Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Phoenix Suns fans and fans across the country.
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It is a day before the NBA Draft, and basketball is most certainly on our minds. We’ve been hitting the trade machine hard. We’ve been exploring free agency possibilities. All of it pauses as the NBA celebrates a new crop of kids whose dreams are coming true in real-time. Some teams know they have a stud incoming, others are looking for the diamond in the rough.
The Phoenix Suns don’t appear, on the surface, to be major players on draft day. They traded their first round overall pick, which equates to the 21st overall, to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant. All they possess is pick number 52. There are 58 selections. If Phoenix holds on to that pick, we’ll be waiting the majority of the night to see who the newest member of the Suns becomes.
How many of you have spent time scouting players who are gonna be available number 52? Furthermore, how impactful do you expect that player to be once they arrive in Phoenix. I know many of you will reference the fact that Nikola Jokić was drafted number forty-one overall. He’s literally the only guy outside of Willis Reed for the New York Knicks in 1970 to be drafted in the second round and to win an MVP. He’s not only an exception to the rule, he is the enigma. He is an anomaly. And he was drafted into the perfect situation to allow him to develop.
The Suns are not in the business of developing.
What they are in the business of is trying to fill out their 2023-24 roster. Drafting at 52 allows them to bring in a low-level rookie scale contract to hang out on the end of the bench. But will Phoenix do this? Or will they try to trade up or trade out of the draft?
The addition of Bradley Beal this past weekend put Phoenix in a unique situation. They have $130.3M committed to Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal. Sprinkle in Deandre Ayton’s $32.5M contract, and the team is nearing the second tax apron with only four players on the roster.
While the team isn’t necessarily expected to be major players in the draft, they could be major players on draft day. The Deandre Ayton contract is something the Suns could be willing to move off of. Which brings us to our Suns Reacts Survey of the week. Will Phoenix actually draft at number 52? Will Deandre Ayton survive draft day?
Let us know your thoughts, Bright Siders, and stay tuned to Bright Side of the Suns for all of the quality content around this chaotic off-season. It’s bound to have more twists – and might be as hard to comprehend – as an episode of Black Mirror.