Suns reportedly interested in trade for Hornets' Miles Bridges

Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves
Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves

Phoenix is the hottest team in the NBA. Winners of seven straight and 12-of-15, they finally have their big three — Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal — healthy and are overwhelming teams with their offense. The ball is moving, players are unselfish, and James Jones' vision is coming together.

However, if the Suns are going to be a threat to the Nuggets or anyone else at the top of the West in a seven-game playoff series, they need more defense and more depth. Now comes the report from Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic that Phoenix is interested in Charlotte wing Miles Bridges.

Sources confirmed to The Republic the Suns are interested in the Charlotte Hornets forward, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season... The Suns aren't just looking at Bridges as they have 10 or more players on their radar, sources tell The Republic.

There's an obvious fit for Phoenix on the court, where the athletic 6'7" wing would fit in as an off-ball player. Bridges is averaging 20.8 points and 7.1 rebounds a game this season. There's also a Michigan State connection here: That's where both Bridges and Suns' owner Mat Ishbia played college ball.

However, there are a couple of likely insurmountable problems with the Suns bringing in Bridges.

In purely basketball terms, it's tough to put this trade together — the rebuilding Hornets want picks, and the Suns traded nearly all of theirs to get Durant and Beal. Phoenix has some unencumbered second-round picks a few seasons out, but that won't move the Hornets to trade Bridges. Bridges is making $7.2 million this season on a one-year contract with the Hornets, so it's not hard to match salaries with non-rotation players for the Suns, but Bridges has veto power over any trade because he would lose his Bird rights. The Suns are so far into the tax next season that they are not likely to pay Bridges the big contract he hopes to land.

Then there are the public relations questions for the Suns. Bridges sat out all last season and served a 10-game suspension at the start of this season for a 2022 domestic violence case where he pled no contest to charges that included assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. Bridges is scheduled to be in court next month for allegedly violating a protective order tied to that same case. Any team that trades for him will have to answer questions from their fan base about it and about the team and franchise culture they want to build.

All of this makes a Bridges trade to the Suns a long shot, but look for Phoenix to try and be aggressive at the deadline to add depth to a roster that sees itself as a contender. It's just going to be difficult to bring back quality when the Suns don't have many assets other teams want to send out.