Here it is - the BIGGEST DAY of the Phoenix Suns year.
When the 2017 NBA Draft is done, the Phoenix Suns might look like a completely different team, or they might simply add a few more bodies to the current rebuild.
Recap on current roster
Before you pine for even more draft picks than the #4, #32 and #54 in tonight’s draft, remember that the Suns already have two starters who are 20 years old and three more bench players 21 or younger.
We can talk more about the Suns’ cap space over the next week, as free agency approaches. Today, all that matters is who is on the roster.
Currently, the Suns have 15 players on the roster, including Elijah Millsap, so they cannot execute a big multi-player deal that brings more players back than go out.
The Suns are picking at #4 overall, and most of the mock drafts now have them seeing Josh Jackson drop to them after the Sixers, Lakers and Celtics take Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum.
The Suns reportedly are also still interested in De’Aaron Fox in addition to Jackson and Tatum (if he falls). John Gambadoro reports that the Suns are down to those players, and are no longer considering Jonathan Isaac at #4 who they’ve seen twice.
Of course, if the Suns trade down and still have a top-10 pick, Isaac might be right back on the table. I’m personally a big fan of Isaac after anyone but Jackson, but I guess the Suns don’t feel the same if you can believe Gambo’s information.
In the second round, it appears the Suns might be leaning to college veterans. Josh Hart (senior), Semi Ojeleye (junior), Dillon Brooks (junior), Wesley Iwundu (senior) have all visited with the Suns at least once (Hart three times). There also really like David Reed (senior), per Gambo. Looks like the Suns want some more college maturity on the bench with so many young guys already in the rotation.
Kristaps Porzingis anyone?
Seems crazy that the Knicks are potentially looking at dealing this guy away and that the Suns are at least in the discussion.
Here’s the latest from Woj.
Sources: So far, Knicks and Suns are without traction on a Kristaps Porzingis trade. Knicks will not get Devin Booker as part of any deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 22, 2017
The Knicks really want Devin Booker, but the Suns won’t include him. Why would they? Why would the Suns and Knicks just go sideways? Plus the Knicks want #4 AND Booker. No dice.
The Suns can trade anyone else and any picks, but really need to keep their best young player to PAIR with Porzingis, but be replaced by him.
On Kristaps, Phil said, "As much as we love this guiy, we have to do what's best for the club." Definitely bothered by blowing off meeting."— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) June 22, 2017
Let’s see how this shakes out today. Of course, the Lakers and Celtics would also probably like to acquire Porzingis.
The Knicks are reportedly only after Josh Jackson with a top-4 pick, knowing he will go somewhere in those picks. So, it’s not like the #2 pick is any better for the Knicks than the #4 pick, as long as their target is on the board.
It’s about the Knicks rolling the dice and trusting that the Lakers won’t take Jackson for themselves before doing a trade, and the same for the Celtics when they come on the board.
There are pluses for the Suns in making the best bid. The Lakers don’t really have the young talent that the Knicks would want. Does Brandon Ingram or Julius Randle qualify as a player on a star track? Plus the Lakers don’t have any future potential lottery picks to include to sweeten the pot (they’ve committed their own for a while). The Celtics won’t want to absorb Jaokim Noah’s contract, which might be requirement in any trade. Though, the Celtics can offer good talent (Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown) and good future pick(s) (Nets) if the Knicks take Noah off the board.
The Suns, on the other hand, can absorb Noah’s contract fairly easily (renounce Len, or include salary back to the Knicks) AND they can offer one or more very good players with bright futures in Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and T.J. Warren AND they have some nice looking future picks (two each in 2018 and 2021, plus their own in between).
They key might be a willingness to absorb Joakim Noah’s contract in any swap. The Suns should be 100% willing (and they have the cap space), while the Lakers and Celtics might be a lot more reticent.
If Jackson is still on the board at 4, expect the Suns and Knicks to engage in a game of chicken for the full time that’s on the clock, and even later than that. The Suns (or Lakers or Celtics, for that matter) can even just take Jackson and still trade him at a later time, like the Cavaliers took Andrew Wiggins a few years ago before trading him for Kevin Love in August.
Other draft-related rumors will come up today too. Maybe the Suns trade back into the late first round to take a guy they've had in multiple times that I’m not looking forward to being able to spell with looking up: Semi Ojeleye.
*the Paul Millsap rumor does not appear to be draft related since he opted out of his final year and CANNOT be traded now. The rumor has Atlanta doing a sign-and-trade after July 1. So take that one off your draft-day bucket list. No Millsap trade this week.
Stay tuned for more!
And use this post as the open thread for the morning and afternoon!