Suns get No. 31, future first and cash

Updated: June 23, 2004, 9:40 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

The Phoenix Suns have traded away the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft to the Chicago Bulls, ESPN.com Insider has learned. In the process, the Suns may be out of the running for Tracy McGrady.

The trade, which won't be announced until Thursday, will give the Suns one of the Bulls' second-round picks (No. 31), a future first-rounder and an undisclosed sum of cash in return for the pick.

The move is no surprise on one front -- the Bulls have been looking for a second lottery pick. They have had an infatuation with Oregon's Luke Jackson for some time and sources believe Chicago likely will select Jackson with the No. 7 pick.

For the Suns, the move is more surprising. Earlier on Wednesday, the Suns were dangling the No. 7 pick, along with Shawn Marion, to the Magic in an effort to land McGrady.

However, after the Magic announced that they wouldn't be making a T-Mac trade until after the draft, the Suns grew impatient and agreed to the swap with the Bulls.

While Suns sources wouldn't characterize the talks with the Magic as "dead," they claim that they are no longer in active discussions with the Magic for McGrady.

Why would the Suns give up a high lottery pick for only a future first-rounder? The Suns didn't feel that any player left at No. 7 would help their team immediately. They also wanted the extra cap space. By getting the No. 7 pick off their books, the Suns are suddenly looking at $16.3 million in cap space this summer to make a run at free agents.

The Bulls also included minimum protections on their future first. The pick is protected in the top three in 2005 and as the top pick in 2006.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for Insider.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider