The Phoenix Suns have won just 68 games the last three seasons combined. In that same time frame, five teams won 61+ games, three won 67+, and one won 73—in a single season.
It’s safe to say they need some help, and they could finally get some since they won the Draft Lottery and now own the right to the first overall pick in the 2018 Draft.
That means they are practically guaranteed to add an impact player to the roster if they don’t do anything crazy. But they are thinking about it. At least, according to an ESPN report, they might be:
“We’re certainly open to that. We’ll consider it,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said. “Obviously we’ll have more information closer to the draft than we do today after we go through the workout process and the interview process and we get the medical physicals. So, we’re open to that.”
It seems that they may want to get some veteran help; a proven talent and under contract for a few years (and not a danger to leave after one season). But if they are able to find such a talent that a team is willing to part with, it will likely cost them more than a single draft pick— even if that pick happens to be the No. 1 selection.
Completing a trade for anyone is not going to be an easy task. But is a trade an avenue the Suns should even be entertaining? Why don’t they just take the best player available in the draft and be happy you have him?
Arizona center Deandre Ayton is considered by many to be the best player available in the draft. He has been called the best center to come out of the college ranks since Shaquille O’Neal. McDonough has called center a slightly higher priority for the team.
Who wouldn’t want a 7’1” 250 lbs. center that averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds a game? Well—if he can’t play defense…
Somehow, despite his size, talent, and athletic ability, he did not block too many shots in college. Big centers that don’t block many shots in college don’t end up doing well in the NBA.
Of the 17 college centers drafted in the top ten since 2010, his 1.7 blocks/game average (and block rate of 4.3 percent) is tied for second lowest with Cody Zeller’s freshman year. The only one he did better than was Greg Monroe.
No one wants to draft the next Cody Zeller or Greg Monroe.
However, Nerlens Noel had the second highest freshman year block rate of the group (13.2 percent). He isn’t exactly lighting the NBA up either.
Picking anyone is a gamble no matter how good they appear to be in college. Plenty of players who looked like surefire NBA talents ended up not panning out. At the same time, there have been plenty of surprises over the years as well.
In the end, the Suns will have to make the most educated choice they can make.