Which NBA Teams Would Trade Their Whole Roster And Draft Assets With The Phoenix Suns?

“Let’s be real — ask the other 29 GMs [in the NBA], 26 of them would trade their whole team for our whole team and our draft picks as is,” Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia told the media earlier this week. “The house is not on fire. We’re in a great position. It’s not hard to fix. We have enough talent to win a championship.”

Ishbia spoke to the press on the heels of the Suns, which he purchased ahead of the trade deadline last season, getting swept in the first round of the playoffs. Almost immediately after he acquired the team, Ishbia’s front office gave up a ton to acquire Kevin Durant as a running mate for Devin Booker. This past offseason, basically whatever was left got turned into Bradley Beal, Jusuf Nurkic, and Grayson Allen. At the trade deadline, they took the “if it’s not nailed down” approach to giving up second-round picks for Royce O’Neale. There were other players who were acquired in these deals (David Roddy, Nassir Little) that didn’t get much run in the playoffs, along with a number of guys on minimum contracts.

It’s about as all-in as we have ever seen an NBA team, and the result was four straight losses to Minnesota, three of which were by double-figures. Under most circumstances, you’d assume there would be some major soul searching coming — and to be fair, Ishbia did say “Everything is on the table to evaluate.” But in the eyes of their owner, things could be way worse.

In fact, things are going so well that, in Ishbia’s eyes, 89.7 percent of the other teams in the league would take everything they have and turn it into what Phoenix has. Here’s their cap situation (Spoiler: it’s not great):


In terms of future picks, Phoenix basically has everything going out the door. There are two seconds: one from San Antonio this year that is top 31-49 protected, so it’s going to the Spurs, and one in 2028 from Boston that is top 31-45 protected. Their first-round picks in 2025, 2027, 2029, and 2030 are out the door, while they gave up pick swaps with their 2024, 2026, and 2028 picks.

“It was never, ‘We’re going to win a championship this year or we got to blow it up,” Ishbia told the press. “Championship or bust, this isn’t bust. We’re in a great position. We’re going to be in a great position next year.”

But how great is that position compared to every other NBA team? We decided to take a look by trying to answer a simple question based on the argument Ishbia made, that 26 of the NBA’s 29 general managers would take everything they have and give it up so they can have what the Suns have — the roster has good players despite the constraints on it as we enter a new CBA that is basically designed to make it impossible to build around a team with three highly-paid stars, but that future draft pick situation is gnarly. Let us begin.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta’s got some reshaping of its roster to do, but considering they have some intriguing young players, more tradeable stars (if they go that route with as expected this summer) and some first round picks over the next few years, I’ll say no. However, it’s a conversation they’d probably have for longer than just a second, because Kevin Durant in his current form would immediately be one of the best players to ever wear an Atlanta uniform.

Verdict: No, but it’s close.

Boston Celtics

lol no.

Verdict: lol no.

Brooklyn Nets

Part of the Nets’ draft pick situation is controlling the Suns’ future draft picks, which are shaping up to be incredibly valuable. Even if the team is wandering around aimlessly, controlling Phoenix’s draft alone makes me say no, because I don’t think they’d go from betting against a team to wanting to be that team. That unprotected 2029 first-round pick they have from the Mavs is juicy, too.

Verdict: No.

Charlotte Hornets

On one hand, 17 picks between now and 2030, along with a pair of interesting young building blocks in Brandon Miller and LaMelo Ball. On the other, this would bring the franchise a level of relevancy it has quite literally never achieved since it came back in 2004. Booker and Durant would be the two best players in franchise history, and Beal, even on the heels of a rough year, would be in the top 5-7. So, here’s our first yes, although it’s worth mentioning the Hornets are one of two teams to never pay the luxury tax, which they would have to do here.

Verdict: Yes.

Chicago Bulls

A tough one, because they have a ton of firsts and a handful of seconds between now and 2030, and lighting all that draft capital on fire in a short-term maneuver that leaves their future incredibly murky probably isn’t a great move. But also: When has that ever stopped the Bulls in their quest to win as many regular season games as possible before? Truly a coin flip, imo.

Verdict: 50/50 chance.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Their collection of picks took a hit due to the Donovan Mitchell trade, but they still have an All-Star in Mitchell, two promising young standouts in Darius Garland (even on the heels of a rough year) and Evan Mobley, a reliable veteran in Jarrett Allen, and a few talented youngsters. Also they have multiple first-round picks and a ton of seconds. So no, they would not switch places with Phoenix.

Verdict: No.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs’ collection of draft capital is not especially great, but they have a good team around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, as opposed to the Suns, which don’t have an especially good team around their stars. Plus I think Mavs fans would revolt if they turned Luka into a team with Booker considering how the former has completely embarrassed the latter in the postseason before. So, I’ll say no.

Verdict: No.

Denver Nuggets

Absolutely not.

Verdict: Absolutely not.

Detroit Pistons

I am considering saying yes because lord knows what is ever going through the minds of the people who run the Detroit Pistons (Devin Booker is from Michigan! That might be enough!). Still, with 15 picks coming in over the next few years and a young roster with Cade Cunningham, Ausar Thompson, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren on it that gives them a bit of flexibility, I’ll lean no. But it’s a very unconvincing lean.

