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No tanks: Suns surrender control of all NBA Draft picks until 2031

So what does that mean for the Suns future? No tanking.

2020 NBA Draft Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Holy moly.

As part of the Chris Paul for Bradley Beal trade, the Suns ended up trading 6 second-round picks and 4 pick swaps to Washington.

Combined with the Kevin Durant trade, the Phoenix Suns have officially surrendered control of 12 picks which covers all of the next seven years... except for tonight’s 52nd overall pick.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and players only allows teams to trade alternate-year first round picks up to seven years into the future. To save teams from themselves, they must keep control of some kind of first round pick every other year. Also, they can trade any and all second round picks, up to seven years into the future.

Let’s just look at the carnage.


  • 2 All-Stars: Kevin Durant (13 time, most recently 2022) and Bradley Beal (3 time, most recently 2021)
  • 3 deep bench backups


  • 1 All-Star: Chris Paul (12 time, most recently 2022)
  • 2 Starters: Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson
  • 4 First round picks: 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029
  • 4 First-round pick swap rights: 2024, 2026, 2028 (twice encumbered), 2030
  • 6 Second round picks: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2030

The Suns had previously traded the 2029 second round pick to Oklahoma City in the Dario Saric trade last February.

They will still be able to pick a player in the first round a few times, but that pick will be the lesser of Wizards-Suns in 2024, 2026 and 2030 and Wizards-Nets-Suns in 2028.

Bottom line: the Suns can’t tank.

Just like the prospect the Nets were facing last year with trading all their picks/rights to Houston to bring James Harden to Brooklyn, and by the Clippers when they traded all their picks/rights Oklahoma City to bring Paul George to Los Angeles. And by the Nets 10 years ago when they traded all their picks/rights to bring players to New Jersey.

By making these trades, the Suns can’t go out and lose 60 games to position themselves for a high draft pick because that pick will just go to some other team while they end up with nothing or a lesser pick.

So what happened to those Nets, Clippers and...Nets?

These most recent Nets just re-traded Harden and Durant to recoup a bunch of picks, and the Clippers and old Nets got creative with other trades to acquire young players in future years.

Young players are always available. It’s just that the Suns cannot intentionally go into the tank to improve the position of their own pick.

After watching that failed rebuild from 2013-2019, I’m okay with that.

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