It’s not often that we mention the Phoenix Suns being in a good position. Especially while sitting on a 19-50 overall record. But, their mediocrity might work out come draft day. Since they have a very bad record, they are currently in position to have the No, 2 pick. And as it stands, DeAndre Ayton looks like the surefire No. 1 pick. The Grizzlies currently hold that spot, but only by one game over Phoenix.
At worst, the Suns could pick between Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter or Luka DonA?iA�. At best, they could select DeAndre Ayton, who is killing the college game.
Obviously, every bad team that holds their own first-round pick will be high up in the draft. What makes this draft season unique is that the SunsA�could holdA�picks No. 15 and 16 as well. With the recent struggles on the court, and the recent Eric Bledsoe trade, rebuilding through the draft is their ultimate priority. The Suns also possess one of the most skilled young guards in the NBA in Devin Booker, who is putting up 25.2 PPG. They also have last year’s No. 4 pick in Josh Jackson continuing to develop. Not to mention, third-year guard TJ Warren averaging 19.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Offense isn’t the problem. While they rank 19th in the league, they currently outscore Boston, Utah, San Antonio and Miami. Phoenix has the pieces offensively to grow, but it’s the defense and point guard play that consistently lets them down. The Suns rank dead last in the NBA in points allowed per game (113.7) while San Antonio, Utah, Boston and Miami are top-four in the NBA. Defense becomes their x-factor. As I said above, Phoenix outscores all four of those teams. However, all four of those teams are in playoff contention because of defense.
If the standings remain the same and the Suns draft at No. 2, they can select Duke forward Marvin Bagley, solidifying front-court scoring. Said front court consists of Dragan Bender (6.2 PPG), Alex Len (7.9 PPG) and Marquese Chriss (6.8 PPG). Most of their scoring comes from their wing play. Devin Booker, TJ Warren and Elfrid Payton combine for 58.2 of their 104.6 PPG (56 percent).
With their mid-round picks, it would make sense to see the Suns use them on another forward and defensive player. Texas A&M forward Robert Williams and Creighton PG/SG Khyri Thomas are projected to be sitting at those draft slots. Robert Williams won’t be the greatest offensive player they select, but he will be the best defender in that class. Robert Williams swatted an average of 2.5 shots per game in 2016-17, and now averages 2.6 blocks per game for A&M. Williams is a much-needed defensive talent for the Suns to pair up with Josh Jackson.
Creighton guard Khyri Thomas would be bringing the best of both worlds for the Suns, however. Thomas is a 6’3″ combo guard for the Blue Jays, averaging 15.3 points while locking down both wings. If the Suns play their cards right, they can fix their front court scoring issues while getting two solid defenders on the wing and the rim with just their first-round picks.