager (GM) Elton Brand seriously consider engaging the Suns in trade negotiations.
Philadelphia 76ers GM Brand was wise to turn down the Suns trade offer for McConnell. The move shows the inexperience in the Suns front office and it’s good that the brand is knowledgeable enough to know a bad deal when it presents itself. Unless the Suns can significantly improve their offer, the Sixers shouldn’t be interested in trading McConnell to Phoenix.