What did Phoenix offer the Cavaliers?
Eric Bledsoe makes sense in a deal as a replacement point guard, but he’s worse and older than Irving, so the Suns would have to add more. They reportedly told Josh Jackson they wouldn’t trade him – and apparently made the same pledge to Devin Booker.
a source said the Suns told Devin Booker he would not be traded
Booker is one of the NBA’s most overrated players – a young, high-volume scorer with only moderate efficiency and undeveloped periphery skills. He’s also just 20 and on a low-paying rookie-scale contract for two more years. He’s incredibly valuable, and it’s unsurprising Phoenix views him as untradable, as teams typically overvalue their own players.
I wouldn’t refuse to trade him (or Jackson), and the Suns aren’t beholden to anything they told either player. But they probably evaluated which trades they’d be willing to make before assuring Booker and Jackson anything. So, both are probably off the table.
Without Booker or Jackson included, it’s tough to see a workable two-team trade for Irving.
Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender are intriguing, but far too unpolished to help the Cavs win now. Phoenix also has all its own future first-rounders plus two from the Heat – one top-seven protected in 2018 and unprotected in 2019, the other unprotected in 2021. Those picks present the same problem: They don’t help the Cavaliers now. T.J. Warren and Tyler Ulis are more advanced, but carry too little upside to excite.
Perhaps, those other assets could be swung to a third team on a different timeline from the Cavaliers, but that gets complex.