The Phoenix Suns had the second-best odds, 19.9 percent, of landing the top overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. They had a 55.8 percent chance of getting a top three pick. Instead, the Suns will be selecting fourth, behind the Celtics, Lakers and Sixers.
For Suns fans, it feels like they were the biggest losers in the draft. Tanking the season for the fourth overall pick is not exactly what they had in mind. It’s been 50 years as an organization and the Suns still have never owned the top pick in the draft.
Suns fans may feel snake-bitten but for the Suns front office it’s time to roll up the sleeves and deal with the hand they’ve been dealt. General manager Ryan McDonough is excited about the possibilities. He’s convinced the Suns will get an impact player with that fourth pick. Most mock drafts figure to have the Celtics taking Washington point guard Markelle Fultz with the first pick. The Lakers would take local UCLA standout Lonzo Ball with the second pick. That would leave the Sixers with the choice of either Kansas wing player Josh Jackson or Duke small forward Jayson Tatum at No. 3.
I asked McDonough if he had a preference between Jackson or Tatum. He said he didn’t. But we know better. Suns fans time to study up on Jackson and Tatum. Barring a trade, one of them will be the newest member of Planet Orange come June 22.