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Alright, so perhaps poor draft-day decisions didn't necessarily make the Suns worse. However, bad selections and trades have definitely prevented them from being in a better position to rebuild right now.
In the mid-2000s, the Suns were a contending team every single year, so trading away late first-round picks was not that big of a deal. However, when you actually examine the trades that the Suns made, you have to think they could have at least gotten some more value out of those rookies.
Let's start with the 2004 NBA draft. The Suns drafted All-Star small forward Luol Deng with the seventh overall pick but traded him to the Chicago Bulls for Jackson Vroman and a 2005 first-round pick. Vroman only played 57 minutes for Phoenix in 10 games the following season before being traded.
Now, on to 2005.
The Suns had a first-round pick from their trade with the Bulls, and they drafted Nate Robinson with the 21st pick. In the second round, the Suns got a steal by drafting Marcin Gortat.
However, both of those players were traded on draft day. Robinson was packaged with Quentin Richardson and traded to the Knicks for Kurt Thomas, while Gortat was traded for cash considerations.
In 2006, the Suns had another two first-round picks. One was Sergio Rodriguez, who was immediately sold to the Portland Trail Blazers.
However, the other pick was Rajon Rondo, a four-time All-Star who has led the league in assists for each of the past two seasons. He might have had to play under Nash for a few seasons, but Rondo would have fit right in with the Suns' style of play.
Rondo never did get to play in Phoenix, though, as he was shipped off to Boston for a 2007 first-round pick.
In the 2007 NBA draft, the Suns took Rudy Fernandez and Alando Tucker. Tucker played for Phoenix but never made much of an impact, and Fernandez was traded with James Jones to Portland for cash.
Then, several days after the draft, the Suns traded away Kurt Thomas and two first-round picks to the Seattle Supersonics for a 2009 second-round pick. The second-round pick was Emir Preldzic, who was immediately sold to the Cavs on draft day.
The two first-round picks? Serge Ibaka and Quincy Pondexter.
So, to recap, the Suns traded away several future starters and two future All-Stars for second-round picks and cash.
Maybe none of those young players had a place on a contending team like Phoenix. But you have to think that if the Suns had just one of those players on the roster today, they would be in a much better position to rebuild.