“Two names to keep an eye on in Phoenix’s trade pursuits: Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins and Boston Celtics guard Malcom Brogdon,” Fischer wrote. “The Suns acquiring either of those veterans might require a third team to accept Paul’s outgoing salary — such as the Houston Rockets with their $60 million of cap space and counting — but Brogdon and Collins are a pair of players Phoenix has registered interest in during trade conversations with Boston and Atlanta, respectively, that date back to the trade deadline, sources said.”
Phoenix reportedly is exploring options with Paul’s future, as his contract for the 2023-24 season is partially guaranteed.
Houston or another team that has ample cap space may need to get involved to help the Suns facilitate a deal for either Brogdon or Collins. Both players are making less money than the Suns guard in the 2023-24 season.
Brogdon, who was dealt to Boston last offseason, won Sixth Man of the Year honors in the 2022-23 season. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for Boston while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Prior to coming to Boston, Brogdon had started for the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks in previous seasons. While he did run into injury issues with the Pacers (Brogdon played just 36 games in the 2021-22 season), the former second-round pick has been a productive player when he’s been on the floor.
Brogdon could be a cheaper option than Paul to handle the point guard duties for the Suns alongside star wings Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.
The Suns were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs in the 2022-23 season, and they lost Paul in their series against the Denver Nuggets to a groin injury. That forced Cameron Payne into the starting lineup at the point guard spot.
It seems unlikely that the Suns would bring Paul back at his full salary for the 2023-24 season, so the team is trying to maximize his value in a trade.
A 12-time All-Star, Paul is still one of the best floor generals in the NBA, but his scoring has dipped below 15 points per game in the last two seasons.
Both Brogdon and Collins are interesting options for Phoenix as the team looks to maximize its title window with Durant and Booker on the roster.