The Phoenix Suns are very likely to trade their #16 and/or #31 picks in the 2018 Draft next week in exchange for some veteran help, preferably good at passing, defense and/or shooting.
But if the Suns end up keeping the #16 pick because all their trades fall through, we are starting to get some kind of idea of who they might take when the pick comes up.
To date, the Suns had brought in several #16 candidates, including bringing “Eric-Bledsoe-who-can-shoot” point guard Aaron Holiday to Phoenix for two workouts in the past two weeks.
This week and early next week are key giveaways to the Suns intentions. Two years ago, they brought in Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender for late workouts, and last year they worked hard to get Josh Jackson in for a workout and then talk him into avoiding the Celtics in the final days.
The 6’5” guard, projected anywhere from 11th overall to the Suns at 16, has not yet visited the Suns but plans be in Phoenix before the week is out.
Likely first round pick Zhaire Smith said he will work out for the Sixers and Suns next after today’s session with the Wizards.— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) June 11, 2018
Recent mocks, including DraftExpress/ESPN, have the Suns taking young Zhaire Smith.
The problem with Smith is that he can’t shoot well quite yet, and is super young. But he could be a great wing player — higher ceiling than 23-year old Davon Reed from last year’s draft — in time.
You might recall this dude as the one who scored 31 points off the bench in the title game for Villanova to help them with the NCAA Championship this past spring. Since then, his stock has been rising to the level of the starting back-court who played in front of him the last two years — higher than his teammate PG Jalen Brunson who is likely a late-first, early-second round pick, and just below teammate Mikal Bridges.
The guard, whose range looks to in the 16-20 range, visited Phoenix this week (on Wednesday), but did not participate in an official workout.
Donte DeVincenzo is in Phoenix for an interview with the Suns.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 14, 2018
DiVincenzo has a lot more shooting prowess than Smith (40% on threes), and is a bulldog defensively. He’s just older, and not quite as freaky athletic as the younger Smith.
Just like Zhaire Smith, the Suns could really use DiVincenzo’s shot-making ability and toughness on the wing in rotation with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. He would become only the second big-time shooter in the Suns lineup.
Here are his highlights from a great week at the NBA Scouting Combine, which played a big part in him coming out to the NBA this year versus starting at Villanova next year under vaunted coach Jay Wright.
And here’s those 31 points in the title game.