It’s been awhile since I brought out the mailbag. I think the last time was around the draft season, but if people actually want me do this more often comment and let me know and we can do this weekly.
Anyways, let’s dive right into the Bright Side of the Mailbag, as many of our readers seem more than ready to fast forward until June’s draft already. Alongside that, some asked about the likes of Dragan Bender, Davon Reed, Alan Williams, and more.
What say you, Suns fans? Are you already skimming the draft boards?
(Ex. Marc Gasol, Boogie, AD,) or particularly some point guards? How we could obtain a high level player to pair with book?— SunSquaaaaa (@AgentWunderDoub) December 11, 2017
I’ve thought about this exact thing a lot since Booker’s really taken the rise. Unfortunately, it seems like general manager Ryan McDonough didn’t see the Eric Bledsoe trade demands coming so he seemed content keeping him alongside Devin Booker this season.
Also, after refusing to include Josh Jackson in trade talks (which was the right move for this roster at that stage, mind you) he’s strapped himself alongside his development. Simply put, he has to pan out.
With that being said, Kyrie Irving might have been the best chance to acquire someone that fit #TheTimeline perfectly. A dynamic scorer this team who seemed actually more than open to it if I’m reading his postgame comments on Booker earlier this month right.
However, that’s water under the bridge now and McDonough is going to have to cash his assets somewhere else. And I’ve been targeting the Bayou in New Orleans for quite some time.
After the Bledsoe fiasco, I doubt DeMarcus Cousins would sign here long-term which is an optic that should be discussed further. Anthony Davis, at the moment, looks like the best option if he wants to push all of his chips in on somebody this summer.
Dependent upon what happens over the next six months, I would target Davis for sure.
If for some reason he doesn’t become available, another name I have brought up before is Klay Thompson as the Warriors could be financially unstable to maintain in a few years. One of Thompson or Draymond Green will have to go and they would pick Green 10/10, I imagine.
Will Triano play the timeline guys more when hopefully chandler Monroe and dudley are gone? How much is the mask negatively impacting Bender? When does reed and Williams see the floor in a game? Who’s the best talent developer coach we can hire?— David Hubbard (@masquesoplease) December 11, 2017
After McDonough’s comments recently, I doubt he trades all of those players. He really does value Chandler and Dudley’s leadership on this roster. Without them, who is the veteran leader? Newly acquired Greg Monroe? Booker himself?
I see them trading Chandler and Monroe between now and February. Monroe has at least created some sort of value for himself, Troy Daniels as well.
It’s fair to say the mask impacted Bender. As interim head coach Jay Triano has stated, he wasn’t able to see well peripherally which is an issue with a pass-happy big like Bender. Hopefully, he’s able to snap out of the slump, which he seemed to have some flashes, albeit very rarely over that mask filled span.
Davon Reed and Alan Williams are expected back in January and March, respectively.
Chris Bosh said recently that he would love to get involved in a front office type role. Why not try him?
If you follow me on Twitter, I suggested James Jones try to convince McDonough to hire David Fizdale as head coach and add Bosh in a player development.
Boom. The negative narrative around the franchise flips immediately.
Doncic or Ayton?— Jeremiah (@jrwild78) December 11, 2017
As I explained in my Lottery Big Board 1.0, Luka Doncic is No. 1 and in a tier all by himself at the moment. As he continues to show for Real Madrid, he’s so advanced already for an 18-year-old.
I have Deandre Ayton No. 3 currently, but he could rise above Marvin Bagley III here soon if he keeps it up.
I would pick Doncic over Ayton and it will likely stay that way for awhile. He’s the perfect fit in the backcourt next to Booker.
Best pg fit for the Suns in the upcoming draft— Cameron Reiter (@cdreiter) December 11, 2017
Luka Doncic. If they are unable to obtain him, I would look at Collin Sexton of Alabama if the pick conveys around 6-8 or Trae Young of Oklahoma if the Miami pick ends up around 10-14.
Both Sexton and Young have proven so far to be dynamic scorers, but the all-around game still has to be proven over the course of a season for me to feel more comfortable to place them higher than others on my big board right now.
These three names should stay in Suns fans’ tabs all year long.
Bamba or Ayton— SHAUN (@BishopxAndretti) December 11, 2017
Ayton. Mohamed Bamba is an absolute freak, don’t get me wrong and I know the front office is high on him as a rim protector placed alongside Bender/Chriss. The thing is, his offense is so raw compared to Ayton who I’m confident could don a Suns uniform right now and average 15 points per game.
Right now, Ayton is three as I mentioned but Bamba is No. 5 and could climb above Michael Porter Jr. if his offense continues to take steps forward.
When you have the intangibles and shooting stroke of Bamba it’s going to draw eyes, but Ayton is definitely drawing more from NBA circles currently.
