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The Phoenix Suns aren’t actively looking to trade veteran center Aron Baynes before the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, but they remain open to the possibility, according to the New York Times‘ Marc Stein.
Baynes, who’s in the final year of his contract, is averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 49.0 percent overall and 33.3 percent from three-point range through 33 games.
In addition to his scoring and rebounding, he’s holding opponents to 59.1 percent shooting within six feet of the basket, per NBA.com.
Between his on-court production and expiring deal, the 33-year-old is an obvious trade candidate. He was a valuable piece of the Boston Celtics’ rotation during their playoff runs over the past two seasons.
The Suns might be able to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010, though. They’re 2.5 games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Although trading Baynes wouldn’t single-handedly derail Phoenix’s campaign, it would make the road to the postseason more difficult. Even if the Suns were to get swept in the first round, they might gain more from a playoff trip than they would from whatever return they’d receive for Baynes in a trade.
Giving Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson a taste of postseason basketball would undoubtedly aid in their development.
Baynes doesn’t necessarily profile as the kind of player who would warrant a high asking price in a trade, but Phoenix would be smart to drive a hard bargain with any team looking to get frontcourt help prior to the deadline.