Grading the blockbuster Damian Lillard trade: Bucks become title favorites

Damian Lillard (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
Damian Lillard (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Phoenix Suns duo (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns duo (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns trade grade: A

Heading to Phoenix: Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson

One of the question marks surrounding the Phoenix Suns after trading for Bradley Beal wasn’t regarding their offensive firepower. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Beal are all among the NBA’s best shooters and scorers. The biggest question about the Suns’ roster was about their depth.

Not anymore.

Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager James Jones made the 2023-24 Phoenix Suns even better on Wednesday. He moved a former No. 1 overall pick in center Deandre Ayton. In return, Jones got an above-average starting center in Jusuf Nurkic, two solid rotation players in Grayson Allen and Nassir Little, and a young prospect in 21-year-old guard Keon Johnson.

Nurkic may not be as athletic as Ayton but may be a better fit for this Suns team. He brings a different skill set and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint. Allen is another shooter, brings toughness, and could be part of three-guard lineups for head coach Frank Vogel. Little could be an energy guy off the Suns bench.

Here’s the projected Suns roster after today:

  • Starters: Booker, Beal, Durant, Nurkic, Allen
  • Bench: Eric Gordon, Nassir Little, Josh Okogie, Damien Lee, Yuta Watanabe, Drew Eubanks, Bol Bol, Jordan Goodwin, Chimezie Metu, Ish Wainright

That’s not too shabby if you ask me. James Jones improved the Suns’ depth and made his team better today. He may have also solidified the Suns being the favorites to come out of the West this season.