As the NBA Draft approaches, many writers in the NBA community are buzzing over trade possibilities and trade scenarios for everyone in the draft.
A recent article published by ESPN's NBA Insiders, one of the insiders, Andrew Han, suggests that the Phoenix Suns should trade Devin Booker and Jared Dudley to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for the No. 2 pick in the draft and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Presumably, the Suns would use the picks on Arizona center Deandre Ayton and Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic.
As good as that may look on paper, a trade like this would possibly setback the Suns' timeline back detrimentally.
Why change the face of the franchise?
Finding a face of the franchise is not an easy thing to do. Even though he has been in the league for just three years, Booker has become the face of the Suns' franchise. He is the centerpiece of the next great Phoenix Suns team.
Booker has averaged 19.8 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. Booker has also broken records and has developed into one of the top players in the league. He is one of the reasons that free agents are starting to consider the Phoenix Suns as a hot free agent destination. For example, in recent years LeBron James and LaMarcus Aldridge met with the Suns before signing elsewhere. The intrigue of playing with a future All-Star like Booker was definitely on their mind.
With the development of Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren, Booker has some quality pieces around him. If Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender could develop into a quality player, the Suns have a strong young core to compete in a very competitive Western Conference.
Selecting Deandre Ayton gives the Suns and Booker a quality big man that they desperately desire. Ayton can score the basketball while developing on the defensive end. Booker and Ayton could be what Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were to the Los Angeles Lakers.
All the Suns would need a quality point guard that could be selected with their second selection. Depending on how the draft plays out, players such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Zhaire Smith, Aaron Holiday, De’Anthony Melton or Elie Okobo could all be available at No. 16. If they wait to the second round, Anfernee Simons, Trevon Duval, and Landry Shamet could be options.
Would the trade work out?
If this trade were to be executed, the timeline would be skewed in a big way.
Bogdanovic had a successful rookie campaign for the Kings. He averaged 11.8 points and 3.3 assists in 78 games while shooting nearly 45 percent from the field. However, Bogdanovic is 25-years-old while Booker is just 21.
How would Bogdanovic gel with Ayton and Doncic? Who is to say that Doncic or Ayton would be a slam dunk? Doncic would need time to learn the NBA style of play. Doncic averaged just 9.2 points during his four seasons in the Euroleague. The pressure would be on Jackson and Warren to score the ball as well and keep the Suns competitive.
Keeping Booker would seem to make the most sense. Booker would take the pressure off of Ayton as Booker is a 20-point scorer. Booker and Jackson would carry the scoring load for the Suns, possibly making everyone around them better.
If the Kings keep their pick and go with Marvin Bagley III in the draft, the Kings could have a unique lineup of their own. Combine Bogdanovic with the versatility with Bagley III and the playmaking of De'Aaron Fox and shooting of Buddy Hield makes for an intriguing future for the Kings.