The Phoenix Suns, who had the second-worst record in the NBA last season (19-63, tied with Cleveland), faced a nightmare scenario at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, which revealed the team will pick No. 6 in June’s NBA Draft.
The Suns, along with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers each came in with the highest chances to get the No. 1 pick at 14 percent, where Zion Williamson out of Duke will more than likely be selected. It’s the first time the Draft Lottery has given the three worst teams the same odds to get the first pick.
The Knicks and Cavaliers didn't have much luck either. The Cavaliers are picking No. 5 and the Knicks will pick No. 3. The New Orleans Pelicans are picking No. 1.
The Suns had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and went with center Deandre Ayton. Much of the talk of the dismal 2018 season for the Suns is the team need for a point guard. Devin Booker had another impressive season and the Suns added a special talent in Kelly Oubre Jr., traded from Washington, but the need for a point guard is apparent and obvious.
That’s why most draft analysts and Twitter reporters alike have had Phoenix selecting point guard Ja Morant, 19, out of Murray State, at No. 2. The 6-foot-3 point guard had an impressive season that put him high on the national radar after he averaged 24.5 points and 10 assists per game leading the Racers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
But, the Suns likely won't have a chance at Morant now without a trade.
Some other players that could be available in the No. 6 range include forward DeAndre Hunter out of Virginia, forward Rui Hachimura out of Gonzaga, point guard Coby White out of North Carolina, shooting guard Jarrett Culver out of Texas Tech, point guard Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt.
The Suns have a questionable draft history while in the top 10 in recent years. In 2013, the Suns drafted center Alex Len at No. 5 overall, who struggled with Phoenix until he eventually signed with Atlanta last offseason. In 2016, the Suns drafted Dragan Bender at No. 4 overall and Marquese Chriss at No. 8 overall (drafted by Sacramento and traded to Phoenix).
Chriss had two underwhelming seasons with Phoenix before he was traded to Houston last offseason. Bender is still with the team but had been unimpressive, averaging just five points and four rebounds in 18 minutes per game last season.
In 2017, the Suns drafted Josh Jackson at No. 4 overall with De’Aaron Fox, Lauri Markkanen, Dennis Smith Jr. and Donovan Mitchell still on the board in what was a very weak draft class. Jackson has been active for the Suns, he averaged 11.5 points and four rebounds per game last season
On June 21, the Suns will make an extremely important decision on which piece they want to add to a core that already has potential in Booker, Oubre and Ayton.
FINAL LOTTERY DRAFT ORDER:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Atlanta Hawks
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. New Orleans Pelicans
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics