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Center of the Sun: Should the Phoenix Suns trade down from #1 on draft day?

Probably not but we’ll discuss it anyway.

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NBA: Lottery Draft Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Never before have the Suns had so many options in the time period leading up to the NBA draft. Fans are very divided on who they should choose with the #1 pick but it doesn’t stop there.

Rumors that All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns may not be happy in Minnesota have sparked much speculation on whether the Suns should use the #1 pick in an effort to trade for Towns. Opinions on that are varied and discussions on just how much the Suns should be willing to give up in that trade have led to some intense debates here on BSotS.

But the KAT rumors are just that at the moment and it seems extremely unlikely that Minnesota would be willing to part with him without doing everything within their power to make their young star happy in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” first.

A quick bit of NBA history: The LA Lakers were originally the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947-1959. Now that ‘Lakers’ name probably makes more sense to younger NBA fans.

But back to the point at hand...

Suns GM Ryan McDonough has said that it’s possible - although extremely unlikely - that the Suns might trade their first ever #1 pick. But so far the idea of trading down in this year’s draft has been discussed very little.

I consider the likelihood of that happening as very low but at least a tiny bit higher than them actually trading the pick away entirely for a star player that is also very unlikely to be available. Especially not one that isn’t on the last year of his contract.

If the Suns were willing to trade down in the draft, what would it take in return to get them to do so?

In my opinion... a lot.

And I also wouldn’t consider trading down past #4 as I don’t really believe that there is player that could be a high impact player in his rookie season beyond that spot. So - in my mind - there are only three potential trade partners for the Suns to deal with if they were willing to trade down. Sacramento, Atlanta and Memphis.

Whatever you think of Ryan McDonough, I doubt that he’s crazy enough to actually want to trade down in this draft. But maybe some other teams will come calling wanting to attempt to trade up. If they do and they really, badly want that #1 pick, I would only consider trading with them if the deal was extremely in our favor. There would be virtually no give and take, no back and forth negotiations. I would basically give them a ‘take it or leave it’ offer, sit back and wait for their answer.

And that’s what I’ve asked the Fantable to come up with this week. What would the Kings, Hawks and Grizzlies have to send back (and take back as part of the trade) for them to get their hands on the #1 pick in this year’s draft.

Fantable Questions of the Week

1. The Kings have the #2 pick in the draft, the Hawks have #3 and the Grizzlies have #4. If any of those teams called asking to trade their pick for the #1 pick, what would each of them have to add to the trade to make it worth making a deal (and what would they have to be willing to take back in the trade)?

I also added this bit of instruction regarding possible pick swaps: “None of these have to be a fair deal for both teams and your terms are basically a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ response to the other teams calling you about making the trade. This is a chance to fleece another team if they want the #1 pick badly enough. Be merciless but not too unrealistic (like demanding more than one future unprotected 1st round draft pick as part of the deal).”

2. If the Suns were to trade down to the 2-4 range in the draft, who would you select at #2, #3 or #4?

GuarGuar: 1. I’m strongly against trading down from #1 in this draft. That being said, if we got an AMAZING offer it would be foolish to not consider it. By amazing I mean over the top value that would be near stupid for the other team to trade.

For the Kings it would be like #2, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and take Brandon Knight.

For the Hawks it would be John Collins, #3, a future first, and take Brandon Knight.

For the Grizzlies it would be JaMychal Green, #4, a future first, and take Brandon Knight. I value that #1 pick extremely high in this draft. And I kinda really don’t like Brandon Knight’s contract! I’m very much against trading #1 and that is why it would take such a steep offer.

2. I would probably select DeAndre Ayton, Michael Porter Jr., or Jaren Jackson if we dropped 2-4. I’ve soured on Ayton some and I would really consider taking MPJ or Jaren over him. Porter was originally the “can’t miss” prospect in this draft until he hurt his back. If he is truly 100% healthy, a team could get a steal taking him at 3-4. Jaren Jackson’s upside is pretty insane and he is the best defensive big in the lottery in my opinion. Whether I take Jaren over Ayton I don’t know, but it’s certainly a discussion.

Sun-Arc: 1. For the record, I really don’t want to trade the #1 pick. But lets say the Suns were really good with ANY of Ayton, Doncic, JJJ, and Bagley/Bamba - that they considered them essentially equal (I know… shame on them).

