clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Center of the Sun: Phoenix Suns and fans eagerly await the NBA Draft Lottery results

What’s scarier to Suns fans than Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers combined? The NBA Lottery.

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Tomorrow at 4:30 pm PST, the NBA Draft Lottery will televised on ESPN. For me the feeling reminds me of back when I was waiting to watch an 80’s era horror movie for the first time. You couldn’t wait to see it but you were also anxious because you knew that almost all of the characters are going to get the ax (or some other devilishly inventive instrument of destruction) and only one would ultimately survive. As the movie began, you were introduced to the characters and you almost immediately started to wonder which one of them would be that lone survivor.

Hopefully it will be the Suns this time around.

The Suns have only been eligible for the first overall pick 15 times during the lottery era. The Suns have moved up twice (1986, 1987) and fallen four times (1988, 1999, 2013, 2017), but have never received the number one selection. This is also the first time that the Suns will actually have the best odds to win the #1 pick.

Chart courtesy of

The Suns have missed the playoffs a total of 21 times and 9 times in the past 10 years alone. They missed them only 2 times in the previous 10 seasons (1998-99 through 2007-08) and made it to the playoffs for 10 straight seasons before that (1988-89 through 1997-98). In their second decade of existence, they made the playoffs 7 times. In their first ten years, they made it to the playoffs 3 times including their first trip to the NBA Finals in 1976.

Although the Suns’ fifth decade has been their worst, everything seemed fine until the 2010-11 season. It wasn’t a big crash after the Suns made it to the WCF’s the season before but, in hindsight, that might have been best. A lot of things went wrong and a lot of bad decisions were made early on that kept the team on what came to be that dreaded “treadmill of mediocrity” for a while when bottoming out earlier might have been better in the long run. But, of course, that’s not the way the story played out.

If you wrote a screenplay about this franchise over the past 8 years, some people might consider it a horror story. Hopefully this is the year that the Suns will be that lone survivor, get the #1 pick, start to turn things around and - unlike those old horror movies - never, ever decide to make a sequel.

But that’s going to take some luck. Big luck.

Now I’m honestly not a superstitious person and I don’t really believe in luck but a few lucky charms couldn’t actually hurt... could they? I plan on eating an entire box of that vile cereal on lottery day. Rabbits are not safe around me. I thought about hunting down a four-leaf clover but that felt a little to Celticy to me. Can anyone tell where I can actually find some horseshoes these days? I called an old friend who lives in New Orleans to ask if he could hook me up with someone who could get me a voodoo charm (or two... or 10) but he wouldn’t take me seriously and hung up. I’ve even thought about offering up a sacrifice to the basketball gods that people frequently mention but I have no idea what sort of sacrifice would please them.

I put a lot of thought into it but eventually ran out of ideas. So what else could I do but turn to the Fantable and ask for their advice?

Fantable Questions of the Week

1. Not everyone believes in luck but do you have any advice for fans - and especially for Josh Jackson - on things to do that might increase our luck before the lottery drawing?

2. If the Suns get the #1 pick, how will you celebrate?

3. If the Suns drop to 4th - again - how will you “drown your sorrows”?

GuarGuar: 1. It’s hard to believe in the Suns being lucky based on our terrible history in the Draft. IT’S A NEW YEAR THOUGH AND I AM RIDICULOUSLY HOPEFUL AGAIN! This is the year! I’ll be wearing quite a bit of Suns gear on Tuesday to get the mojo going. When it comes to Josh Jackson, he needs to find out whatever Booker did the past 2 years... and do the opposite. I think a viable good luck option is to borrow Dan Gilbert’s son for 30 minutes. He seemed to work some magic years ago. Hopefully Josh finds a way to figure this thing out. Maybe the Suns sending a former #4 pick will reverse the curse and get us that elusive #1 pick.

2. If the Suns get the number #1 pick, I honestly don’t know how I’ll celebrate. I might jump in the pool while simultaneously crying, screaming and laughing. I might punch a hole in the wall based off my excitement. I might vanish into an alternate universe since in our current one the Suns have never won the lotto. I might sit in silence for 10 minutes waiting for the Suns win to be called a “false report” like Steve Harvey with Miss Universe.

