BY: ED COLE
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Phoenix Suns are going all in on the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes.
According to multiple reports, the Suns traded forwards Marcus Morris and Danny Granger and guard Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons for a 2020 second-round pick.
Phoenix had $12 million in cap space coming into the free agency period. By dealing Morris, Granger and Bullock, it now gives the team almost $20 million in cap space. More than half of that space is alotted for the four-year, $52 million contract center Tyson Chandler signed on Wednesday.
The Suns would seemingly need even more space to have both Aldridge and Chandler in-house. Yahoo! Sports’ NBA insider Adrian Wojanarowski reports that Phoenix could do a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks involving Markieff Morris. Wojanarowski says the Suns would have to get rid of Morris’ contract and possibly P.J. Tucker’s, in order to make room for Aldridge.
Even with these moves, it’s no guarantee that Aldridge will sign with Phoenix, but it has to be a good sign in Aldridge’s eyes that general manager Ryan McDonough was willing to make a deal like this to clear space to bring him to Arizona.
There was so much talk before the free agency period about the Suns, and if they’re a quality landing spot for free agents after what happened at the All-Star break between Phoenix and Goran Dragic, and how ugly that relationship ended. That, combined with the disaster that was the three-guard rotation with Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas, and how the season ended with the Suns missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season didn’t put them in the most positive light for any free agents who may have had them on their radar. Getting Chandler and possibly Aldridge would pretty much put all that negativity in the Suns’ rear view mirror as they try to get back to the winning ways of old.