After a shocking playoff exit by top-seeded Phoenix, former NBA player and current ESPN analyst JJ Redick says the Suns missed a key opportunity to upgrade their team at the February 2022 trade deadline.
That opportunity, Redick explained, was veteran guard Eric Gordon. The rebuilding Rockets had clearly placed Gordon on the trade block, but teams around the league — including Phoenix — apparently declined to meet the asking price of Houston general manager Rafael Stone.
Now, the Suns could be paying the price. Redick explains:
The way (the Dallas Mavericks) were playing Devin Booker, they were basically blitzing everything. They always had two (defenders) on the ball with him.
If CP (Chris Paul) is unwilling to shoot and unwilling to be aggressive… here’s a lost opportunity, to me. James Jones (Suns GM), for the last two trade deadlines, has preached continuity.
I think they had an opportunity this year to go out and get a third shot creator. Eric Gordon was available in Houston. I know the Phoenix Suns fans wanted Gordon to be there. That to me changes the complexity of this team, because you do need someone that is able to attack. Eric Gordon is one of those guys. You needed that third shot creator.
Now healthy, Gordon was a dynamic player in 2021-22 with a clear impact in terms of 3-point shooting, shot creation, and defense.
In theory, Phoenix could revisit a potential Gordon pursuit in the offseason. But with new, larger contracts due for marquee Suns players including DeAndre Ayton and Cam Johnson, it remains to be seen whether owner Robert Sarver will commit to that type of payroll.