Can’t you imagine Mark Tatum coming to the podium 10 minutes later saying “I have to apologize”? If the win does stand though, anything is possible in terms of how I celebrate.

3. I might lose it if the Suns drop to 4th again. I really might. There 100% would be a LONG rant on Brightside. I remember last year when we fell the 4th I just laid on the floor with a blanket over me for 30 minutes (because we all thought we missed out on Fultz, Lonzo, Jackson). I then proceeded to make a long comment describing how I think the lottery is rigged for bigger markets. The life just gets sucked out of you. Even when you know it’s coming because we are the Phoenix Suns, it still stings every damn time. I really hope we don’t have to go through that again. I’m definitely anxious about the draft given our awful history. But at the same time I’m ready to move forward with this off-season and get to the draft/summer league.

All I want is a top 2 pick so we secure Doncic/Ayton. That’s it. Please. One Time.

Sun-Arc: 1. I really do not believe in luck. Though I say “good luck” all the time anyway. I guess I think it makes people feel better. Maybe it makes me feel better because I’m showing some sort of light empathy for the person I’m talking to. Sometimes I even mean it. What are we talking about again?

Oh - right. Sorry that was a digression on my part. That is to say: you had nothing to do with it. So… Josh, uh, break-a-leg? No, that’s not right at all. Probably was the worst thing I could say. I’m no good at this luck thing.

I’m just going to quietly walk out the door.

2. Hi! I’m back. I may not know much about luck or superstition, but I do know how to celebrate! If we get the number one pick, I’ll be doing this… a LOT:

Little trivia for you here… did you know Nicholson always has contractual demands when he signs onto a movie that he will not work on the days the Lakers play home games so he can attend the games. Say what you will about him, but that is some devotion to a team. Also pretty friggin’ arrogant.

3. I’m also pretty damn good at drowning sorrows. Vodka. I’m good at Vodka. Here’s hoping you won’t see me somewhere with this look on my face.

SDKyle: 1. Josh Jackson makes his own luck. As for the rest of you, I’m a believer in avoiding the jinx. Don’t talk about how we’re going to get the #1 pick. But don’t talk about how we’ll get the #4 either. Just say we’ll see what happens, and we will. Personally, I’ve been studying voodoo a lot and I think I may have some ideas. I’m also pretty sure souls have been condemned to an eternity in hell for less black magic than I’ve already dabbled in. But you all can thank me later.

2. I’ll wear my ludicrously over-sized Steve Nash jersey to the office, where nobody is a Suns fan. It was a gift from my mother-in-law years ago and she got me a XXL for some reason. It would fit a 300 lb man comfortably. It looks like some kind of ceremonial religious garb when I wear it. In a way, I suppose it is.

3. Rod instructed that we not interpret “drown your sorrows” as necessarily being drinking, but it goes without saying that I’ll get drunk.

Then I’ll perform a cleansing act of flagellation by making a pilgrimage to the Brightside comment boards to watch the regulars bicker back and forth about whether we should use our pick on a player we don’t want that much or trade it for a player that another team doesn’t want that much.

Then I’ll have a snack. I’ll heat up some mediocre nachos, then let them cool off. Then eat them.

SouthernSun: 1. Josh should hide a mind control device in his afro to take over everyone at the draft lottery and ensure the Suns get the #1 pick. That’s what luck is right? I’m not sure. It’s a foreign concept to a Suns fan.

2. If the Suns get the #1 pick, I will scare whoever happens to be sitting next to me at whatever bar I go to when I scream like an insane person.

3. I will have prepared for this event. All glass alcohol receptacles will need to be removed from my presence just prior to the drawing. Also any knife or sharp object. Which will leave nothing to do other than violently shake my head back and forth while laughing angrily in short bursts. Then slowly lean back and sigh in resignation, remembering that I’m a Suns fan and this was the inevitable outcome. Then I’ll probably get absolutely tore up on gentleman jack.

