The Phoenix Suns traded their first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday in exchange for a pick five spots later and power forward Dario Saric, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
It’s the second reported trade in the span of an hour for GM James Jones, who has now made his first two trades since becoming Phoenix’s permanent general manager. The other trade moved wing T.J. Warren and the 32nd pick for the Indiana Pacers for cash.
Thus, the Suns traded both of their two picks in Thursday’s NBA draft but got one first-rounder in return.
Saric spent the first two years of his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and established himself as a stretch-four who could shoot and pass well. Over those two seasons, he averaged 13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27.9 minutes per game 48.4% shooting from 2-point and 35.5% from 3.
Last year, between Philadelphia and Minnesota, Saric averaged 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.0 minutes per game.
Phoenix giving up the sixth pick likely takes them out of position to draft point guards Darius Garland or Coby White.
With extra cap space from Warren and the Suns trading down from a spot they could have drafted one of the top point guard prospects, it appears they are determined to add a veteran presence at the position.
Ayton and Ray Spalding are the only frontcourt players under contract for the Suns next season, with center Richaun Holmes and power forward Dragan Bender set to hit unrestricted free agency. Saric now joins that duo.