It's a failure if the Suns don't make a run at D'Angelo Russell

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors

There is an extraordinarily rare situation happening for the Suns right now, and everybody seems to get it except them. There is a 23-year old star being dangled at the trade deadline, who, out of all the stars in the NBA, would probably be most comfortable playing in Phoenix long term. That star is D'Angelo Russell, and he'd be comfortable staying in Phoenix because he's close friends with Devin Booker. Yet, the Suns seem to be treating this like just another week in February.

 

What makes D'Angelo Russell's situation so unique is that the Warriors know when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson get healthy, Golden State will have an instant championship contender, and Russell will have to move to their bench. It might make more sense for them to get assets for Russell now, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski, they're willing to engage in traded talks. Normally an organization would cackle at the idea of giving up D'Angelo Russell at this stage of his career, but the Warriors aren't normal. This is a golden opportunity, but the Suns don't seem to see it that way.

 

The "gulf" Wojnarowski refers to exists because the Warriors are asking for what Minnesota believes is unreasonable draft compensation. When it comes to a 23-year old star that can make Devin Booker happy, and possibly put the Suns in the playoffs, the Suns should do everything short of handing Bob Myers a blank trade sheet.

How many other under-25 stars will become available over the next 5 years? How many will be content playing in Phoenix long term? If now is not the right time to give away draft picks, after a sea of missed picks dating back to the early 200's, when is?

The idea that the D'Angelo Russell situation isn't urgent for the Suns is baffling. The Suns may never have this opportunity again. And protectiveness over future draft picks, by a team that hasn't been very good at drafting, is even more maddening. Teams don't slow-play their way to legitimacy in the NBA anymore anyway. And the teams that try to continue to be surpassed by insta-teams in the playoffs. I'm looking at you, Celtics, Spurs, Jazz and Nuggets. The NBA has become an acquisition-first league, and the Suns have the opportunity to join the cool kids club.

When is the last time a franchise regretted trading draft picks for a star in his early 20's? Maybe I just don't get it.

Matthew Jarecki

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