The stage is set. The picks are decided. The Phoenix Suns (and everyone else in the lotto) are actually picking where they are supposed to pick, based on final record.
Who knows if the Suns had finished 3rd if they'd still be 3rd today, like the Nets/Celtics are. Likely, any shift in records would have had a butterfly effect and the Suns could have finished in worse position.
Coulda been worse
As you can see on this awesome LotteryBucket.com graphic, the Suns have not fared well in the high lottery when given the chance to move up.
So, my new motto is "Coulda been worse". I guess we should thank Devin Booker for helping the Suns hold their positions at 13th and 4th.
Let's take a look at some mock drafts to get an idea who the Suns might target with their top pick, at #4 overall.
4th overall pick
ESPN has Boston passing on Dragan Bender in favor of Jamal Murray, which is perfect for the Suns because Murray is one guy they shouldn't even be targeting.
DraftExpress.com still has Jaylen Brown going to the Suns at #4 after Boston takes Bender. I'd assume, based on these rankings, that if the Celtics pass on Bender then the Suns would be predicted to take him. On their overall Big Board, DX has Bender as the #3 overall prospect, with Kris Dunn 4th and Jaylen Brown 5th.
CBSSports.com has Murray, Brown and Bender somewhere in the 3-5 range, with both reporters tabbing Jaylen Brown to the Suns.
All the other mock drafts are shaping up similar right now.
So while Jaylen Brown is dropping in the lottery on some boards, they all (except ESPN) seem to still have him as the best fit for the Suns with what's left.
Seems like either Bender or Brown at this point.
13th overall pick (from Washington, for Markieff Morris)
Here is where the draft is a lot softer, and the predictions are all over the board. Ryan McDonough has hinted that the Suns will keep this pick, and that they would go a different direction with it after #4. So if they take a raw player at 4, then maybe an older one who can play right away at 13, or vice versa?
We'll see. Ultimately, McDonough has made his name taking some of the youngest guys available and hoping they pan out.
ESPN has the Suns taking 22 year old Denzel Valentine after having taken Bender at #4
DraftExpress has Valentine going 12th, so they tab PF Henry Ellenson to the Suns after taking SF Brown at #4 overall.
CBSSports.com has the Suns taking Domantas Sabonis or Marquese Chriss at #13 after having taken Brown at #4. Sabonis is a bruiser with alligator arms while Chriss is about as raw as it gets but highly talented.
28th overall pick
This is where most outlets have the Suns taking a draft-and-stash. And they all seem to agree that a great draft-and-stash player at this point is stretch four Juan Hernangomez.
Here's DX's pick. They have Hernangomez already off the board, so it's another draft-and-stash instead.
CBSSports.com has both reporters tabbing Juan Hernangomez to the Suns as another big man project.
There you have it, Suns fans. The Suns will likely pick an immediate player at one of their lotto picks and a project at the other. The question is which guys, and which positions.
What do you all say?