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The Phoenix Suns need a point guard and general manager Ryan McDonough admitted they are staying on the lookout.
“We’re evaluating options,” McDonough said in an interview with ArizonaSports 98.7 FM. “We’re trying to be deliberate and strategic, and just make sure it makes sense — if we are to do a deal — in the short- and long-term.”
McDonough recently traded point guard Brandon Knight (and forward Marquese Chriss) to the Houston Rockets in a deal for forward Ryan Anderson. That left the Suns with no experience at the position.
Their top prospect to start at the moment appears to be Elie Okobo, the first pick in the second round of the draft (No. 31 overall). The Suns also acquired rookie De’Anthony Melton (drafted 46th overall) in the Anderson trade.
“We’re very high on Elie Okobo, he’s looked terrific in the pickup games we’ve had so far,” McDonough told ArizonaSports. “[Melton] we thought was one of the better rookies in summer league, and guys like Shaquille Harrison and Isaiah Canaan played very well for us a year ago. We have depth there, I realize we don’t have a lot of experience there.”
Along with trading for Anderson, the Suns drafted center Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick and hired former Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov as the new coach.
As for point guards, the Suns reportedly have expressed an interest in Patrick Beverley (Los Angeles Clippers), Cory Joseph (Indiana Pacers) and Spencer Dinwiddie — and are said to have explored trades for the likes of Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets) and Terry Rozier (Boston Celtics).
McDonough didn’t talk about any of that, but he did discuss several other topics, including the reasons behind the Anderson deal.
“With Marquese, there were ups and downs,” McDonough said. “I thought he had a pretty good rookie year, overall. I think he showed some flashes and played better than we probably expected him to at 19 years old, and then last year I felt like there was a step back for whatever reason.”
Mostly, McDonough is hoping the 6-foot-10 Anderson can return to being the lethal perimeter shooter he once was — and fit in well next to the likes of standout shooting guard Devin Booker, secod-year forward Josh Jackson and Ayton.
“We felt, overall, Ryan Anderson with his shooting ability and De’Anthony Melton with his two-way potential in the backcourt were better system fits than Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss,” McDonough said.