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Gambo: Suns will look to trade pick if they don’t land Zion Williamson or Ja Morant

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, it’s down to three options for the Suns in the draft: Zion, Ja or trade.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns’ two biggest needs are at the power forward and point guard positions. Luckily, the 2019 NBA Draft is headlined by Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Williamson is on his own tier being the most hyped up prospect since LeBron James, but Morant’s meteoric rise can’t be overlooked either.

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, it seems like Phoenix will be having the same expectations many had coming into Tuesday’s draft lottery with three options: Zion, Ja, or trading the pick.

“As much as I like R.J. Barrett, I don’t think (the Suns) do,” Gambadoro said on Thursday’s radio show. “I think if they can’t get No. 1 or No. 2, they may look to trade. They may look to, doesn’t mean they can.”

Gambadoro went on to mention how the Suns view players in the 3-8 range of this draft on a similar level, so they could look to move back even if they don’t find an All-Star for a top-five pick.

Prospects such as Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech), De’Andre Hunter (Virginia), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Darius Garland (Vanderbilt), Cam Reddish (Duke) and Coby White (North Carolina) all are expected to go around this range alongside Barrett, Steve Nash’s godson.

One way Phoenix could kill two birds with one stone so to say is acquiring a win-now piece while also moving back, similarly to the Jimmy Butler trade between Chicago and Minnesota. The Timberwolves dealt Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen for Butler and the rights to Justin Patton.

One hypothetical scenario I’ve thought of consists of the Suns falling outside the top three then moving back for an immediate starter in Aaron Gordon. Something along the lines of the No. 5 pick and T.J. Warren for Gordon and the No. 16 pick seems fair to me, if Orlando wants to retool on the fly.

Whichever way the lottery balls fall on Tuesday night, it will shape how Phoenix attacks this important offseason. We now know they covet Williamson and Morant, then believe there’s a drop off afterwards.

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