SAC: I like (not love) Fox if we draft a big man, and also like Willy Caulie-Stein if we take Doncic. I can’t see getting more than one of those players for swapping the 1-2 picks.

ATL: I would be okay with taking back Shroeder. He’d be an upgrade from Knight. So we could swap those two, and they make about the same amount. We unload Knight but gain a PG on one more year- so we’d have to really want the guy (of which I am not convinced).

MEM: I’ll go all kooky here and say we unload Dudz & Knight for Conley. MEM would obviously only do this if they wanted to rebuild, IMO. At #4 they can get a really good player anyway.

Personally, I’d rather trade #16 and Bender/Chriss for SGA around the 10-13 range and take Ayton with he first pick.

2. My big board for the team, without the benefit of being a professional scout, is Ayton, Doncic, JJJ, Bamba. So which ever pick we’d end up on (2,3,4) I’m taking the highest available from that list.

Ayton: Laid this out last week.

Doncic: ditto

JJJ: Although he doesn’t seem to have that “it” factor players need to be a star, he projects to be really valuable as a 3&D center (as Kellan Olsen recently described him). I think he could become Capela with a 3pt shot, which is pretty damn good- but he’s raw.

Bamba: I didn’t get to watch him play much, but I’ve read quite a bit about him and feel he is competitive enough to be successful in the NBA. He and JJJ are in the same tier for me (both seem pretty raw). And if Bamba can really hit 3’s regularly he’s before JJJ.

SDKyle: 1. Kings get #1 pick, Jared Dudley. Suns get # 2 pick, DeAaron Fox, Harry Giles.

In this scenario the Suns get to shed $3.5 million of salary while picking up two talents the Kings are high on and STILL having the #2 overall pick. Fox could either challenge for the starting role if he improves considerably from his rookie campaign, or come off the bench. The low-risk high reward Giles, who was just three short years ago considered close to a can’t miss prospect, could provide insurance if Chriss or Bender (continue to) disappoint.

Hawks get: #1 pick, Brandon Knight

Suns get: #3 pick, Dennis Schroeder, John Collins

The Suns get two guys who instantly help us win and might be able to for awhile, while also bidding adieu to Knight’s contract.

Grizzlies get: #1 pick, Brandon Knight, Jared Dudley

Suns get: #4 pick, Mike Conley, Ivan Rabb

The Suns get a win-now PG and an insurance young PF in Rabb.

2. Assuming Ayton is gone, I’d take Doncic at #2. Otherwise I’d clearly still take Ayton. These two both seem like great prospects and either is a wonderful addition. If those two are both gone at #3, I’m going Jaren Jackson Jr. He has very high potential as a defender and a nice shooting stroke...he could become like a rich man’s Otto Porter. At #4 I’ll go with Mo Bamba and hope for the best. His potential as a defensive wall a’la Rudy Gobert is tantalizing, but it could take him years before he’s realizing his potential and he might never be more than an afterthought on offense.

SouthernSun: Question #1.

Deal with Sacramento:

Suns send: Brandon Knight + Troy Daniels + 2018 #1 pick

Sacramento sends: Buddy Hield + Willy Cauley-Stein + Kosta Koufos + 2018 #2 pick

Deal with Atlanta:

Suns send: Brandon Knight + Marquese Chriss + 2018 #1 pick

Atlanta sends: Dennis Schroder + John Collins + 2018 #3 pick

Deal with Memphis:

Suns send Brandon Knight + Tyson Chandler + Jared Dudley + 2018 #1 pick

Memphis sends Mike Conley + JaMychal* Green + Ivan Rabb + Deyonta Davis + 2018 #4 pick + the souls of every Grizzlies executives first born son + a massive IOU that the Suns can redeem at any time in the future for any reason + 2019 unprotected Grizzlies 1st rounder

Question #2.

At #2, I would select Doncic, because obviously Ayton will be picked by Sacramento, because he’s the obvious #1 overall pick to about 90% of people in and around the NBA. Doncic will slide, well... not nicely, but will sort of be jammed onto a point guard role. And we’ll hope for the best. Plus I got Cauley-Stein in the Sac trade, so it makes sense to take a guar... er... playmaker.

