The Phoenix Suns are willing to let go of the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft plus guard Eric Bledsoe and offered the package to the Utah Jazz for Gordon Hayward, according to NBA draft rumors on Thursday.
However, the Jazz reportedly denied the trade offer and are sticking with their star forward in Hayward, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
The Utah Jazz already made a trade on Wednesday acquiring veteran point guard George Hill for the 12th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft in a three-way deal with the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers. In the deal the Pacers received Jeff Teague and the Hawks got the first round pick from Utah.
Stein added that the Suns are making their starting backcourt available putting both Bledsoe and point guard Brandon Knight on the trading block. This is a surprising development from the Suns, who previously traded away point guards Isaiah Thomas (to Boston Celtics) and Goran Dragic (to Miami Heat) the past seasons.
Bledsoe averaged 20.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists in the 2015-2016 NBA Season but played just 31 games due to an injury.
It is clear why the Jazz wants to stick with Hayward, who averaged 19.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 80 regular season games. Even with the No. 4 pick packaged with Bledsoe, it appears Utah considers Hayward as part of their long-term plans and won’t make the NBA draft rumors true.
It remains to be seen if the Suns will stick with their No. 4 overall pick and make it available for a draft day trade. Hours before the rookie selection, NBA draft rumors will mention the Suns, who appear to be one of the aggressive teams for moves on Thursday.
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