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Phoenix Suns Reportedly Have “Ongoing Interest” in This Pacers’ Guard

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The Phoenix Suns could reportedly not be done making moves.

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According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, the Phoenix Suns have “ongoing interest” in Pacers’ point guard T.J. McConnell.

McConnell, who spent his last two years of college at the University of Arizona back in 2013-15, has been a target for the Suns this whole offseason.

Phoenix does not have a true point guard throughout its whole roster. McConnell is arguably one of the best floor generals and backup point guards in the league. He is also a really good on-ball defender, once accumulating nine steals in one half.

The 6-foot-1, 31-year-old guard averaged a career-best 8.7 points last season. He also averaged 5.5 assists and 1.1 steals on 54% shooting from the floor. The undrafted guard did all of this in just over 20 minutes per game.

How could the Suns trade for McConnell?

McConnell is set to make $8.7 million in the 2023-24 season. The Suns can only trade for 110% of the salary they send out because the team is operating in the second-apron of the luxury tax.

This being said, Phoenix also cannot package any of the four new players (Jusuf Nurkić, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson) it acquired in the Deandre Ayton trade in a new deal for 60 days since the team is operating over the cap.

The Suns can re-trade these new players right away, just it has to be only that player, and it can’t be for over 110% of their salary.

Additionally, the Suns can’t trade any player they signed to the veteran’s minimum this offseason until at least Dec. 15 of this year. This rules out eight players.

The only five players left are Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal (who has a no-trade clause), Devin Booker, Ish Wainright and Jordan Goodwin. The first three won’t be traded, and the Suns can’t package Wainright and Goodwin together, as they both make under $2 million this season.

The only pathway to Phoenix making a deal for McConnell appears to be if the Pacers would swap him one-for-one with new Suns’ addition Grayson Allen. Allen is on an expiring contract and has a cap hit of $8.9 million this year. The Suns also have six future second-round picks until 2029, and they could choose to package one or a few in this deal.

Would either team be willing to do this right now? Could they wait until before the trade deadline when all of the players are eligible to be traded?

Unless Indiana is willing to do the one-for-one trade for Allen, waiting until the deadline appears to be the best path to acquiring McConnell.

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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