With the NBA Draft coming up on the 22nd of June, numerous amounts of rumors have been swirling out of control. New reports have been coming out every day and it’s hard to assert which ones are actually legit or just smokescreens. You would have to believe by now that teams have a general idea of which player could lift their franchise to new heights. The Phoenix Suns have been involved in many different scenarios in the draft and here are some trades or selections that could happen.
Currently the Suns hold the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. As written about before, I discussed how Josh Jackson would be the perfect fit for the Suns. It looked more than certain that the Suns could land Jackson at four, but the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are threats to take Josh Jackson from Phoenix. Jackson has certainly risen in the draft status as he is viewed as one of the top three prospects in this year’s draft.
From the looks of it now, Jackson might not fall past two, and the Suns could grab their guy by trading up with the Lakers. What assets would have to be given up in order to make this happen? According to sources, the Lakers want the fourth overall pick and a pick in 2018 draft. The good thing about this is that Phoenix not only has their own pick next year, but also a protected pick in 2018 from the Miami Heat.
With Miami looking to get back in the playoff picture and be in the running for a guy like Gordon Hayward, it would be smart to trade this pick away since it is unlikely they have an awful start like they did last season. If the Heat were to struggle and not make the playoffs, the Suns could pick anywhere from 8-14, and if Miami did make the playoffs and were a first-round exit, the pick could be anywhere from 15-22. Overall, if Phoenix wants that special wing defender that can lock down defensively, and feel comfortable trading away future assets, this trade could be made, especially with Los Angeles not completely sold on anyone at pick two.
Another good option for Phoenix is to trade down and get multiple picks in a draft that is loaded with depth. A trade partner that is a real possibility is the Sacramento Kings. With Sacramento looking for a point guard, they have been linked to De’Aaron Fox, a point guard from the Kentucky Wildcats. It almost seems like a guarantee that he will land there according to sources.
It has been mentioned that the Suns would look for picks 5 and 10 from the Kings for their fourth overall pick. Fox said he doesn’t want to work out for the Suns, so that will be interesting if it has any factor on the Suns drafting him or not. Teams get very desperate for players that they want and if were Phoenix and looking to trade down, it’s a trade they have to make.
Usually when a player works out for a team twice before the draft, it’s a good sign they like what that player could bring to their team. Enter in Jonathan Isaac, who has been linked to the Suns at pick number four. Phoenix took both Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss last year with the 4th and 8th picks in the draft last year and could be looking to add another big man to their rotation.
Much like last year with Chriss, the Suns would be taking another risk on a forward who is very raw. However, the upside with Isaac is that he could become an elite defender. This is very unique for a 6-foot-11 power forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan.
The downside is that his offensive IQ is not the highest, as he is more known for a hustle player and can finish around the basket with his athleticism. Isaac seems to compare well to Chriss, who can shoot from outside (32.1 percent) and is also a great finisher.
Drafting Jonathan Isaac makes most sense for Phoenix if they feel they can incorporate him in a lineup with both Bender and Chriss. That lineup would have a lot of upside and length. The only issue is where to place them at the SF, PF and C positions.
The case for Lonzo Ball to the Suns was a scenario 99-percent of Suns fans did not think could happen. As draft day closes in, it seems like a possibility. With the 76ers trading to the first overall spot in this year’s draft and the Lakers having their eyes on Josh Jackson, Ball could fall to the Suns at number four. Trading up to the second overall pick for the Suns may not have to happen because the Celtics passed up on the best player in the draft, who also is a guard (Markelle Fultz). It looks like Boston could take a forward with the third overall pick.
A backcourt of Devin Booker and Lonzo Ball sounds really intriguing offensively. For years to come, this backcourt will be deadly. Since the Suns run at a fast pace, it would benefit Lonzo greatly and Booker would get more open shots on the fast-break.
If Phoenix decides to go with best available and he is available, they should pull the trigger because Lonzo is a floor general that can make everyone around him better. The downside is that the Suns haven’t even worked Ball out, and with the draft less than four days away, who knows if that is in the cards.
Exploring the players Phoenix can draft at their fourth spot is quite interesting. The only teams that look sold are the Philadelphia 76ers with Fultz and Sacramento with De’Aaron Fox. Picks two, three and four can go in any direction, including other possible draft day trades that could mix it up. It will be an exciting time for the NBA, for players to finally accomplish their dreams of getting drafted, along with fans of teams in the lottery and organizations taking another step in the process of either rebuilding or gaining traction for a playoff spot.