The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Phoenix Suns pulled off the biggest blockbuster of the week when they acquired Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets. What was even more remarkable about the trade was the Suns didn’t even have to give up any of Chris Paul, Devin Booker or Deandre Ayton. They kept three of their most important players while adding a superstar in Kevin Durant. What the trade did do though was rob the Suns of much of their depth. They gave up two promising players in Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson prompting former NBA player and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley to speak on their apparent lack of depth. The Suns did also acquire T.J. Warren in the trade but even so they should monitor the buyout market and target Reggie Jackson and Will Barton should they become available.
The Suns could use some additional depth behind Paul at point guard as right now they only have Cameron Payne. Payne has been having a solid season but adding Reggie Jackson, a proven playoff performer, does not hurt. Should Jackson receive a contract buyout from the Charlotte Hornets, there would be mutual interest in him joining the Suns as per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT. Jackson has been a key player for the Clippers despite his numbers being down this season.
In about four seasons with the Clippers, the 12-year veteran has averaged 12.8 points per game, 3.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists with shooting splits of 41.4 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the three-point line. He has split time between starting and coming off the bench and was crucial during the Clippers run to the Western Conference Finals in 2021. Reggie Jackson would provide the Suns with a capable ball-handler and playmaker for the second unit with a good three-point shot off the catch and the ability to attack downhill at times.
The Suns could also use another experienced wing off the bench. They have some decent depth in Warren, Landry Shamet and Torrey Craig, but again, adding a solid veteran who can contribute in the playoffs and add to the Suns depth doesn’t hurt. Will Barton is expected to receive a contract buyout as well from the Washington Wizards as per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Barton is sure to have multiple contending suitors when he hits the open market and the Suns would be wise to be among them.
Barton was in first season with the Wizards after being traded from the Denver Nuggets in the offseason. He didn’t feature prominently in the Wizards rotation this season but he still has a lot of offer a team. He had suited up in 40 games for the Wizards and had been averaging 7.7 points per game, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 38.7 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line in just over 19 minutes per game. But it was just last season that Barton featured prominently in the Nuggets rotation and averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from the three-point line in just over 32 minutes per game.
Barton can provide the Suns with another quality three-point shooter who plays defense and has the ability to attack off the dribble. He’s been a double-digit scorer for most of his career.
The Suns may have pulled off the biggest deal of the NBA trade deadline in acquiring Kevin Durant, but they just need a couple more bench tweaks to really get the ball rolling and emerge as a favorite to win the Western Conference.