A 31-year-old scoring guard has been considered the Phoenix Suns‘ “dream offseason trade target.”
In a May 10 story called “Every NBA Team’s Dream Offseason Trade Target,” Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report listed Detroit Pistons star Alec Burks as the player the Suns should target this summer.
“The Phoenix Suns gutted their roster to land Kevin Durant at the trade deadline. Considering the return was Kevin freakin’ Durant, it’s probably a sacrifice they’d make 11 times out of 10,” Buckley wrote. “Still, the stardom of Durant and Devin Booker can only do so much to cover up Phoenix’s lack of depth. Tack on the injury risks tied to Durant and Chris Paul, and the Suns are essentially performing high-wire acts without a safety net.
“They’ll be top-heavy as long as they’re committed to this core, but a sturdy veteran like Alec Burks could at least expand the rotation a bit. He isn’t astoundingly good in any one area, but he is a willing defender who shoots well from range (40-plus percent the past three seasons) and offers a pinch of shot-creation.”
Burks signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the New York Knicks in August 2021. The Knicks traded the Colorado product to the Pistons in July 2022. Burks appeared in 51 games for Detroit this season and averaged 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 43.6% from the field, 41.4% from beyond the arc and 81.4% from the free-throw line.
A Missouri native, Burks has career averages of 10.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 676 games.
Deandre Ayton to the Thunder?
Could the Suns and Pistons include the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team trade involving Burks and Deandre Ayton? It’s not only possible under CBA rules, but Buckley also thinks OKC should target Ayton.
“Deandre Ayton could be a frontcourt fixture for years to come,” Buckley wrote. “The Phoenix Suns don’t seem entirely committed to him—they forced him to find an offer sheet elsewhere last summer—and might view an Ayton deal as an opportunity to better balance their roster around Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Ayton, meanwhile, could stabilize OKC’s center spot and quite possibly increase his output in an offense that needs more scoring threats to lighten Gilgeous-Alexander’s load.”
Ayton doesn’t have a good relationship with Suns head coach Monty Williams, sources told Heavy Sports, so he could be traded this summer. The former No. 1 overall pick attempted to leave Phoenix last offseason by signing a four-year, $132.9 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers in restricted free agency. However, the Suns matched the Pacers’ offer sheet.
Will Chris Paul Play in Game 6?
Suns point guard Chris Paul suffered a left groin injury against the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals and missed Games 3, 4 and 5. Tim MacMahon asked the future Hall of Famer if he’ll be able to play in Game 6 and Paul said, “We’ll see. I’m trying to.”
The Suns are one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Paul, 38, is averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 assists while shooting 41.8% from the field and 32.1% from beyond the arc in seven postseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Nuggets.