The day has finally arrived. With the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery happening less than 12 hours from now, the Phoenix Suns will have their offseason decided by the luck of the draw. And however the results may land, it sets the course for an all-important offseason where Phoenix needs to continuously hit, because there’s no room for error after once more firing a head coach and restructuring the front office.
Even though the Suns didn’t technically finish with the worst record, they still are tied with New York and Cleveland for the top position due to recent lottery reform. Instead of the Knicks having the usual 25 percent, it’s down to 14 with the final 11 evenly sprinkled out to Cleveland and Phoenix. The worrisome note, though, is how the new odds leave open the possibility of the Suns falling outside the top five altogether — and it has the highest chance of happening at 33.1 percent.
Simply put, expect the totally unexpected in this year’s lottery drawing that will have NBA fanbases on pins and needles for one main reason.
At the top, there is only one true guaranteed transcendent, franchise-changing prospect available at No. 1: Zion Williamson. The Zion derby finally comes to an end tonight, but whoever lands him will have their fortunes changed immediately. And if it’s Phoenix, look out because adding the 18-year-old phenom alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton spells trouble long-term in the Western Conference for their competition.
Whether it’s Williamson, Ja Morant, or falling outside the top two or three picks opening the door for trades, May 14 has long been the date circled that will decide Phoenix’s next move. With the strong possibility Morant is selected right after Williamson, Suns fans can look at the lottery this year in simplistic terms: 27.4 percent odds of keeping the pick, 72.6 percent chance to open up the phone lines for incoming trade offers.
The Suns already possess a strong young core, but could you imagine energizing it even further by inserting Williamson, or to a lesser extent Morant? Either way, one fills an immediate need from Day 1 — and don’t say that there’s actually a legitimate debate between these two prospects up top, please — plus helps the bottom line by drawing more fans into the seats at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Added in with Booker, Ayton and Mikal Bridges, there’s no arguing that the future of the Suns’ franchise would be set in stone with another top selection.
However, with lottery reform playing such a huge role moving forward, there’s an even greater chance of worst-case scenarios occurring. If the Suns land anywhere from picks 3-7, don’t expect them to happily stay on the clock in that position. Whether it’s trading out for a win-now, All-Star veteran or moving back to collect more future assets, the main idea for Phoenix should become aggressiveness if they lose out on Williamson and Morant.
Suns fans, sit back and enjoy the show later on. When you’re nervously on the edge of your seat, know you are not alone. Every front office will be celebrating like they won the championship if they land the rights to Zion at No. 1 overall.
When the picks start to be announced, remember there is three options: Zion, Ja, or trade. Whichever way the lottery balls bounce, it will finally let everyone in on how the Suns’ offseason shapes up.
In the meantime, for good luck, let’s watch some more Williamson highlights: