Phoenix Suns fans didn’t much in the way of expectations for this draft. To be honest, most fans expected one or both second round picks to turn into “financial considerations” (aka bags of cash).
So how can one grade the Suns’ draft? I would propose that I might be just the person qualified to grade it.
Why? Not because I am a basketball insider or expert, or because I am even the biggest Suns fan (don’t get me wrong, I’m up there on the list). It’s because giving grades is what I do to pay the bills. Just ask the 300 or so high school and college students whose assignments I grade during the calendar year and have every year this century.
To begin, I think it’s safe to say that this draft doesn’t deserve an A. An A would have been having a first round pick and drafting a potential star that had fallen to their spot. That possibility was wiped out in the 2007 trade of Kurt Thomas.
Likewise, they could have made a move to get a potential star. That didn’t happen either.
We can also safely say that the Suns didn’t fail this draft. That would have been turning any of those picks into money, as has been so effectively done in years past. This year, the team drafted players for the team, not another team.
So, what would the final grade be? I’d have to give it a D. Why? Well, a D is passing, but passing by doing just enough.
The Suns had some needs coming into the draft. One of them was the forward position, considering they may lose three players from their front line in free agency. They took steps to meet that need in drafting Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins.
These guys are no DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, or even Quincy Pondexter (on a personal note, seeing Pondexter get drafted at 26 where the Suns should have been drafting was a punch to the gut—I am very high on him). However, these guys have some potential to be decent contributors, and you really can’t expect more from guys being drafted late in the second round.
Now if it turns out that one or both of these players become at least rotation players, then I would go back and change their grade to a C or better. I’ve got no problem going back and changing a grade when the merits warrant it.
My biggest concern now is what happens next. Because once next season starts, if both of these guys are both still on the team, then it means that the summer will have been bad for the Suns, not having signed or obtained anybody better to play power forward. I wish them well, but I hope that they both aren’t on the squad.
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