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Mock Draft Roundup: Who do the experts have the Suns selecting at No. 6?

The first installment of BSOTS’ Mock Draft Roundup leading up to the NBA Draft on June 20.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-National Championship-Virginia vs Texas Tech Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially only three weeks away from the 2019 NBA Draft. Each week, Bright Side Of The Sun will aggregate all of the national opinions related to what the Phoenix Suns should do at No. 6 overall.

Will it be a point guard of the future like Darius Garland or Coby White? How about another swing on All-Star potential with prospects such as Jarrett Culver and De’Andre Hunter? Without further ado, let’s dive right into it.

Ricky O’Donnell - SB Nation = Darius Garland, Ball Handler, Vanderbilt

Garland is the mystery man of this draft, a highly touted point guard recruit whose skill set seems like a perfect fit in the modern NBA but with little tape to prove it. A torn meniscus ended his freshman season at Vanderbilt after only five games, a brief campaign but one that also showed his immense skill as a pull-up shooter. Deep range off the dribble will be Garland’s calling card, but he’ll also have to answer questions about his size (6’2), defensive ability, and how he’ll score in the paint. He also has to prove his chops as a facilitator after finishing with more turnovers than assists during his truncated college career.

Jonathan Wassermann - Bleacher Report = De’Andre Hunter, Wing, Virginia

If the Phoenix Suns miss out on Garland, they’ll have to decide whether Coby White, another point guard who’d fill a need, is worth this pick. However, instead of adding a rookie ball-handler to a lineup that will be looking for results next year, Phoenix would likely settle on De’Andre Hunter here.

He’d plug a different hole at power forward with three-and-D for a team that ranked last in the league in three-point percentage and No. 29 in defensive efficiency, per ESPN.

The Suns may ultimately be better off looking for veteran point guards in free agency. Meanwhile, Hunter, a low-maintenance player, can fill in immediately and add toughness, versatility and floor spacing.

Kyle Boone - CBS Sports = Darius Garland, Ball Handler, Vanderbilt

The Suns employed more point guards last season than most franchises do in two seasons. At No. 6, they’ll have a shot to draft a player at the position they can build around and do by taking Garland. Garland played just five games at Vanderbilt last season as a freshman, but he was stellar before a season ending injury: 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game while shooting 58.1% from the floor and 47.8% from 3-point range. Garland’s ball-handling is among the best in this draft class, despite a negative assist-turnover ratio. And his scoring ability could perfectly complement Phoenix’s young core -- namely backcourt buddy-to-be Devin Booker.

Kevin O’Connor & Jonathan Tjarks - The Ringer = Darius Garland, Ball Handler, Vanderbilt

{Garland} apparently has a promise, and folks think it’s Phoenix. I can totally see Darius Garland and Booker as like a Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum type of thing. Guards who just shoot threes, get up a lot of points, and move the ball. - Tjarks

Check out the full video version on The Ringer in the link above.

Jeremy Woo - Sports Illustrated = Darius Garland, Ball Handler, Vanderbilt

There’s reason to be skeptical Garland has a promise from the Suns, as some have speculated. As things stand, the only team in front of them that might select him would be the Lakers, who need to maintain asset flexibility with the fourth pick. The Cavs probably don’t need him, and so there’s a chance he falls to this spot regardless of a guarantee. It’s more likely that promise came from a team further down in the lottery, and that Garland left the combine to prevent teams from having complete access to his medical information, as he continues what is said to be a slow recovery from a torn left meniscus. He comes with some risk, but also some playmaking upside, will likely be the second guard off the board. He’s certainly a fit here.

As you can tell, a whole lot of noise surrounding Garland to Phoenix right now. And if the former Vanderbilt Commodore doesn’t end up being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 4, he will be the best player available who also fills the biggest long-term need for the Suns.

In case you missed my own mock draft in the aftermath where Phoenix slipped three spots, I went in the direction of Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver. I’ll relay my thoughts again below, but stay tuned for Lottery Mock Draft 2.0 very soon!

The board broke a way where the Suns have interesting pieces available. It’s not Garland, but it will definitely do. Names like Culver, White, Hunter and Clarke will likely all be in play here.

However, you always go the best player available route and make it work later. That’s at least how I would operate an organization. Many fans might be clamoring for White here, but I believe his fit isn’t the best alongside Booker and Ayton. Also, taking Clarke at No. 6 I would consider a reach.

Culver checks too many boxes for the Suns to ignore. He can not only function as an immediate contributor in the second unit backing up Booker, but his high character background along with win-now traits oozing on both ends of the floor screams to me a future glue guy. Sound familiar? It should because Culver reminds me a little bit of Mikal Bridges, but more of an attacking offensive game instead of three-point marksmanship.

Physically, Culver reminds me a lot of Caris LeVert and Evan Turner. Both are secondary playmakers who can hold their own on the defensive end. The swing skill for Culver will be his shot, though. After shooting plus-40 percent from deep in non-conference action, his numbers plummeted afterwards.

If Booker can truly take the James Harden route as their pseudo point guard 3-5 years from now, Culver and Bridges in between their two scorers (Booker and Ayton) is the proper way to build a great two-way squad.

What side of the fence do you land on when it comes to preferences for the Suns on draft night? Are you hoping Garland falls, or more so on the Culver train? Maybe even the Brandon Clarke bandwagon?

Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to check back in weekly for new installments of Bright Side Of The Sun’s Mock Draft Roundup.

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