Welcome to the weekly Phoenix Suns news roundup and round table of fans we call the FanTable!
Rod is taking a break from writing for a bit this summer, so you’ll have to accept my humble contributions in the weekly COTS for a while.
Last Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns watched the ping pong balls bounce, and a year after being lucky enough to come out of it still holding their best-odds pick of No. 1 overall (25% chance), they did it again by getting their best-odds pick this year (26% chance).
Unfortunately, this year that means the Suns end up with the No. 6 overall pick this year, despite having the league’s 3rd worst record.
A year ago, the league decided to stop rewarding the tankers and worst organizations by weighting each pick on a flatter plane and giving all the worst teams a much lower chance to stay in the Top 3.
So the Cavaliers, Suns and Bulls will pick in the 5-7 slots this year despite none of them winning more than 22 of their 82 games. Meanwhile three 30+ win teams will pick higher, including a pair of 33-win teams taking Zion Williamson and whoever else they want before the bottom feeders take what’s left over.
What should the Suns do with their No. 6 pick?
We ask the FanTable...
Fantable Questions of the Week
1) How did you personally react when you saw the Suns drop to No. 6 while watching a pair of 33-win teams jump up to take Zion Williamson and Ja Morant?
GuarGuar: It definitely stung when it was revealed we dropped to 6th in the draft. Even though mathematically that was our most likely spot, it still felt hard to believe we would drop that far. I definitely was very scared when it was revealed the Lakers were in the top 4. If they ended up in the top 2, I would have been extremely upset, and probably called it rigged to help me vent. I have nothing against New Orleans and Memphis being 1-2, both are small market teams. The only negative is they are both in the Western Conference.
Sun-Arc: I was in the middle of a 4.5 hour city hall meeting, bored out of my gourd. I checked the data on my phone. I shrugged because I mostly expected that pick. Still cussed under my breath. I will add, though, I cussed out loud when I saw the Lakers had jumped to No. 4.
SDKyle: I wasn’t at all surprised because that result was well within the statistical realm of probability. I didn’t suspect anything shady. If anything, I was actually pleased to see that the new lottery odds system is indeed working by not penalizing teams like New Orleans and Memphis who are bad but not offensively bad. It’s long overdue for folks to wake up and stop living the tank and draft fantasy year after year. Smart drafting and savvy navigation of the free agent and trade markets are more at a premium now than before, and that is a good thing.
SouthernSun: I was completely and totally unfazed. I expected us to draft somewhere other than No. 1, and whether that’s No. 2 or No. 6, I have been all for trading the pick. It loses some of its value, but not hugely. We were never going to get somebody like Lillard with our pick anyway, so the fall isn’t as much of a killer as it may feel like. The available options likely have a value we can match.
Alex Sylvester: Quite honestly, it’s impossible to avoid the disappointment of falling to the sixth slot in the NBA draft. Knowing that the Lakers jumped over us added another layer of annoyance to how things turned out, but fortunately once the top 4 was finalized I realized it could’ve been way worse.
But after the lottery show wrapped up, my nerves began to calm and I turned out to be fine with everything! It was good to see tanking teams screwed over a bit, as well as the two smallest markets in the league getting a chance to pick flashy prospects.
We won the lottery last year. That helped put things in perspective that things could be worse.
2) Should the Suns keep or trade the pick, and what could the Suns get for the No. 6 pick?
GuarGuar: I would trade the pick for an NBA player in their prime, like James Jones said he wanted to add. No. 6 could definitely be a big part of the package for a Jrue Holiday type of player. If we do end up keeping the pick, I would like to draft Brandon Clarke out of Gonzaga. Clarke profiles as a very good defensive power forward. He’s an old rookie like Mikal was, meaning he should have an immediate winning impact. His defensive instincts and athleticism are pretty incredible. His offense needs a lot of work, but he already has an ok midrange shot and good touch around the rim.
Sun-Arc: The team should definitely seek to trade the pick for someone that will help us start winning games right away. But if the right value is not there, and they might get a better player in the draft, they should keep and use the pick. Having another shot (or two) to hit on a really good player is hardly ever a problem. Maybe they get lucky. But playing rookies big minutes should be done with.
SDKyle: I’m actually not really sure whether the Suns should trade the pick or not. I was for trading it when it was still a possibility it could be the No. 1, because at that time a package of our pick and someone like Warren and/or the bucks pick could have theoretically yielded a prime all-star caliber player. And with only a roughly 1/7 chance of the pick actually becoming Zion, I was very happy to make that deal.
Now, though, the return is likely to be pretty weak. The pick alone would probably just yield an average NBA player, nobody to get too excited about. A package might still yield an above-average starter, and depending on who that was I’d be interested in the possibility. But I think regardless, the most likely outcome now is that the Suns will keep the pick and use it. I don’t think they’ll trade either up or down.
SouthernSun: The Suns should definitely trade the pick. The Suns have no need of yet another teenager or 20 year old to try and develop into an NBA player. It’s time to trade some assets for some known quantities.
If Jrue Holiday is available, the No. 6 pick and a large expiring contract is certainly a decent offer for a team who, if they decide to trade AD and Jrue, will be looking to rebuild with youth around Zion.
A sign and trade with Brooklyn for Deangelo Russell is a possibility, if Kyrie decides to go there. Blake Griffin may be available. Aaron Gordon is another. There’s a number of players I’d be interested in.
Alex Sylvester: I think my initial focus was moving the pick, but what value does it even have?
The Suns might be better off keeping their pick, drafting BPA out of the PG and PF prospects, and look into moving there next year first as well as the MIL pick to acquire a starter for next season.
The only trade involving specifically the No. 6 pick I’m intrigued by is involving Aaron Gordon. If we were able to do Warren/Okobo/No. 6 for Gordon I could see the vision.
Otherwise I do see the Suns holding onto the pick and acquiring someone like White or Garland.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable - GuarGuar, SDKyle, Sun-Arc, SouthernSun and Alex Sylvester - for all their extra effort every week!
Quote of the Week
“There are a lot of good players at the top of the draft. A lot of them that you could consider worthy of a trade up,” said James Jones when asked if Morant is someone the Suns would trade up for, via Duane Rankin with azcentral.com.
Did the Suns give any promises to draftable players immediately after dropping to No. 6 overall, such as the rumor that they promised point guard Darius Garland?
“You can’t sit here the day of the lottery or the day after the lottery and say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to do.”
News & Notes
What are the stages of grief? Doesn't matter. James Jones has talent to acquire for the #Suns, he said. No time this summer for lamentations. https://t.co/l7x41Fi4xy— azcentral sports (@azcsports) May 17, 2019
Get the story here too.
And now you just have to watch this. Brilliant!
“It was a metaphor, and it’s FUNNY!”
Previewing the Weeks (and Months) Ahead
- June 10 - NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline (5 pm ET)
- June 20 - NBA Draft 2019
- July 1 - Official start of the 2019/20 NBA league year. July moratorium begins. NBA free agency officially begins (12:01 am ET) and free agents can begin reaching verbal agreements with teams. Restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet. Teams can begin signing players to rookie scale contracts, minimum salary contracts, and two-way contracts.
- July 5-15 - NBA Summer League (Las Vegas)
Last Week’s Poll Results
Last week’s poll was “Do you really believe that Suns owner, Robert Sarver, will step back and no longer interfere with front office decisions?”
14% - Yes.
38% - No.
48% - Only if he thinks they made a mistake
There were 276 votes cast.
This week’s poll is...
How much will we miss Rod Argent running the weekly COTS?
This poll is closed
What’s a COTS?