Indiana will send cash to Phoenix to complete the deal. The Suns were looking to shift the remaining three years and $35 million on Warren’s deal to create further cap space.
Warren, a veteran wing and former 14th overall pick, averaged 18 points per game last season, shooting a shade under 43% from three-point range. His PER of 16.3 is more than handy and marginally better than Pacers small forward and free agent Bojan Bogdanovic.
At just 25 years old, Warren may well have more to come on the NBA stage and will be a superb complementary piece to explosive scorer Victor Oladipo when Indiana’s star man returns from injury.
This looks a steal for Indiana, who could have faced a battle to keep hold of Bogdanovic. They negotiated a trade as if this was a salary dump, but also managed to acquire an effective three-point shooter and scorer. The Pacers will also have over $30 million in cap space after the deal is complete.
For Phoenix, meanwhile, this is puzzling. The Suns are not an attractive free agent destination right now, their franchise has been a mix of dysfunction and outright chaos in recent seasons.
Phoenix then followed this move with another trade, again reported by Wojnarowski.
Minnesota Timberwolves were the other team this time, sending power forward Dario Saric and the number 11 pick to the Suns for the sixth selection in the draft. The T-Wolves have been looking to move up for the last few days – Phoenix were the team that obliged.
Saric is a good pickup for the Suns, and is great value on his current contract, but the question that hovers around these two moves is: What are Phoenix planning to do with that cap space? Do they know something we don’t? Are they about to take on a major salary dump to acquire future assets?
No one, perhaps not even the Suns, know the answers to all those questions. Phoenix, as ever, are fascinating. The table has been set for a big free agent acquisition – D’Angelo Russell makes a hell of a lot of sense – but anything is possible; it’s the Suns, after all.