NBA Trade Rumors: Dealing for Al Jefferson Would Be a Risky Move for Suns

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 12, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 09:  Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz reacts after his team scores a basket against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 9, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly interested in acquiring Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic.

The question is, why?

Jefferson, of course, would be a fine addition to the Suns' roster. He's averaging 17.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks this season, in line with his career averages of 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

The problem is, Jefferson is a free agent after this season. Why would a player of his caliber stay in Phoenix? The Suns are currently 17-35, and they lost by nearly 30 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

Going after a big name is great, but you have to have a realistic shot of hanging on to that big name for it to work. 

This is what desperate teams do, though. They'll trade for a big-time player, grovel at his feet and then promptly lose him in free agency. After years of struggling teams getting burned in free agency, you would think they would get the idea after a while. 

The Suns have a long way to go after losing Steve Nash. They need to build the roster step-by-step until they are attractive enough for players like Jefferson to consider sticking with them. It's very rare that a productive basketball player chooses a subpar team over a legitimate playoff contender in free agency, providing the proposed contracts are similar.

Perhaps this is just a thought for the Suns. Maybe they aren't that interested in adding Jefferson. It could be a whim.

Suns fans can only hope, because Jefferson is likely going to take them on a long, painful ride if Phoenix trades for him midseason. 

There are no immediate fixes for the Suns now. The sooner they realize that, the better. It's important to protect themselves from future drama in the meantime.


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