I'm not talking about THAT type of risk.
I'm talking about being riskier in our draft strategy. Recently, our first round draft picks have lacked inspiration (I don't think anyone will debate this), and if you look at our last five first round picks, they read: Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, Earl Clark, Robin Lopez, and Alando Tucker. Some things that were said in respective draft reactions include:
"Now they’ve got a guy who can’t shoot like Nash (that’s the understatement of the year) but he can pass and play defense like him" - Ghosh on Kendall Marshall (like anyone didn't know who he was talking about)
"Following plans to keep Nash and re-sign Grant Hill, picking the more-polished Morris to address the greatest need was further indication of an intent to return to the playoffs immediately rather than undergo massive rebuilding." - Paul Coro on Markieff Morris
And more Coro:
"Morris' upside is not talked about as positively as other prospects', such as Texas' Tristan Thompson, a Suns target who surprisingly went fourth to Cleveland."
There's another post on BSOTS that addresses the Suns' poor drafting when compared to Boston and hopefully our shiny new GM can address and reverse this trend. The thing is, I want to look against the popular consensus and say that we shouldn't draft Victor Oladipo on one premise - it's too safe.
Whilst I know that VO is most definitely NOT Markieff Morris, Kendall Marshall or Michael Beasley, I do feel that people could be too high on him because of his character. What if we had the same player but with Ricky Ledo's character flags- where would you draft him? And what if Ledo had Oladipo's character? How would you look at them then? I'm not saying Oladipo is a poor choice, but he could be overrated some. (This is just an example of how character can unfairly reflect draft stock, I've probably taken a bit of liberty here)
What about our latest All Stars? Some of the newer All Star selections include Harden, George, Holiday, Irving, Lopez, Lee and Noah, who were picked 3rd, 10th, 17th, 1st, 10th, 30th and 9th respectively. Whilst none of these players had character red flags a la Beasley, Delonte West and Ricky Ledo (whose character flags to me are quite dubious), the fortunes of these players didn't see a significant rise in draft stock because of character.
I'm not saying this suggests good character is a reason not to draft a player but rather a reason to look more at the tangible results a player has achieved rather than the intangibles, a more analytical approach, which may be the reason that Boston has been more successful of late when compared to most teams.
Moving on to the players I think we should draft - I think if we can trade down for the 7th pick to use on Trey Burke (think 5 and Marshall for 7 and Patterson or even 5 and Dragic for 7 and Cousins, no one is bigger than the franchise's success even if Dragic was our best last season). His pedigree speaks volumes - below is the list of players who have won the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year in the past 20 years:
|1997||Tim Duncan||Wake Forest||Center||Senior|
|1998||Antawn Jamison||North Carolina||Forward||Junior|
|2003||T. J. Ford||Texas||Guard||Sophomore|
|2004||Jameer Nelson||Saint Joseph's||Guard||Senior|
|2006||J. J. Redick||Duke||Guard||Senior|
|2008||Tyler Hansbrough||North Carolina||Forward||Junior|
|2010||Evan Turner||Ohio State||Guard||Junior|
|2011||Jimmer Fredette||Brigham Young||Guard||Senior|
The names he shares these awards with are, in my opinion, prestigious (barring a few). To be able to pick a player worthy of such an award with the 7th pick should be a boon to the Phoenix Suns long term. I'm by no means saying this is necessarily the right way Phoenix should move, but it is certainly an option and whilst it is very much a high risk, high reward avenue, it is an avenue I believe Phoenix have yet to fully commit to (as a part of a rebuild), and could possibly reap long term success by thinking a little bit outside the box and swinging for the fences with Trey Burke.
Is there someone that you would like to see the Suns go for that goes against current consensus?