The 2017-18 NBA season hasn’t even started yet, but the Phoenix Sunscould already be thinking about potential trades involving some of their top players. ESPN reported: “The Suns will surely listen if and when suitors call for Eric Bledsoe. They’ve explored the possibility of moving off Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler, sources say, though they likely feel no urgency to dump them; Phoenix remains just under the salary floor.” Bledsoe is coming off the best season of his career, where he set new personal bests with averages of 21.1 points and 6.3 assists per game. He remains under contract for almost $30 million over the next two seasons, although that represents a bargain compared to newer deals. While Dudley and Chandler no longer have the offensive impact of Bledsoe, they are both valuable roster players known for their defensive ability. Chandler was the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year at center while Dudley is an ideal “three-and-D” wing. All three players are under contract through 2018-19, although Dudley is also coming off toe surgery that kept him off the court for a few months. Each of these players could have value on a contender, but in the meantime they are taking away playing time from the younger players on the Suns roster. High draft picks Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Josh Jackson could develop into a top young core around Devin Booker if given the chance to develop. With the Suns listed at just 500-1 to win a championship, per Odds Shark, thinking about the future is probably the best move for the organization.
The Milwaukee Bucks have held trade talks on unloading John Henson and Mirza Teletovic to improve their cap situation. Teams who have discussed a deal with the Bucks have been seeking a big return for taking on those salaries. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s extension begins this season while Greg Monroe opted into his contract for 17-18. Milwaukee also has significant outlays on Khris Middleton, Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and his agent Happy Walters have not heard from the team’s front office on a possible contract extension. Smart is eligible for a rookie-scale extension before the October 16th deadline. If he and the Celtics do not agree to a deal before the start of the regular season, Smart will become a restricted free agent once free agency begins in July. Numerous rookie scale extensions have been signed throughout the NBA. Gary Harris recently signed a four-year $84 million deal with the Nuggets, and Norman Powell signed a four-year $42 million extension with the Raptors. Marcus Smart has played very well in Boston’s first two preseason games. He is averaging 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists in 17 minutes per game and is shooting 5/9 from three. Showing off a new, slim frame and improved shooting touch, Smart looks poised for a breakout season. During the Celtics’ Media Day, Smart talked briefly on the possibility of a contract extension. “We’ve talked about (an extension),” Smart said, “but it’s nothing major like it’s talking every day. It’s been mentioned but my main focus is getting ready for this season”. With a week left until the extension deadline arrives, the Celtics and Smart have a lot to think about regarding his contract going into his fourth professional season.