The Phoenix Suns are coming off a decisive victory over the Toronto Raptors, but the team needs a helping hand to turn this around if they are to fight for a title this season.
ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks is hoping the Suns swing for the fences and buy Portland Trail Blazers swingman Robert Covington before the trade deadline.
Trading second-year big man Jalen Smith and injured forward Dario Saric as well as two second-round picks (2025 and 2026) for Covington appears to be an overpayment for the 31-year-old, but there’s no denying that he would fit well into the Suns list.
Covington is in the final year of his four-year, $ 62 million contract he originally signed with the Philadelphia 76ers at the end of the 2017-18 season before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and then the Houston Rockets.
The Blazers acquired Covington from the Rockets weeks after the start of the current season as they hope to help co-stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on both sides of the ball.
However, Lillard and McCollum had been heavily sidelined this season as they faced injuries that could prompt the Blazers to call it a season and acquire some talented young pieces.
Smith was a revelation to Suns fans after averaging 17.3 points and 9.5 rebounds in four starts, while Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee entered the league’s health and safety protocols.
The Suns front office chose not to take Smith’s third-year option, making him an unrestricted free agent once the season is over.
Phoenix’s path to the NBA Championship met an obstacle in the form of the much-vaunted Golden State Warriors, to whom they lost on Christmas Day, welcoming Klay Thompson back into the fold.
GM James Jones could be prompted to act as soon as possible to combat the flexibility Thompson offers the Warriors by bringing in Covington, who is currently averaging 7.4 points on 35.4% of three shots, 5 , 2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. in 28.2 minutes.
Subscription stats website Cleaning the Glass places the Suns in second place in terms of dropout points per 100 possessions (105.2) and eight points per 100 (112.6), which Covington could process.
Swapping injured Saric and Smith for a proven veteran like Covington could prove to be the game-changing decision the Suns can make.
Forward Jae Crowder is expected to retain his role with Covington as a replacement, as both players have the same skill set and could easily be interchangeable in all lineups.
Phoenix are one of the most successful teams in NBA history yet to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and they hope to end that title drought this season with the right moves before the date. limit of exchanges.