It seems like this is always a topic for the Suns over the last decade since the debacle of having three quality PGs in Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, and Isaiah Thomas. Then we went through a series of horrible ones, with Aaron Brooks, Kendall Marshall, Brandon Knight, or Ty Jerome. We had several in our grasps, but they needed a little more time to cook; Ish Smith & De'Anthony Melton.
But I want to focus on the ones we passed on - because where's the fun if you can't lookback in hindsight. I'm not talking about the diamonds in the rough that no one saw coming like Herbert Jones or Ayo Dosunmu in 2021. Though how many of us wouldn't mind having Jared Butler instead of drafting Day'Ron Sharpe to ship him to Brooklyn for Shamet. And I'm not getting into the Doncic over Ayton debate. At the time it was a debate even though now we know differently. So, excusing that year, let's start by looking at every draft since taking Booker - where the Suns found the diamond.
2016 - Dragan Bender #4, Georgios Papagiannis #13, Skal Labissiere #28
Really, #10 and #28 were drafted for Sacramento, once the trade for #8 pick, Marquese Chriss was settled. The sign of an out of his league GM - don't know which PF will be better, so let's draft both of them...and whiff on both of them. This one only hurts more when you consider Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray were both available at #7 and #8 respectively. Take one of them with #4, use #13 on any of the guys taken between 13 and 28 (Malik Beasley, Caris LeVert, Furkan Korkmaz). Pascal Siakam was also there though no one knew what he was going to do. But the one that hurts is #29, right after taking Skal, the Spurs got Dejounte Murray.
2017 - Josh Jackson #4
Oh the irony that McDoughnut pulled a fast one over his former protégé in Danny Ainge in order to block Josh Jackson from wanting an interview with Boston because Phoenix promised him a starting role. So, Boston settled for Jayson Tatum. Can you imagine a backcourt of Point Book and Tatum? Or we could have had De'Aaron Fox who went at pick number 5.
2018 - Ayton and Bridges (helps the sting of Doncic a little that we got at least one of them right)
2019 - Jarret Culver #6
He was immediately traded for #11 Cameron Johnson and Dario Saric. Can't argue this one now, but at the time I was bummed we didn't keep Culver. Coming off their NCAA run to the finals I thought he was going to be a good player. Glad it worked out this way.
2020 - Jalen Smith #10
This is the one that hurts the most and probably the main driving force for feeling the desire to write this article. Because two picks later the Kings took Tyrese Haliburton, who many draft experts thought the Suns would take as the backup to Chris Paul. Haliburton, who will most likely be an All Star this year in the east is averaging 18.6 points and 10 assists a game since going to Indiana. Oh, and who is with him there in Indiana? Jalen Smith, who since getting shipped to Indiana is averaging 12.1 points and 7.7 boards in 24 minutes a game. Aren't PF and PG the two big glaring holes we are missing right now? We had one of them and we could have had the other. Now we have neither.