Do the Suns have a realistic package to move into the top 3?— Kevin Harris (@KHarris7) December 11, 2017
They absolutely should. This is what McDonough should have been saving up for to cap off this roster if trading for a proven talent like Davis isn’t it.
They acquired another future first rounder in the Bledsoe trade that is likely to convey in 2020. If that’s the case, Phoenix has a good shot of having multiple first-round picks three of the next four seasons. That’s insane versatility moving forward on deals, much along the lines of his former boss in Boston Danny Ainge.
It’s imperative this team adds a much-needed jolt of elite talent this summer. If they are able to get into the top three and acquire one of Doncic, Bagley, Ayton or Porter that will go a long way toward building a competitive team.
Should the Suns draft Bagley if they have the opportunity considering Chriss and Bender both play the same position? It seems like one of them would need to be traded to make room— Ben Olney (@BenOlney) December 11, 2017
I would take Bagley for sure. He will be better than Chriss or Bender ever will be, in my opinion, and again it adds an elite talent to the roster.
He has elite athleticism, rebounding, and scoring ability. If he is able to consistently knock down a jump shot, then he could be a prime fit in Phoenix. Either way, Bagley should definitely be in consideration if they land inside the top three picks.
Check out Lottery Big Board 1.0 if you haven’t already for more information on all of these prospects named in today’s mailbag.
Would you rather us trade up for the #1 pick or trade our picks for a proven player?— kcchiefsjunky (@kcchiefsjunky) December 11, 2017
I would rather obtain one of these prospects, to be honest. Compared to 2017 and even the last few draft classes, 2018 has the chance of being elite immediately. Four players could come in and become No. 1 options on their teams drafted on. The talent isn’t nearly as close compared to 2003, but the potential of possible title game-changers are seen in this class thoroughly this early on.
All options will obviously be on the table for McDonough and Co., but with how Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, and Dragan Bender have performed recently maybe one more final all-in move on a prospect like Doncic could finally push this team over the top.
That, in turn, should make the Suns an attractive free agent destination by 2019 or 2020 if Booker and the rest of the roster take steps forward towards a playoff spot.
Sexton has an odd shot. Will his jumper translate at the next level?— Jacob Ray (@JacobTaylorRay) December 11, 2017
When I saw Sexton live in Tucson last weekend, he was very impressive. He was able to get to the rim at will finishing up with 30 points, but you are right about his shot form. It looks a little odd, but it goes in so there’s no need in really worrying about that at the moment.
Sexton’s shooting splits are 47-47-76, so if that keeps up he’s going to be a top six pick and may be ranked as the top point guard on some draft boards by March.
Like Doncic, pay close attention to Sexton throughout his college season for the Crimson Tide.
could a Booker/Doncic back court Work? Bookers looked like he may be able to pull off doing more work at PG, what about LD?— David Westfall (@DW3sty) December 11, 2017
Absolutely, and I think he’s shown how easily he would be able to translate over to that spot so far this season for Real Madrid. His court savvy is incredible and the playmaking he possesses is exactly what this roster needs, especially prospects like Jackson, Chriss, and Bender.
I’ll do more in-depth breakdowns on Doncic as we inch closer to the draft, but I think far and away he’s the best fit alongside Booker and this roster long-term in the 2018 draft class.
Having Doncic and Booker split point guard duties sounds like a very plausible idea to me.
Should the Suns draft the best overall player available in the draft or target players in certain positions?— Pocket Litter (@Fortissimosity) December 11, 2017
Luckily in this class, a lot of prospects at the top have that potential. As far as fit versus BPA, that shouldn’t matter with the Suns.
This team needs elite talent, whether it's acquired in the backcourt, wing or in a big. The cream always rises to the top of a roster, and Booker has shown that thus far. He obviously needs another co-partner as a scorer (Warren should be the 6th man next season) so that should be looked at with four names: Doncic, Bagley, Ayton, and Porter.
The Suns can’t afford to swing and miss once again in 2018. It has to go perfectly to plan this summer or it could set this rebuild back even further if their cards aren’t played right.
Yes, player development is a long-term idea with this young team but they need to start niffing the playoffs by 2019.
Is Devin Booker's ceiling Donovan Mitchell?— Noah Cook (@noahmcook) December 11, 2017
Shoutout to Ben Dowsett for comparing them after a few games in Summer League and it won’t die for another few years it seems.
Anyways, trying to answer this sort of seriously to end these types of silly debates, just check the shooting splits and progressions on Booker in year three so far. The false narratives on Booker continue to come from people who don’t watch the team every day and without him, it’s hard to see how this roster has two or three wins.
Both Booker and Mitchell will be great players in this league, likely All-Stars, but we should chill with these hyperbolic-type hot takes when rookies immediately step onto an NBA court.
That’s the end of this week’s mailbag, everybody. Hope you enjoyed it! Again, if you want me to do this more often, let me in the comments section below!