After aggregating mock drafts over the last month, this feels like the first time we’ve seen close to a consensus ironically on the day of the draft. It’s either one or the other in all of these scenarios, which includes two of three known prospects the Suns worked out in private 1-on-0 workouts during the pre-draft process.
Phoenix is in need of backcourt help, and all of these address those concerns whether it’s a pure point guard or modern combo archetype. With all the latest intel flying in all day, let’s get into the final edition of Bright Side’s Mock Draft Roundup.
Looking to finally make a jump up the standings, the Phoenix Suns will be calling teams to swap the No. 6 pick for an established veteran.
However, No. 6 won’t be high enough to reel in a quality starter via trade. If they stay put, the Suns could settle on Coby White, who can run the offense next to Devin Booker or play alongside him as a spot-up player.
White is a strong pick-and-roll passer and excellent in catch-and-shoot spots from the wings.
Phoenix is in the market for a point guard to pair with Devin Booker in its backcourt, and while a veteran might be the preferred option for next season, it will be hard to turn down selecting one with a pair of them on the board here. Reporting from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggests the Suns prefer White to Vanderbilt’s Garland.
White is a speedy point guard who can excel in transition, generating extra points each game simply by beating defenders down the floor. He also flashes the ability to knock down shots out to NBA range off a live dribble. It’s a skill that’s becoming a must for the best point guards in the league these days. In the half court, White is also capable of working off the ball, so Phoenix won’t suffer if it wants to let Booker handle the bulk of those creation opportunities.
There would rightfully be concerns about how a Booker-White backcourt matches up defensively, but the hope is White’s size is enough to put him in position to at least compete on that end.
The Suns would be thrilled to see Jarrett Culver fall here, as they have maintained serious interest in him dating back to the regular season. There’s now a scenario in play where he makes it to No. 6, a spot many rival teams view as his floor in the draft. They like him enough to select him ahead of either Garland or White, if that’s indeed the choice they face on Thursday night. Phoenix has maintained an interest in finding a more experienced point guard to run their team next season, and can pursue that end while still taking the guy they covet here.
In the event Culver is off the board, the Suns would presumably grab either Garland or White: White fits well with Booker, noting his size defensively, but Garland is craftier off the dribble and closer to being a feasible setup man who can get more out of the Suns’ other players. But Culver’s size, feel, defensive acumen and rapid degree of improvement have made him a very attractive option in this range of the draft, and Phoenix will feel comfortable taking the best player available here if he’s on the board.
This pick continues to be available in trade talks for the right veteran guard that complements Devin Booker. The Suns likely will be disappointed to see the two best backcourt players outside the top three off the board in Garland and Culver, which might cause them to be even more aggressive in pursuing a trade.
Should they keep the pick, they seem very high on White, which makes some sense considering his size, shooting prowess and ability to play off a playmaking guard such as Booker.
Culver is the best option for the Suns at No. 6. His work ethic is unquestioned, his athleticism is underrated, if anything, and he can be a starting-level by the end of next season.
The draft experts have Phoenix going in the direction of Culver or White, depending on who is there. So, with that being said, let me ask you readers this question: Who should be selected if both Culver and White are on the board at No. 6?
Who is the better fit for the Suns?
This poll is closed
Jarrett Culver, Wing, Texas Tech
Coby White, Ball Handler, North Carolina