The Phoenix Suns just finished their 50th season in the NBA and, for the eighth straight season, missed the playoffs. They will be vying for the number one spot in the NBA Draft Lottery held on May 15, 2018 with a 21-61 record. If the Suns are able to secure the top spot in NBA Draft, here are some names they could be looking at with the number one overall pick:
The 7’1, 250-pound center out of the University of Arizona played just one season for the Wildcats where he averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.9 blocks, helping lead Arizona to a Pac-12 tournament championship. He would be a player the Suns could use in the middle to help with rebounding. This season, the Suns ranked 12th in the NBA in team rebounding. Adding a player like Ayton could bring that ranking up as he ranked 13th in the nation in rebounding. Ayton was named an All-American after his freshman year with the Wildcats.
Marvin Bagley III
The 6’11, 220-pound freshman phenom is coming out of Duke and is another player the Suns could zero in on if they were able to land the number one overall pick. Bagley had a dominant freshman year at Duke, helping lead the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 21 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.9 blocks during the season. Like Ayton, Phoenix needs to address the center position and with Bagley you get a center that not only dominates down low, but can shoot from outside as well. Bagley was named to the All-American team after a very impressive freshman season at Duke.
Doncic, a 6’7 slim shooting guard, played four seasons for Liga ACB of the Euro League where, in 163 games, he scored 1,474 points. During his last two years with Liga ACB, he ranked first in games played with 32, second in free throws with 130, 10th in steals with 32, and third in points per game with 16.9. He ranks ninth in field goals with 139, fourth in assists with 4.7, sixth in rebounds with 104, and third in points with 456. Playing the same position as Devin Booker would make it tough for Phoenix to take him at one if they were able to secure the top spot in the draft, but if he is willing to switch positions, taking him could become more likely.
Another talented freshman, the 6’11 225-pound center out of the University of Texas had 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and averaged three blocks per game for the Longhorns. Like Ayton and Bagley, the center position is a need for the Suns with Tyson Chandler and Alex Len both scheduled to be free agents. Adding Bamba could could fill the void needed at center and with him averaging double-digit rebounds per game the Suns could use his size and versatility to their advantage.
It might be a stretch to take Young if they have the first pick, but point guard is a position of need for the Suns with Elfrid Payton set to be a restricted free agent. They do have Brandon Knight returning from a torn ACL and Tyler Ulis is already on the roster, but adding Young could be something the Suns might want to consider. He averaged 27.4 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, and 8.7 points per game including four 40-point games and five 30-point games. The million dollar question here is: Do the Suns take the best player at one or a position of need? You might just get both with Young.
If the Suns do win the NBA Draft lottery for the first time in their 50-year history, they will have many good options at number one. It would help this team get back to the glory years of making deep runs in the NBA Playoffs.