NBA Trade Deadline: Biggest needs and targets for each West contender

Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns are sitting pretty good right now and look like a legit team to make some noise in the West. Their team is well balanced on both ends of the floor never really clicked into Monty Williams and Chris Paul at the helm.

Need: Backup guard

However, If Phoenix is serious about making a push for the finals this year, they’ll need to be some slight adjustments to their roster. Every contender could use another big man, but I think Phoenix needs some more depth at guard. Abdel Nader and Langston Galloway have performed above expectation this year, but it’d be nice for Phoenix to have someone with some good playoff experience.

Someone who can handle the ball when Chris Paul is off the floor, and also generate some additional scoring for a mostly inexperienced bench.

Solution: Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers seems like a no-brainer to me. Rivers got paid out in New York, but now looks like his Knicks days are over with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley getting more playing time. Once he gets bought out, Rivers should be appealing for some contenders and the Phoenix shouldn’t hesitate. Bringing Rivers in to play alongside Chris Paul and Devin Booker again would bolster Phoenix for a serious NBA Finals run.

Rivers has always been a below-average shooter, but he’s a decent ball-handler who can get to the basket and still makes 37 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3’s. He can also be someone that operates as the main facilitator for the bench unit, while also serving as an additional wing defender late in games.

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At worst, Rivers would be a nice insurance policy for Monty Williams, should matchups or foul troubles arise in the playoffs. Austin Rivers is a low-risk, high-reward situation for Phoenix.

Other Options: DeMarcus Cousins, Maurice Harkless