Phoenix Suns fans entered the draft with the expectation that James Jones would be fishing for point guard options in the $10-$15 million dollar range. An upgrade over who they have, but not someone who was ever going to be a long-term difference maker on the team.
For most fans, that option was at least good enough because better than what they have now means better, so if even not great, wins should come much more often than 19 times in a year.
But then General Manager James Jones traded T.J. Warren (as well as the 32nd overall pick) to the Indiana Pacers in a complete salary dump receiving absolutely nothing in return but cash considerations.
Suddenly the Suns went from about $9 million dollars under the cap to closer to $20 million.
If Jones can find a similar taker for Josh Jackson, Phoenix will be in the mid-$20s range.
Find a way out of Tyler Johnsons final year of his contract, which could mean stretch and waive, and the Phoenix Suns will have salary cap space in excess of $40 million dollars.
Its a lot of moving parts and it means dumping three players for absolutely nothing, but the ability to then spend even more money on a single and legitimate point guard (if not more than one player), means the Suns can take an even larger leap over last seasons abysmal team.
Should that happen, should James Jones be able to clear enough space to pay a player a lot more money, meaning he can acquire a much better player, the question becomes who might that player be?
Fortunately HoopsHype has a list of the top-five best free agent point guards available this summer, all of whom could become an option in the near future for the Phoenix Suns.
Let us evaluate each player, their potential for coming to Phoenix, and how they would fit on a young Suns team.
Technically Rubio is HoopsHype’s sixth best free agent point guard available, however, their fifth is Goran Dragic who picked up his player option and will remain with the Miami Heat (unless he is traded).
I have been on the Rubio bandwagon for some time because of his above average ability to distribute the ball, something that the Phoenix Suns have not had in a point guard since Goran Dragic (although even Dragic has never averaged the assist numbers that Rubio has put up in the past meaning that at least from that perspective, really since Steve Nash).
While Rubio doesn’t make the Phoenix Suns a title contender by any means, he instantly makes the team relevant and a potential playoff contender.
Even though I also had my eye on him prior to the trade of Warren and assumed that he might be had on the cheap, if the Suns do need to offer him more than was speculated, they can now afford to do so.
He would play very nice with Devin Booker as he is not a shoot first point guard and would make Deandre Ayton a much better player because of his ability to get the ball to the young center in the post.
His shooting is a question mark as it is far from elite, however he is not terrible, and again, when comparing to how poor Suns point guards were at scoring last season, that alone is an upgrade.