According to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, the organization has expressed interest in these two players, with Marcin Gortat likely the centerpiece for any potential deal that would land Jefferson in the Valley of the Sun.
Coro also noted the ongoing rumor that New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert intrigues the Suns, and the team could potentially offer up swingman Jared Dudley for the athletic guard.
Because the Suns are currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference, with a record of 17-35, there’s a great chance that GM Lance Blanks blows things up and brings in some fresh blood in order to build hope for the 2013-14 campaign.
No one expected Phoenix to contend in 2012-13, especially after the franchise flipped future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for future draft picks.
The team is in the first stage of what looks to be a multi-year rebuilding process, so adding youthful pieces at this deadline is certainly another step in the right direction.
Hayward would make a lot of sense for this young club, as the 22-year-old out of Butler is averaging a solid 13.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.6 minutes this season—largely off the bench.
At 6’8”, 210 pounds, he has the size to play shooting guard or small forward (two big needs for the Suns) and is an extremely underrated defender.
Should the Suns be interested more in Hayward or Jefferson?
Acquiring Jefferson makes a bit less sense, as his $15 million contract is nearly double the $7.7 million Gortat is on the books for. However, the Jazz center’s contract expires after this season, and it could be a play for notoriously cheap Suns owner Robert Sarver to shed salary.
Regardless of what happens, Suns fans would be happy to see a deal get done, as this pitiful club direly needs a shakeup and something to get excited about.