At #3, I pick Jaren Jackson Jr. I got Dennis Schroder and John Collins in the Atlanta trade, so I’ve got a center hole to fill. I think he’ll be a very good player. I just don’t think he has actual superstar potential.

At #4, I pick Marvin Bagley because he’s the BPA. I actually like him more than JJJ, but since I had John Collins in the previous scenario, Bagley didn’t make sense.

*Just wanted to take a moment to congratulate myself on spelling JaMychal right without looking.

Alex Sylvester: 1. I’ll preface my thoughts by saying I wouldn’t consider moving the #1 to move down for a second, unless it included an all star level player.

The Kings would have to package something along the lines of Cauley-Stein and an additional future 1st with the #2 pick for me to consider. Doncic would end up being picked up, along with a high potential center so I wouldn’t hate it.

The Hawks would have to include Collins, Prince, and at least another first rounder on top of their #3.

I don’t even think I can come up with a Grizzlies one. Brooks and future firsts? No clue.

2. As previously mentioned, Doncic would be my pick at #2. At 3, I think I’d be inclined to take Bagley (subject to change post-offseason workouts). If Porter Jr were fully healthy, I’d be intrigued as well. At 4, I’d look into Bamba/Porter Jr/JJJ. Either three would be fine by me!

I doubt that the Kings, Hawks or Griz would bite on any of those deals but that’s fine with me... and the Fantable. And I think that the majority of Suns fans would agree that even getting the Suns to trade down in this year’s draft would only come at a heavy price to the other team in the trade.

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

Season Highlights

Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers - Full Game Highlights November 17, 2017 2017-18 NBA Season

Devin Booker Full Highlights 2017.11.17 at Lakers - 33 Pts, 6 Threes, SMOOTH!

Alex Len 17 pts 18 rebs 2 blks vs Lakers 17/18 season

Quote of the Week

”I honestly think there are some drafts you prefer not to have the Number 1 pick just because there isn’t a player worthy of that. I think in some ways you’re set up to fail in that scenario. This year we feel the opposite. We feel there are four or five players in normal drafts that would be in the mix for Number 1, if not the Number 1 pick. So we view that as a good problem to have.” - Ryan McDonough

Interesting Suns Stuff

News & Notes

UA’s Sean Miller: Deandre Ayton is a ‘once in a lifetime type of player’. Zach Alvira/Arizona Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Mock Draft Projections for Safest Lottery Prospects. Bleacher Report

Phoenix Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough says team likely keeping No. 1 pick in NBA draft. Scott Bordow/AZCentral Sports

ESPN’s Marks would be stunned if Suns traded for Karl-Anthony Towns. Kevin Zimmerman/Arizona Sports

Report: Suns could have traded for Kristaps Porzingis last season. NBC Sports

Amar’e Stoudemire working out, contemplating return to NBA at 35. Ian Begley/ESPN

Actor Eisenberg takes blame for Suns’ ’93 loss; Majerle blames Ainge. Kevin Zimmerman/Arizona Sports

This Week in Suns History

On May 30, 1976, Phoenix rookie center Alvan Adams scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Suns to a 105-98 Game 3 victory over Boston in the NBA Finals.

Suns History in Video

Suns Trivia

Seven former Suns players have had their numbers retired by other teams. Larry Nance (CLE), Gail Goodrich (LAL), Charles Barkley (PHI as well as PHO), Maurice Lucas (POR), Jeff Hornacek (UTA), Gus Johnson (WAS), and Dennis Johnson (two different numbers, on two different teams – 24 in SEA and 3 in BOS).

Also, former Suns Coach Terry Porter had his number 30 retired by the Blazers.

Previewing the Weeks & Months Ahead

May through June 20 - Pre-draft workouts continue

June 11 - NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline (5 pm ET)

June 21 - 2018 NBA Draft (7 pm ET)

July 1 - NBA free agency officially begins (12:01 am ET)

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

Last Week’s Poll Results

The poll was, “Who should the Suns take with the #1 pick in the NBA draft?”

65% - DeAndre Ayton

33% - Luka Doncic

02% - Someone else

There were a total of 844 votes cast.

This week’s poll is...


Trading down in the draft would be...

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    A mistake under any circumstances.
    (158 votes)
  • 62%
    Fine if the haul in return is ridiculously huge.
    (268 votes)
426 votes total Vote Now

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