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Potential buyout candidates for the Phoenix Suns to pursue

© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns now have two open roster spots after sending out four players in a trade for Royce O’Neale and David Roddy.

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This means they will have to fill the remaining two spots with bought out players with the NBA trade deadline now have passed. The four players the Suns traded were: Keita Bates-Diop and Jordan Goodwin (Brooklyn), and Yuta Watanabe and Chimezie Metu (Memphis).

The one caveat to note for the Suns is that they cannot sign a player worth over $12.4 million on the market, which is this season’s non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Phoenix is operating in the second luxury tax apron, so there are extreme stipulations for what they can and cannot do and this is one of them.

With this being said, the Suns cannot sign players like Spencer Dinwiddie, who was bought out by the Raptors after being traded from the Nets today. Dinwiddie is on a three-year, $54 million deal.

The two players the Suns will sign will likely not crack the rotation, but could be good fits nonetheless. PJ Tucker had been rumored to be a good fit in Phoenix, but now is reportedly likely to stay with the Clippers.

Here are some players the Suns could realistically pursue for those spots as of now (to be updated as more players get bought out, these players have all not been bought out yet):

Danuel House Jr.

Danuel House Jr. was traded from the 76ers to the Pistons today and subsequently waived by Detroit. Several contenders are reported to be interested in House, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 6-foot-6, 30 year old spent his first real NBA season with the Suns back in 2017-18. After this season, he spent 3.5 years with the Rockets and the last half of the 2021-22 season with the Jazz.

House exercised his $4.3 million player option to stay with the 76ers this offseason. He averaged 15 minutes per game across 34 contests this season with Philadelphia, scoring 4.2 points a game.

For his career, House is averaging 7.3 points on 43% shooting and 3.0 rebounds across 294 regular season games. He would bring a solid defensive skillset to the Suns, but likely not make the rotation.

Thaddeus Young

The Suns have been tied to Thaddeus Young for years now, and he is reportedly being waived by the Nets after being traded from the Raptors today. Young is on the second season of a two-year, $16 million deal.

The 6-foot-8, 35-year-old is now in his 16th NBA season. He has not averaged double digit points since the 2020-21 season after 12 straight seasons of doing, but is still a productive role player.

Young averaged 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 23 games played for Toronto this season.

For hiss career, Young has played in 1,162 regular season games, starting 726 of them and averaging 12.2 points on 50% shooting and 5.7 rebounds.

Young would bring a veteran presence and some lengthy defense to the Suns, but is not a 3-point shooter.

Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari was waived by the Detroit Pistons two days ago and could be a great buyout candidate for the Suns as a 6-foot-10 stretch wing.

Devin Booker and Gallinari have a past friendship that goes way back to when Booker was 12 and Gallinari was 18:

The 35-year-old Gallinari has been in the NBA since the 2008-09 season when he was drafted sixth overall by the New York Knicks.

His days in his prime are probably over after he suffered a second ACL tear that kept him out for the entire 2022-23 season. However, prior to this, he averaged over 11 points per game every year since his second season in the league.

This season, he played in 32 games for both the Washington Wizards and the Pistons and averaged 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds on 45% shooting.

For his career, Gallinari has played in 760 games, averaging 15.2 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. He is a career 38.2% 3-point shooter.

Gallinari’s resume speaks for itself, but his defensive ability is past him, so he would pretty much be a lengthy spot-up shooter that can drive and dish the ball at this stage of his career. However, his friendship with Nurkić and Booker, as well as his veteran presence would certainly not hurt the Suns.

If he came to Phoenix he would be chasing one thing he doesn’t have in his long career: an NBA Championship.

Otto Porter Jr.

Otto Porter Jr. was traded to the Utah Jazz for Ochai Agbaji and Kelly Olynyk. Porter Jr. has not been bought out yet, but very well could be. The 6-foot-8, 30 year-old has only played in 23 combined games over the past two seasons. However, he could be an ideal fit for what Phoenix is missing out on sending away Keita Bates-Diop.

