Phoenix Suns Biggest Trades

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Charles Barkley getting ready to commentate the game at 2019 NBA Finals.
(Wikimedia Commons/Chensiyuan)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Dec 05, 2023, 1:09 AM
  • Here are the biggest Phoenix Suns trades in franchise history.
  • Charles Barkley leads the list of players that Phoenix received through trades.
  • Other notable players the Suns acquired were Kevin Johnson, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal.

The Phoenix Suns have been in the NBA since 1968 and became perennial contenders in NBA odds because of incredible players that suited up for the team, which have made them competitive and fun to watch. Phoenix obtained these basketball stars by selecting them via the NBA Draft or blockbuster trades.

Between selecting and trading players, they mostly found their success in the latter because they instantly improved their roster with  established stars compared to honing and developing players for several seasons. But among the multiple trades that Phoenix made throughout their tenure in the league, which of them were team-altering and best improved their title hopes significantly?

Charles Barkley

The most famous and arguably the biggest trade in Phoenix Suns history happened in 1992, when they acquired Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry, and Andrew Lang. It started with Barkley’s frustration of losing with the Sixers, and the Suns gladly pulled the trigger to acquire him immediately and compete for a championship.

It worked well for both Phoenix and Barkley because they earned the top seed in the Western Conference and went all the way to the NBA Finals in his first season with the team in 1993. Unfortunately, they ran against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls and lost the series, 4-2. Barkley made the most of his stay with the team by helping them reach the playoffs three more times.

Kevin Johnson

Since missing the postseason for two consecutive seasons in 1986 and 1987, the Phoenix Suns felt they needed a fresh start from their aging roster, so they made a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1988 trade deadline. Phoenix sent Larry Nance, Mike Sanders, and a first-round pick for Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, and two draft picks.

Among those haul of players they got, Kevin Johnson was the most valuable because he orchestrated the team’s offense and became the team’s primary point guard. In his first season with Phoenix, he bagged the Most Improved Player Award through his double-double output of 20.4 points and 12.2 assists. Johnson was also an important member of the 1993 team that reached the NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant

In February 2023, the Phoenix Suns sent a shockwave throughout the league by acquiring the services of two-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets. Apart from Durant, the Suns also received T.J. Warren, and they gave up Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four future draft picks, and a future pick swap. Durant significantly improved the Suns’ title chances alongside Devin Booker.

Since that trade, Durant has played in eight regular season games and 11 playoffs games, averaging 26 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. The Denver Nuggets eliminated them in the second round of the 2023 Playoffs, but they remain one of the top championship contenders in the foreseeable future, especially if Durant and Booker stay healthy.

Bradley Beal

Four months after securing Kevin Durant, Phoenix got another big-time player in Bradley Beal through a trade with the Washington Wizards. The Suns sent Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, and a haul of second-round picks and pick swaps for Beal, Jordan Goodwin, and Isaiah Todd. The former third pick in the 2012 NBA Draft adds another layer of offensive prowess to the already-loaded Booker-Durant tandem.

Beal’s impact on the team is yet to be seen, but his career averages of 22.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.1 rebounds are enough to make them a heavy contender in the stacked Western Conference. If the three-time NBA All-Star fits seamlessly and finds his role quickly on this Suns team, they will be a big problem for the rest of the league.

Phoenix Suns Biggest Trades

Player AcquiredTrade DetailsYear
Charles BarkleySuns received: Charles Barkley / Sixers received: Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang1992
Kevin JohnsonSuns received: Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, a first-round pick and two second-round picks / Cavaliers received: Larry Nance, Mike Sanders and a first-round pick1988
Kevin DurantSuns received: Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren / Nets received: Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and one pick swap2023
Bradley BealSuns received: Bradley Beal, Isaiah Todd and Jordan Goodwin / Wizards received: Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, six second-round picks, four pick swaps and cash considerations2023

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.