How Royce O’Neale fits with Phoenix Suns following deadline trade
Arizona Republic Suns reporter Duane Rankin breaks down the Suns’ deadline trade for Royce O’Neale and why the departing players were traded.
The Phoenix Suns are on the rise in NBA power rankings.
The team has won five of its past six games and 12 of its last 15, and it strengthened its roster by adding Royce O’Neale at the 2024 NBA trade deadline in a 3-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets.
NBA writers have Phoenix as high as No. 5 in their post-trade deadline NBA power rankings.
Are the Suns now a serious NBA Championship contender in 2024 after the move?
Check out what NBA writers are saying about the Suns in their NBA power rankings after Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Phoenix Suns trade grades: Royce O’Neale, David Roddy deal ‘huge win’ at NBA trade deadline
USA TODAY Sports: Suns No. 5 in power rankings after NBA trade deadline
Ayrton Ostly writes: “The Suns’ biggest move at the deadline brought them Royce O’Neale in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. O’Neale’s averaging 7.4 points per game off the bench this season and could help when Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and/or Bradley Beal aren’t on the floor. Phoenix is 10th in offensive rating and 16th in defensive rating at the time of publishing and O’Neale’s defensive prowess could come in handy. His 1.1 defensive win shares this season as a bench player are better than all but four Suns players — Jusuf Nurkić, Durant, Booker, and Grayson Allen — who are all starters.”
Kevin O’Connor writes: “With a naked asset cupboard, the Suns did pretty well at the deadline, coming away with Royce O’Neale and David Roddy. O’Neale provides solid spot-up shooting, closeout attacks, and defense. Roddy is a versatile hustler on defense, although he needs to find his jumper, which has abandoned him since he left college. Overall, though, Phoenix managed to make upgrades around its stars on the cheap.”
Andy Bailey writes: “The Phoenix Suns had already seemingly turned a corner prior to trade deadline day. After beating the Utah Jazz on Thursday, they’re now 12-3 in their last 15 games, but there were still concerns about the team’s depth. And they made a move to address them. As part of a three-team trade that cost them Yuta Watanabe, Chimezie Metu, Keita Bates-Diop and Jordan Goodwin, the Suns added Royce O’Neale and David Roddy.
O’Neale, 30, has plenty of playoff experience and has long been a reliable three-and-D forward. Roddy, 22, still needs a lot of development, but it’s easy to see why Phoenix felt it needed a different approach to the non-big three minutes.”
NBC Sports: Suns at No. 8 in NBA power rankings now
Kurt Helin writes: “Phoenix is hot, having won 10-of-13, with a stretch of four winnable games before the All-Star break (the Warriors and Kings are the best of them).”
Phoenix Suns trade tracker: Royce O’Neale acquired by team before NBA trade deadline
ESPN: Suns up to No. 9 in NBA power rankings
Dave McMenamin writes: “It was a vindicating week for the Suns’ big three. They went to Brooklyn and Kevin Durant scored 33 points in a win against his former team; they went to Washington and Bradley Beal scored 43 against his former team; and then they hosted the Bucks and Devin Booker scored 32 versus the team that beat him in the Finals in 2021. And since a Christmas Day loss that dropped them below .500 they are 16-6 — most recently beating the Bucks in their first game at home after a seven-game road trip.”
CBS Sports: Suns now at No. 10 in NBA power rankings
Colin Ward-Henninger writes: “The Suns beat the Nets and Wizards this week, with a rough loss to the Hawks in between. Phoenix took advantage of some weak defenses, putting up 129 points per 100 possessions over the three games. Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Jusuf Nurkic each averaged at least 20 points for the week.”