Phoenix Suns spring surprise with Culver’s trade to Wolves


Phoenix Suns were the most active franchise before NBA Draft on Thursday as they finished 2 surprising deals. The first one was the trade of TJ Warren and the No.32 pick in a salary cap clearance move to acquire free agents. The other is the bigger and more shocking of the two as they traded No.6 Culver for Dario Šarić and No. 11.

Let’s look at how the Wolves and the Suns would be affected by the trade at NBA Draft Round 1.

Phoenix Suns: Can Šarić justify the move?

Šarić has the kind of athleticism and energy the Suns have been looking for. He is indeed a fine handler of the ball. But can the 25-year-old showcase the consistency he’s lacked in the last 4 seasons? More importantly, was it worth buying him in the final year of his contract?

Phoenix Suns spring surprise with Culver's trade to Wolves01

Saric has shown glimpses of brilliance but lacked consistency. Image: USAToday

The thought behind the move of replacing Warren with Saric at the NBA Draft looks to be the salary cap cushion it provides. The move clears around $10m which is enough to acquire free agents like Malcolm Brogdon. But the more confusing move is they gave up the No.32 pick in the Warren deal at the NBA Draft.  They also gave up their No.6 pick for the No.11 one. Was all of it worth it?

Only Šarić can answer the questions going into the offseason. His playmaking abilities can come handy in the Suns offence. They have also grabbed another shooter in Cameron Johnson. The two might just improve on their poor 3-point percentage from last season.

Minnesota Timberwolves: In pursuit of a better future

The Wolves move is clearly a long term one. Why else would one trade a player of Saric’s class and a late lottery pick for a 20-year old? The longevity is the agenda it seems behind the trade for Wolves. It’s indeed a gamble, but the risk could be worth it looking at Culver’s promise.

Saric is one half of the Butler deal. He couldn’t impress in his one season but it would have been fair to try him again. Perhaps the long-lasting impact is more important for Wolves and so the decision.

The contrasting intentions behind the trade are now clear. Both parties though have seemingly taken a gamble and time will tell who took the better decision.

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