The Phoenix Suns’ 2023 NBA postseason run came to an end in the second round at the hands of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the NBA champion Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets eliminated the Suns in six games in the Western Conference Semifinals. Granted the Suns gave the Nuggets a tough fight, as they were the only team to take Denver to six games in the 2023 playoffs, but it was still clear the team as currently composed was not a championship team.
Therefore, the Phoenix Suns decided to shake up their roster this offseason by acquiring a star guard in a blockbuster trade. The Suns sent a trade package highlighted by Chris Paul to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Bradley Beal. Phoenix now has the best trio in the NBA in Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Beal. That’s just above Boston’s trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.
Beale was the Suns’ biggest off-season acquisition, but he was not their only acquisition. They also added Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon, Brooklyn Nets forward Yuta Watanabe and Portland Trail Blazers big man Drew Eubanks via free agency. All three of the above names could be in the race for rotation minutes with the Suns in the 2023-24 season.
Despite all the solid acquisitions the Phoenix Suns have made so far this summer via trade and free agency, they are still woefully short on players with one very important skill. Having said all that, let’s take a look at one trade the Suns should target in the 2023 NBA offseason:
1 trade the Suns still have to target in the 2023 NBA offseason
Detroit Pistons point guard Kilian Hayes
After Chris Paul was traded to the Washington Wizards, the sun is shining on playmakers. If the season started today, Devin Booker would be the front-runner to get the starting point guard nod. Booker is an underrated playmaker, but he is also most comfortable playing shooting guard. So it would be wise for the Suns to add another playmaking point guard to their roster via trade this summer. And one name in particular that makes a lot of sense for the Suns to target is Detroit Pistons point guard Kilian Hayes.
Kilian Hayes has established himself as a borderline elite playmaker with the Pistons through the 2022-23 regular season. He averaged an impressive 6.2 assists per game, the most on Detroit’s roster. And compared to the rest of the league, Hayes’ assists per game average becomes even more impressive. Hayes’ 6.2 assist average was the 19th highest in the entire NBA among all eligible players during the 2022–23 campaign.
Of course, in terms of scoring, Hayes really struggled in the 2022-23 season. He shot only 37.7% from the field and 28.0% from behind the three-point arc. But with three elite scorers already on Phoenix’s roster in Beal, Booker and Durant, the Suns don’t need Hayes to score.
At this point, only time will tell if the Phoenix Suns stick with their current roster or decide to add more players via trade. But what is already abundantly clear is that it would be wise to target point guard Kilian Hayes via trade. Not only is he a borderline elite facilitator at 21, but given his scoring inability in the 2022-23 season, the Suns likely won’t have to break the bank to acquire him.