Over the weekend, the Phoenix Suns executed a trade with the Indiana Pacers that sent forward Luis Scola in exchange for forward Gerald Green, center Miles Plumlee and a lottery-protected 1st-round pick in 2014.
The 33-year old forward out of Argentina averaged 12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot the ball at nearly 48 percent last season in about 26 minutes for the Suns. Considering his age and the minutes played, his averages were more than welcomed on a struggling team like Phoenix.
That is just the point of the trade, though — age. The Suns are in the midst of a rebuilding project and through the NBA draft this year were able to bring in two first-round picks with selecting Alex Len and Archie Goodwin. Both should contribute at some point in the near future. Len is recovering from injury but has plenty of potential.
Being able to get a first-round pick in return from Indiana is huge. Looking at the 2014 NBA Draft now, the Suns could potentially have three picks in the first round, assuming the Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t lottery teams.
For now, the power forward position will consist of brothers Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris for the most part, until Len gets back from injury at least. If big man Marcin Gortat is still on the roster — and not traded by then — the team could wind up seeing both him and Len on the floor sometimes.
It’s clear the Suns know they won’t compete for championships any time soon, so the moves they are making tend to make sense in the long run. They have a first-year coach in Jeff Hornacek and building from the ground up seems to be the best idea. Scola’s departure was just the next step in the equation.