With a bit of nostalgia, I get to recap for you how the Suns finished out their SB Nation mock draft with a bang. But before we get into how we fired the last, huge missile, let's look back on what's happened so far.
SBNation decided to run a league wide mock draft, with each blog manager drafting for his or her team and negotiating trades between each other using at least one first round pick in each deal.
First, we dabbled in trading up but decided against it and watched Victor Oladipo fall to the Suns. He's the guy that most Suns fans drool about, since he's such a hard worker and was so great in his junior year at Indiana.
Then, after a whole bunch of maneuvering and negotiating, BSotS traded two veterans for two more first round picks and took 7'2" Rudy Gobert (with 7'9" wingspan) and 6'5" Jamaal Franklin (with 6'11" wingspan). The cost was Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley. I can see Gobert taking a year or two to get his feet wet in the NBA and to establish his presence, so the Suns will need to sign veteran center if Channing Frye doesn't come back next year. But they don't need a 30-year old on a 4 year, $10 million contract (which is what Gortat would have wanted).
Franklin will play big minutes right away in three-guard lineups with Oladipo and Dragic. They can wreak havoc defensively, rebound the ball, run the court like lightning and put the ball in the hole.
One downside is that none of the three is a high-volume, high-percentage 3-point shooter. That means the Suns would have to (a) play them along with a big-time shooter at the 4 and/or 5, like Channing Frye, or (b) play Franklin at the 4 where he played in college while another wing hits the 3s. Or both.
Another weakness is secondary playmaking when Dragic rests and when he's out there to give the Suns a two-pronged attack. Oladipo can handle the ball a bit, and Franklin led his team in assists (and rebounds, points and steals), but neither is a primary ballhandler even for short minutes.
Kendall Marshall could be that playmaker, but he's more of a passer than a shooter. And true playmakers are a threat to shoot from anywhere. If Marshall develops his shot, then he could be a force. But he doesn't quite fit with the new ultra-quick, ultra-athletic guard rotation and doesn't make up for it in shooting at this point.
The Suns have one more pick at #30. But I really don't want four rookies on the roster, so I wanted to explore trading trading the #30 for a young veteran with a future. Of course, no one wants who has a young veteran with a future wants to trade him for just the #30, so I decided to add in as many remaining trade chips as I needed.
I still had Marshall, the Morrii, and a handful of non-guaranteed deals with which to provide salary relief to taxpaying teams.
What I wanted was either a pure small forward who could shoot, or a combo guard who could play the 1 or the 2 depending on the lineup. The player needed to be a veteran but still on his rookie contract and the potential to be better in a couple years than they are today.
So I contacted two teams who'd been active in the Mock Draft to see if they wanted to do one more deal: Philadelphia (Evan Turner) and Detroit (Brandon Knight).
In both cases, their former high pick was wearing out his welcome and didn't quite fit the team of the future. Turner was good, but not #2 pick good. And Knight was good, but redundant with Rodney Stuckey and now C.J. McCollum as combo guards on the same team. Both teams could use a pass-first playmaker to get the ball down to the bigs on their team. And Philly had the hometown Morris brothers for nostalgic purposes.
Alternately, we could trade down from #30 to get multiple assets in the 2013 and 2014 drafts (second-round only). But that's not sexy or exciting in a Mock Draft that only goes to pick #30.
Both Philadelphia and Detroit came back with good, doable trade offers. The BSotS front office was torn for a bit. We exchanged at least a dozen emails debating the merits of each deal.
Tune in on Friday for what happened.