Suns Exploring Trade to Land Indiana Pacers Guard: Report

Getty Buddy Hield, TJ McConnelle, and Tyrese Halliburton of the Indiana Pacers.

The Phoenix Suns could bolster their reserve group even more as trading point guard Cameron Payne to the Indiana Pacers could land them another veteran guard in TJ McConnell per Jake L. Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

“Indiana point guard T.J. McConnell has been one player on the Suns’ radar. There was some talk around Summer League about a developing multi-team trade discussion,” Fischer said.

After the Suns traded for All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal in June, the new Suns coach Frank Vogel told reporter Trevor Booth that he wanted to use a “multiple ball handler attack” which would include Payne being “in the mix” on offense.

But Fischer says that the Suns are exploring trades to move the veteran guard.

“The Pacers have been mentioned in another possible trade discussion this week. Phoenix has continued to explore trade scenarios regarding reserve guard Cam Payne, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Fischer writes.

Suns Could Engage in Knicks Trade

After trading for Beal, just months after landing Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, the Suns took on more than $400 million in cap space between the two All-Stars. As a result, most knew they would not have a lot of wiggle room to make any other major moves during the free agency period. Still, general manager James Jones has managed to add solid role players such as Yuta Watanabe and Eric Gordon.

The insider also noted that the New York Knicks could be another team to watch on the trade market as the well for notable free agents has dried up considerably. After a season that had them on the doorstep of an Eastern Conference Finals berth, the Knicks are looking to move their reserve sharpshooter Evan Fournier.

“Maybe there’s some business to be done with the Knicks. Rival front offices continue to say New York remains engaged on trade avenues for veteran shooter Evan Fournier,” Fisher said of a potential deal with New York. “And the Knicks are amenable to doing so as part of multi-team frameworks, sources said.”

Deandre Ayton Trade Not off the Table

One thing that continues to loom in the Suns locker room is the future of their starting big man Deandre Ayton. Phoenix selected Ayton first overall in the 2018 NBA draft and the lottery pick played a key role in their 2021 NBA Finals run where they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

But in his last two playoff appearances, Ayton has been an eyesore for Suns fans. And it’s not just by the numbers. At times the star big man has been called out for his lack of effort in the playoffs. This past season, former head coach Monty Williams would often bench Ayton in key moments. NBA insider Bobby Marks says Ayton could be traded if a deal that “made sense” could be found.

“If there was a trade out there for Deandre Ayton and it made sense for him from a basketball standpoint, I think he would approve it,” Marks said on “Bickley & Mariotta”. 

“I think certainly it’s more of just a date of when that offer sheet was signed and eventually when it was matched.”

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