Verdict: Probably not, but it’s close.

Golden State Warriors

Do the Suns have Steph Curry? No? Alright, moving on.

Verdict: No.

Houston Rockets

There’s so much young talent in Houston that is starting to blossom and so much draft capital from Brooklyn that I do not think so. I wouldn’t put it past Tilman Fertitta to want a team that can just make the playoffs at this point, but still, probably not.

Verdict: No.

Indiana Pacers

If they can re-sign Pascal Siakam to be a running mate with Tyrese Haliburton going forward, no. If they cannot re-sign Pascal Siakam to be a running mate with Tyrese Haliburton going forward, still no. They have 20 picks over the next seven drafts! And also Tyrese Haliburton!

Verdict: No.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are heading towards a weird offseason — James Harden and Paul George can walk, Kawhi Leonard is about to start an extension on the heels of injuries holding him out of playoff games. They have a few good NBA players (Ivica Zubac, Terrance Mann, Norman Powell, some others) under contract and literally a single first in 2030, along with three seconds, and this roster has quite literally won multiple playoff games. That’s enough to push me towards a no.

Verdict: No.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers won two fewer games than the Suns this year, are essentially running it back, and have 10 future picks (including five of their own firsts). Plus, come on, they’re not giving up a roster with LeBron James on it for one that does not have LeBron James on it.

Verdict: No.

Memphis Grizzlies

As long as the Grizzlies are not cursed and this year was just an all-time outlier, they have a talented, exciting young roster that won 51 games in 2022-23, and they have 17 future picks (10 firsts) to play with. This year definitely stunk, but no chance.

Verdict: No chance.

Miami Heat

Quietly coming up on a huge offseason, as Jimmy Butler is extension eligible, and who knows what ends up happening if that extension doesn’t come. Their future draft pick situation includes five of their own firsts and one second from the Lakers, plus Bam Adebayo is awesome. At the same time, if any team can pull off “stars and then a bunch of guys on minimum/discount deals” it is the Heat, they’ve had interest in Durant and Beal in the past, and they can finally say they got to trade Tyler Herro for stars, which sure seems like something they want to do really badly. I’m on the fence, but ultimately, a very narrow “no.”

Verdict: Unconvincing no.

Milwaukee Bucks

It’s been a weird year and it’s going to be weird going forward but: Giannis, Dame, Middleton, Lopez, Portis all under contract going forward, three first-round pick swaps that would still mean they have firsts, a single second. I also think the sheer magnitude of giving up Giannis is just something they would not want to do unless he basically makes them trade him. Nope.

Verdict: No.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Seeing as how the Timberwolves just wiped the floor with the Suns in the playoffs my answer is a pretty emphatic no.

Verdict: Not even close.

New Orleans Pelicans

Even beyond Zion Williamson and their impressive roster, they still have ultra-valuable picks coming in over the next few years from the Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday trades. Plus like the Hornets, they’ve never paid the luxury tax, although who knows if that changes soon. So, no.

Verdict: No.

New York Knicks

The Knicks have a zillion future picks and got the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference by winning one more game than Phoenix did in the regular season, and then that roster got out of the first round of the playoffs. As such, nope.

Verdict: No.

Oklahoma City Thunder

N O P E.

Verdict: N O P E.

Orlando Magic

The Magic won two fewer games this year with a much younger roster and have 21 future picks to play with. No way.

Verdict: No way.

Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, a clean cap sheet, and future picks. Moving on.

Verdict: Not a chance.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers are not very good, but they stink and have 19 future picks including firsts from Boston and Milwaukee down the road that are decent long-term bets. Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe are fun young players, no one makes a crazy amount of money. Let’s say no.

Verdict: No, but maybe a conversation.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings are going through a period of general good vibes that they probably shouldn’t give up. They have two All-Stars, good role players, and essentially all of their future picks. As such, no, moving on.

Verdict: No.

San Antonio Spurs

Only one of these two rosters has Victor Wembanyama on it. That one would say no. That one, of course, is the Spurs.

Verdict: No.

Toronto Raptors

Toronto has some interesting young players (RJ Barrett, Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley are the headliners) and are flush with future picks, including a pair of Indiana firsts that will almost certainly convey. No, although Masai Ujiri has done some weird stuff over the years, so who knows.

Verdict: No, but a conversation.

Utah Jazz

Danny Ainge is sitting on a hilarious pile of future first-round picks off of the Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert trades. Even if the roster was completely barren — like, the bleakest roster in recent NBA history, which it is not — it’d be a no just off of the pick situation.

Verdict: No.

Washington Wizards

You know what? I think the Wizards would do this. They have 28 future first and second round picks, which is a hilarious amount of bites at the apple. But also: Maybe taking picks away from Washington is a good thing, this roster is brutal, Ted Leonsis obviously loves Beal, and getting to bring KD home has seemingly been on the to-do list forever. Ultimately, what else do the Wizards have going on? Yes.

Verdict: Yes.