Porter Jr. is in his 10th season in the NBA and is a career 40% 3-point shooter. He was a key contributor in helping the Warriors win the 2021 NBA Finals. In 527 regular season games in his career, Porter Jr. has averaged 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

Porter Jr. is on the second season of a two-year, $12.3 deal.

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo was reportedly waived by the Grizzlies today. Oladipo has been severely injury prone and has not appeared in a game this season with a left patellar tendon repair after suffering the injury in the playoffs with the Heat last season.

Oladipo played in 42 contests for the Heat last season, averaging 10.7 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He has had some significant knee injuries and that wwas his first season playing in 40 or more games since the 2017-18 season.

In this 2017-18 season, Oladipo averaged a career-best 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and a league-best 2.4 steals. He won the league’s Most Improved Player, was first-team All-Defense and named All-NBA Third Team.

The two-time All-Star has never averaged below 10 points per game in his nine NBA seasons, but is out indefinitely, so it’s hard to judge his fit on the Suns and if he’d even be able to play.

Oladipo is on an expiring deal and making $9.45 million this season, so the math works for the Suns to sign him.

Killian Hayes

Killian Hayes is probably the youngest option on the buyout market after the Pistons released him today. The 2020 No. 7 overall pick has been underwhelming in his four seasons in Detroit, and the Pistons were seemingly unable to find a trade partner for him after his camp asked for a change of scenery a few days ago.

This season, the 22 year old appeared in 42 games, starting 31 of them, and averaging 6.9 points and 4.9 assists in 24 minutes per game.

Hayes could be a defensive-minded backup point guard for the Suns, but would also be a project. For his four-year career, he has averaged 8.1 points, 5.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 210 career games. However, Hayes has only shot 38.2% from the field and 27.7% from 3-point range in his career.

Hayes is on the last season of his four-year, $24 million rookie deal.

Robin Lopez

Robin Lopez just started for the Bucks two days ago against the Suns, but was traded to the Kings today and subsequently bought out.

The 35-year-old, 7-foot-1 Lopez was drafted 15th overall by the Suns back in 2008 and spent his first four seasons in the Valley. Since, Lopez has played for the New Orleans Hornets (2012-13), Trail Blazers (2013-15), Knicks (2015-16), Bulls (2016-19), Bucks (2019-20), Wizards (2020-21), Magic (2021-22), Cavaliers (2022-23) and Bucks again this season.

The big man has totaled 992 regular season games played in his career, averaging 8.4 points on 53.7% shooting and 4.7 rebounds throughout his 16 years in the NBA.

Lopez signed a one-year, $3.2 million deal with the Bucks this offseason. He would bring backup depth at the center position for Phoenix.

Bismack Biyombo

Some Suns’ fans have advocated from bringing Bismack Biyombo back since he was waived by the Grizzlies on Jan. 10, despite him being a regular starter in Memphis.

Biyombo spent the previous two seasons with the Suns and would bring some much-need rim protection if he was signed. However, he has not proved much with his offensive game.

The 6-foot-8, 31-year-old Biyombo has now played in the NBA for 13 years. Across 829 career regular season games, he has averaged 5.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 19.7 minutes.

Ish Wainright

The Suns waived Ish Wainright before this season and hoped to bring him back on a two-way contract, but the Portland Trail Blazers came in and signed him. However, the Blazers waived Wainright on Jan. 6 after he only played seven games for them.

Wainright is still deeply rooted in Arizona, so if the Suns want to bring him back they could. He has a similar frame to Roddy, who they just acquired.

Even though he didn’t play many minutes per game during his time with the Suns, Wainright, a former NFL player, became a fan-favorite in Phoenix since joining the team in the 2021-22 season. The 29-year-old, 6-foot-5 forward averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game last season. He played in 60 games total for the year.

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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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