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Report: Suns’ top point-guard target is Clippers’ Patrick Beverley

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The Suns were reportedly targeting the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, Pacers’ Cory Joseph and Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie.

One of those point guards apparently stands above the others.

Stadium:

Shams Charania:

I’m told they’re targeting Clippers guard Patrick Beverley. He’s been at the top of their list.

The issue is price, asking price. Phoenix has only been willing to give up second-round picks in all their discussions for a veteran point guard, which they’re trying to acquire. And the Clippers, just like every other team that knows Phoenix needs a point guard, wants a first-round pick.

The Suns trading for Beverley could make sense. Phoenix badly needs a point guard, and Beverley could fit with high-scoring Devin Booker like he did with James Harden. L.A. has plenty of players capable of being lead guards – Beverley, Lou Williams, Milos Teodosic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, Jawun Evans and Tyrone Wallace – and has already gone toward taking a step back to this season to position for the future.

But a second-rounder if far too little for Beverley. If that’s all the Suns will offer, there’s nothing realistic about this.

On the other hand, an unprotected first-rounder would be too much for Phoenix to surrender.

Perhaps, there’s a middle ground – a protected first-rounder (with Troy Daniels used to match salary). It’s just a matter of negotiating the protections and determining whether there’s common ground.

Devin Booker expected to miss start of regular season after hand surgery

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How long will Devin Booker‘s hand injury keep him out?

Suns release:

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker today underwent successful surgery to repair an injury to the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Booker’s expected recovery time is approximately six weeks.

That timeline would cost Booker the first few games of Phoenix’s season, which probably won’t matter much in the long run.

But the Suns – at least in part – are acting like a team trying to make the playoffs. For them to make a shocking run to the postseason would require so many breaks in their favor. Here’s already one against them.

Booker is Phoenix’s best player and, barring a trade, probably best lead guard, even though he’s a shooting guard. There’s no easy way to replace him.

The Suns just must hope he returns quickly and hits the ground running.

Report: Devin Booker undergoes hand surgery, out indefinitely

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It appears that the Phoenix Suns will be without their star player as they begin training camp heading into the 2018-19 NBA season.

According to a report from Arizona Sports 98.7, Devin Booker will have surgery on his right hand which will require him to be out indefinitely. The Suns start training camp on September 25th.

Via ArizonaSports.com:

Booker will have the surgery in Los Angeles and is likely to miss the start of training camp.

The bothersome right hand injury lingered for Booker throughout the end of the 2017-18 season after he jammed it in practice on March 14, a day before the team’s game against the Utah Jazz. Booker went on to play and shot 3-of-18.

From that point on, Booker was required to wear a splint until his condition improved and he missed the last 12 games of the season.

Phoenix plays its first game on October 17th against the Dallas Mavericks, which is more than a month away from news of Booker’s surgery. The NBA has some (but not extensive) history with hand surgery, and prior examples suggest that Booker’s timeline for return could bump up against opening night.

That being said, we still don’t know the exact injury Booker sustained. Prior news of his hand injury last season was listed simply as a sprain. What the surgery will fix might not be released in a timely fashion by the team.

It’s likely that Booker and the Suns decided to get this surgery out of the way with a decision-critical point on the calendar approaching before the season starts. That alone suggests that he probably won’t miss too much time to start the year.

Rumor: Suns have tried to trade for Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, other point guards

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While you can make sense of the Suns’ trade for Ryan Anderson — if you believe De'Anthony Melton can turn into a quality NBA rotation guard, although the jury is still out on that — the deal sent Brandon Knight to the Rockets and left a burning question for the Suns:

Who is going to play point guard on this team next season?

The Suns spent this summer trying to construct a trade that would answer that question with a star player, but fell short, according to the well connected John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix.

That shouldn’t be a surprise — that the Suns tried and that they were shot down.

Right now the Suns have Shaquille Harrison and rookie Elie Okobo at the point. Harrison played 23 games for the Suns last season and showed a great work ethic and some real potential, he was solid when he was in for them. Okobo, out of France, was the 31st pick in last June’s draft and showed flashes at Summer League but has a lot of adjusting to do, and his game needs to mature, to really fit at the NBA level.

Neither of those are particularly good options. The Suns could put the ball in the hands of Devin Booker as their primary playmaker, and while he can get buckets he is not a true playmaking point guard and floor general. Those results have been mixed, at best.

Look for the Suns to make a trade and/or scour the waiver wire during camp, looking for someone who can give them quality minutes at the point. Because outside of the one slot the Suns have an interesting starting five — Booker, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Deandre Ayton, with Josh Jackson and Mikail Bridges coming off the bench.

Rockets finally find taker for Ryan Anderson, trade him, De’Anthony Melton to Phoenix

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For 18 months, the Houston Rockets have been trying to unload the bloated contract of trade Ryan Anderson — who has two years, $41.7 million left on his deal — but could find no takers. Teams wanted multiple first-round picks and other sweeteners that were just too steep a price for Houston.

The Rockets finally found a trade partner in the Phoenix Suns, but it came at a steep price — promising rookie De'Anthony Melton. Of course, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN never sleeps and broke the story.

For Houston, they unload a salary they desperately wanted out from under in Anderson, a player who can hit threes but was basically unplayable in the postseason because of his defense. This is part of Houston’s money-saving summer (letting Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah-a-Moute go), the Rockets were $20.4 million over the tax line before this trade and will save about $11.4 million in salary/tax because of it. In return, they get a potential backup point guard in Brandon Knight who — if back to form after a torn ACL, something still up for debate — can give them solid minutes behind Chris Paul, or at least better ones than Michael Carter-Williams. Marquese Chriss is long and athletic and could fit in an uptempo style, it’s just hard to imagine him getting many opportunities on the deep Rockets roster.

For taking on an additional $5.6 million a year in salary, Phoenix gets a guy who will start at the four for them (splitting time with Josh Jackson) and a promising rookie in Melton, a player who sat out this college season because he was in the middle of the NCAA/FBI recruiting scandal. With that, Melton fell to 46th in the draft but at Summer League stood out as one of the rookies with real potential, averaging 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, he played good defense and showed potential as a three-point shooter. It’s just Summer League, and Melton has a lot of development to do, he could well spend time in the G-League this season, but it’s a good roll of the dice by the Suns (plus they get off two contracts/players they wanted away from). One can envision the 6’4″ Melton and Suns star Devin Booker as a quality backcourt someday.

However, it means the Suns are going all in on Booker as the team’s primary playmaker and ball handler if they cannot find another point guard. That has had mixed results (at best) in the past, he’s really a two guard who can handle the ball at times, but we’ll see if the Rockets can find their point guard.