After taking Deandre Ayton #1 overall, I went to work trying to acquire a great point guard.
I really didn’t want to bring yet another 19 year old onto the team at this poing, preferring to find someone who can bring maturity and moxie to the point guard position to run this team of 22-and-under gazelles. I had visions of Steve Nash’s arrival in 2004, and thought the right pure point guard could guide the team into the next era.
No Wall, Dragic or Lowry
Unfortunately, none of the bloggers for these teams wanted to consider trading their starting point guards, no matter how their season ended and/or bleak their future.
Sure, there’s a national report out there that Goran Dragic could be had for a pair of second round picks, but Hot Hot Hoops does not agree with that report. The Raptors want to keep Lowry around, as do the Wizards with John Wall.
Maybe Mike Conley?
For a long time, I thought I had a Mike Conley trade locked up. A combo of Ayton and Conley, with Booker and Jackson on the wings, could potentially vault the Suns into playoff contention immediately.
Here was the deal: Memphis sends Mike Conley to Phoenix for #16 and #31 in the 2018 NBA Draft, PHX’s 2020 1st Round Pick (protected top 3 in 2020, unprotected in 2021 if it doesn’t convert), Tyson Chandler, and Brandon Knight.
Unfortunately, the deal was contingent on the Grizz being able to dump Parsons AND Gasol as well, initiating a full rebuild, but they couldn’t find any takers for Gasol and ended up just staying put with their pick (Marvin Bagley III) and bowing out of the draft quietly.
Maybe Markelle Fultz?
When I couldn’t get a veteran point in trade, i knocked on Philly’s door. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the back-to-back #1 picks on the Suns in 2018-19?
I had a line on Markelle Fultz for a bit, with the talks being around the Sixers getting the #16 this year and the Suns unprotected 2019 pick. I tried unsuccessfully applying pick protections to the 2019 pick, which delayed the process, but ultimately got turned down no matter what.
The Sixers folks are intrigued by the idea of moving on from Fultz and his shoulder issues, but not enough to sell low on the #1 overall pick from 2017 who would still be the best point guard in either the 2017 or 2018 drafts.
Hence Collin Sexton
Once the draft got going, it became clear one of the point guards could drop to the Suns pick at 16.
At that point, Sexton was by far the best remaining talent on the board. Gone were Kevin Knox, the Bridges boys and Zhaire Smith.
I could have taken a wing — they ALL went in the next half-dozen picks one after the other — but I figured the Suns should take the best possible player at this spot. Ultimately, either the Suns get a steal with Sexton or they get a name-recognition trade piece.
At the least, the Suns have a microwave scorer, good driver, good spot-up shooter and active defender in Collin Sexton.