The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng a few weeks ago, hoping to inject an impact player to their rotation and they did. Deng is playing well for the Cavs. Cleveland’s struggles this season and since the Deng trade has more to do with the team’s general state and less with Deng’s contribution. The former All-Star forward is reportedly unhappy with the team’s course and the general situation within the Cavaliers franchise and that’s why there are lots of chances he decides to exit Cleveland this summer. After all, he will be an unrestricted free-agent and he will be able to sign with any team he chooses to. That’s why, this might be a great time for the Cavaliers to trade him away, receiving at least something in return than risking losing him for nothing.
One of the teams that stands lots of chances to agree on a trade with Cleveland is the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are a team which is expected to be active during the last couple of days prior to the trade deadline. The Suns have a bunch of draft picks and they have already stated that they are willing to trade one or more of them away, if they find the right deal. Acquiring a proven star like Deng is certainly a good enough reason for Phoenix to consider giving away one of its draft picks.
The Suns are looking for two potential type of players out of a deal, a big man, with Pau Gasol being on the top of their wish list and a small forward. The Suns have been playing well with P.J. Tucker as their starting small forward, but it’s clear that there is much room for improvement.
Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are considered as locks for the two starting backcourt positions, while the team also has some depth at the frontcourt. Nonetheless, a player like Pau Gasol would instantly give the Suns the dynamics and the veteran and playoff experience they need in for the playoffs in their front line. On the other hand, a player like Luol Deng would instantly give them a huge upgrade at small forward and also at defense in the perimeter.
Apart from his offensive skills, Luol Deng is fairly considered as one of the best perimeter defenders. Come playoff time, the Suns will need a player like him to match up against superstar forwards like Kevin Durant, Paul George or LeBron James. Of course, the Suns might not make it to the NBA Finals this season – but then again, who knows – but they are gradually building their future. Luol Deng could be a great piece on their puzzle for the future.
The only reason why the Suns might not want to get into such a deal is that Deng will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. So the Suns might end up renting him till the end of the season. Deng will certainly demand a big and lengthy contract, one the Suns might not be willing to offer.