Alex Sylvester: 1. I’ll wear my Josh Jackson jersey, that’s all I can really supply in terms of luck.

2. To be honest, I’ll end up being completely speechless knowing the fact the Suns actually got the #1 pick.

It might take a few days to hit me that we snagged the pick! Once it hits me, I’ll download some updated 2k rosters and see how Ayton and Doncic look in a Suns uniform.

3. I’ll more than likely go watch a bunch of Mo Bamba highlights and try to convince myself that this is all part of *cues Gods Plan*.

Many thanks again to our Fantable - GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SDKyle, SouthernSun and Alex Sylvester - for all their contributions!

Season Highlights

Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards Full Game Highlights - November 1, 2017

TJ Warren Full Highlights 2017.11.01 at Wizards - 40 Pts, Career-HIGH!

Devin Booker 22 pts 3 threes 5 asts vs Wizards 17/18 season

Quotes of the Week

“I probably irrationally made a decision right when the season was over. You should take a month to figure it out. I shouldn’t have left. That was my fault.” - Mike D’Antoni on leaving Phoenix for NY

”At that time (the SSOL era), the league was typically dominated by rim-protecting centers. They had such an impact on the defensive end. Today, we’re seeing that impact be a little bit toward obsolete. That’s maybe harsh. But they just don’t quite have the same role and impact the way they used to have with the way the game is played.” - Steve Nash

Interesting Suns Stuff

News & Notes

Jared Dudley: Suns are on track for playoff appearance. Zach Alvira/Arizona Sports

Suns’ Dudley, former Cavs GM Griffin riff on perception of Phoenix. Arizona Sports

Steve Kerr, Mike D’Antoni: Hoops savants who clashed in the past. San Francisco Chronicle

Suns still have options if (when) they don’t win the lottery. Luke Lapinski/Arizona Sports

Steve Nash comments on Suns’ impact on Rockets-Warriors. 247 Sports

The History of the NBA Draft Lottery.

This Week in Suns History

On May 16, 1976, the Phoenix Suns defeated the defending NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, 94-86 in game seven of the Western Conference Finals to earn their first conference championship and their first trip to the NBA Finals to face the Boston Celtics.

Suns History in Video

Suns Trivia

Although the Suns have never had the first overall selection in the NBA draft, three players who have had that distinction have played for Phoenix at some point in their careers. Most recently, Shaquille O’Neal joined the Suns by way of a mid-season trade in 2008 and spent a season-and-a-half with the team. Before that, there was Danny Manning who signed with the Suns as an unrestricted free agent in 1994 and was with the Suns for five seasons. Prior to that, a guy named Joe Barry Carroll laced ‘em up for the Suns to end his NBA career in 1990-91. Carroll was the first selection of the 1980 draft and will go down in history for having the unflattering nickname “Joe Barely Cares.”

One other first overall pick has an association with the Suns. Hot Rod Hundley, the top pick in the 1957 draft, served as a Suns broadcaster in the team’s early years.

Previewing the Weeks & Months Ahead

May 14 - Igor Kokoskov Intro Press Conference

May 15 - NBA Draft Lottery, 4:30 pm AZ time on ESPN

May 16-20 - NBA Draft Combine 2018 (Chicago)

June 11 - NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline (5 p.m. ET)

June 21 - 2018 NBA Draft

July 1 - NBA free agency officially begins (12:01 a.m. ET)

July 6-17 - 2018 NBA Summer League (Las Vegas)

Last Week’s Poll Results

The poll was, “Do you believe that hiring Igor Kokoskov is a sign that the Suns will draft Luka Doncic if they get the #1 pick in the draft?”

53% - Yes

47% - No

There were a total of 436 votes cast.

This week’s poll is about the Suns’ #16 pick in the draft.


What would you rather do with the #16 draft pick?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Draft the best player available.
    (60 votes)
  • 36%
    Package it with other assets to try and trade up for another top 10 pick.
    (139 votes)
  • 47%
    Try to package it in a trade for a vet who could help the Suns win now.
    (181 votes)
380 votes total Vote Now

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun