Suns trade for Clippers’ Reggie Bullock, ship Shavlik Randolph to Celtics
PHOENIX — The Suns have acquired shooting guard Reggie Bullock from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team deal that will ship center Shavlik Randolph from Phoenix to the Boston Celtics.
The Clippers will acquire Austin Rivers from the Celtics to pair him with his father, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers will also send Chris Douglas-Roberts to Boston.
Bullock (6-feet-7 and 205 pounds) has averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 25 games for the Clippers this season while shooting 43 percent overall and 39 percent from 3-point range.
"Reggie Bullock is a talented young player we have liked for a while," Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said. "He shoots the ball very well and he has the potential to be a good perimeter defender."
The Suns worked out Bullock, who played three years at North Carolina, in 2013 before the Clippers drafted him 25th overall.
"He’s one of the better shooters in the country," McDonough said at the time. "I think the guys who can defend and shoot with size are becoming more and more valuable right now. Having gone to Carolina myself, I’m a fan."
Phoenix picked Alex Len fifth overall in the 2013 draft and moved up via trade to select Archie Goodwin 29th.
Bullock will be paid $1.2 million this season and is under a guaranteed deal next year. There is a team option for Bullock’s 2016-17 season. His contract is nearly that of Randolph’s deal, so the trade will hardly chage Phoenix’s salary total.
Bullock is 23 and could be viewed as a promising future replacement for reserve guard Gerald Green if he leaves via unrestricted free agency this summer.
For the Suns’ purposes, dealing Randolph, the team’s oldest player at 31, appears to be the next domino to fall following their acquisition of big man Brandan Wright last week. Wright’s ability to back up starting center Alex Len seemed to place former starter Miles Plumlee as the odd man out, but it appears Phoenix saw the little-used Randolph as the more expendable piece.
After practice on Thursday, Hornacek said Plumlee is expected to see minutes moving forward, even though he played a season-low three minutes Tuesday in a win against the Cavaliers. The Suns coach said Plumlee’s brief playing time wasn’t about the trade but more about his team having their 19-point lead cut to six within minutes at the end of the third quarter — it wasn’t exactly Plumlee’s fault.
"Everyone made a big deal of that rotation the other night," Hornacek said. "But it wasn’t Brandan and Miles that gave up the three-point shots and threw the ball away and gave them another three-point shot. They probably got a bad rap for that part of it."
Of course, adding Bullock to the already busy perimeter rotation brings up the usual questions for these small-ball loving Suns.
The team will likely continue playing its three point guards and Green while the younger guards like Bullock, Archie Goodwin and Tyler Ennis shift in and out of D-League affiliate Bakersfield.