Jalen Smith was just getting up shots after Thursday’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility.
Knock down 3s.
Now he’s being traded.
The Suns are sending their 2020 first-round pick and a future second-round selection to Indiana for a familiar face, Torrey Craig, before Thursday’s 1 pm trade deadline, The Republic confirmed through league sources.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first tweeted the news.
With the Suns not picking up Smith’s third-year option, the odds were in favor of them moving him before the deadline.
In return, they got back Craig, who helped them in their run to last year’s finals. Craig averaged 6.5 points in 51 games this season with the Pacers, who are clearly in rebuilding mode as they’ve traded away Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis.
The 6-7 Craig signed a two-year, $10-million deal with Pacers last summer.
Last season, the Suns acquired Craig in a trade with Milwaukee for cash considerations before the trade deadline.
He averaged a career-best 7.2 points in his 32 regular-season games with Phoenix as his versatility to play and defend multiple positions helped the Suns.
This year, they’re getting Aaron Holiday from Washington for cash considerations, The Republic confirmed through league sources.
A 6-0 point guard, Holiday averaged 6.1 points, 1.9 assists and shot 34.1% from 3 in his 41 games with the Wizards this season.
The Suns just beat the Wizards during their four-game road trip as Holiday scored 11 points in the game.
Stadium’s Shams Charania tweeted the news.
Averaging 7.4 career points, Holiday is in his fourth NBA season out of UCLA. He is the brother of fellow NBA players Jrue Holiday and Justin Holiday.
The Suns now have 16 players. So they’ll have to waive a player once the trades become official to get back down to the 15-man standard roster.
Looking at their roster, forward Abdel Nader, center Frank Kaminsky III and guard Elfrid Payton are players they could waive.
As for Smith, this marks the end of his time with a team that drafted him 10th overall out of Maryland. The 6-10 big averaged two points in 27 games his rookie year.
Smith, 21, had a strong showing in the 2021 NBA Summer League in Vegas as he averaged 16.3 points and 12.5 rebounds in making All-Summer League first team.
Leading the summer league in rebounding, Smith posted a double-double in his four summer league games, but he’s been on the trading block for months.
However, Smith shone as a starter as Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee were out in health and safety protocols. Smith averaged 17.3 points on 58.3% shooting and 9.5 rebounds in his four starts.
Last month, Suns coach Monty Williams talked about seeing Smith as a four-man comparable to Jerami Grant.
Having played a five-man in college at Maryland, Smith defends like a center, but has the body of a four and has a shooting form like a three.
The Suns played him as a four in recent games, but Smith was his most productive at center. Smith averaged six points and 4.8 rebounds this season in 29 games.
Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism