The Phoenix Suns hold the 5th and 30th pick in the NBA Draft. The Suns need help at every position, but for years they have been lacking in scoring on the wing. The Suns don't boast a starting caliber player at either position, and don't have a secondary playmaking threat to score or pass to help Goran Dragic break down defenses.
While the Suns are holding their cards close to the vest, a theme is emerging in workouts and interviews with Suns staffers. It's not rocket science where the Suns lack the most in terms of talent.
"You guys [the media, and fans by extension] know our team, we need some help on the wing."
Only two first-round centers have been to US Airways Center of the 39 players who have worked out or visited. In a draft deep on "average center" talent and almost devoid of starting-potential traditional power forwards, the Suns emphasis has been on wing players.
The Suns have been widely rumored to be interested in SG Victor Oladipo and would love to see SG Ben McLemore drop to them at #5. If both are gone, the Suns could go big (Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, Nerlens Noel) but that wouldn't solve their biggest problem area.
If the Suns get a guard with the #5 pick, would they take another guard at 30? For example, if they take Victor Oladipo at 5, would they then take Archie Goodwin at 30? Or Jamaal Franklin?
"I think it can be difficult to bring in multiple guys at the same time position or similar position as rookies," Ryan McDonough said over the weekend. "Sometimes I think they stunt each other's growth. Depending on what we do at 5, that could affect what we do at 30."
McDonough was asked if that applied just to exact position, or role in the offense.
"Even if guys play similar position but their games are different, it's tough," he replied. "We ran into this one year in Boston. I'm not going to name names, but other teams have as well, where they draft guys who are similar and then neither one of them get a chance, in my opinion."
He did allow for players who are versatile, that could slide to different positions to be on the floor together at the same time.
"It's hard to develop both of them, if they can only play the same position," he said. "Now if they are versatile (multiple positions) then you might be able to develop both of them. But that's what I'm trying to avoid, even if you like both of them and they are the best player at that range its hard to develop both of them at the same time."
The Suns need a long-term answer at every single position on the court. Even point guard might need a further look. As Kris pointed out, the Suns PG position ranked 26th in the league in efficiency differential last season (per 82games.com).
Going with McDonough's theme, look for the Suns to take a big with the 30th pick if the 5th was used on a guard. Yet, the Suns have only brought in (so far) one big who likely goes at the #30 slot: Mouhammadou Jaiteh.
Jaiteh is an 18 year old center prospect from France. Not as highly regarded as Rudy Gobert, who also visited last week but would be drafted in the teens, Jaiteh definitely looks the part: 6'11", 7'4" wingspan, 249 pounds. He plays hard, but has no offensive game and looks stiff in traffic.
But he's only 18 years old (the second-youngest player in the draft), and that's something on which to hang your hat at the 30th pick.
Alternately, if the Suns take Alex Len, Nerlens Noel or Anthony Bennett, look for them to shore up the shooting guard spot with their second pick. 18-year old Archie Goodwin would be a nice fit there, as would 19-year old Ricky Ledo. Both players visited over the weekend.
"Where we are, we need to build this," McDonough said. "If there's a guy you think could be a good starter some day, if he's 18, 19 years old, that might be a risk you have to take."