The Phoenix Suns finished the regular season with a 48-34 record. That mark would have left the desert dwellers tied for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference but didn’t even crack the top eight out West. As a result, Phoenix is bound for the NBA draft lottery for the fourth consecutive year.
General manager Ryan McDonough has said, “I think it’s unlikely that we’ll bring in three rookies to the Suns,” and, “Our preference would be to trade for a star,” according to BrightSideoftheSun.com’s Dave King. Despite those words, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to swap the organization’s picks for a big name.
As a result, targeting specific guys who can help the squad as rookies certainly isn’t a bad Plan B if a blockbuster trade doesn’t pan out.
The upstart Suns beat everyone’s expectations in 2013-14. Most Improved Player Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek and a collection of solid role players—led by Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker—showed that they can compete with anyone. However, the Suns still need a bona fide alpha dog who can be a go-to scorer in crunch time.
Getting a shot at Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker is an admitted long shot. However, there will still be talented ballers on the board late in the lottery.
Filling positions of need, adding depth/scoring as well as a big body who can protect the rim should all be targets for the Suns.
Note: Although this article will focus primarily on potential lottery picks, some candidates should be targeted with the Suns' other picks in the first round from the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers.