NBA Draft, Suns

The Phoenix Suns were the big winners of last week’s 2018 NBA Draft Lottery when they were announced to have won the right to select the first overall pick. There’s no question that the Suns are the envy of just about every NBA team these days, as they have the luxury of picking the best player from one of the deepest drafts in recent history.

So far, the consensus has been either 7-foot DeAndre Ayton or 6-foot-8 Luka Doncic will go number one next month.

One of the most anticipated draft classes in memory, the 2018 draft is expected to produce a number of future All-Stars and players that will have an immediate impact on their teams. The Suns, however, get first dibs as they won the lottery with the best chance of all the NBA teams to land the number one pick. After having the worst record in the league this past season, the Suns’ “sacrifice” wasn’t for nothing after all.

Luka Doncic, Suns
Matti Matikainen/Newspix24/Sipa USA via USA TODAY NETWORK

They already boast one of the best young talents in the league with shooting guard Devin Booker, who once scored 70 points against the Boston Celtics late last season. After landing 4th pick Josh Jackson from last year’s draft and obtaining Marquese Chriss from the Kings in the 2016 draft, the Suns now have a collection of young talent that can be bolstered by the selection of Ayton or Doncic.

NBA teams are likely lining up to make a proposal to Suns general manager Ryan McDonough in order to acquire the coveted first pick. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on a report that was published on the sports network’s site, the Suns are open to the possibility of trading the number one overall pick for a price.

“We're certainly open to that. We'll consider it,” McDonough said. “Obviously, we'll have more information closer to the draft than we do today, after we go through the workout process and the interview process and we get the medical physicals. So we're open to that.

.”I think if you look around the NBA, as far as the veteran players, there are probably a few players we'd consider trading the pick for, not … just pick for player No. 1. So it'll be a busy month for us.

“I've been in the league 15 or 16 years now. I've never been with a franchise that's had the No. 1 pick. So it's a big responsibility, but especially in this draft, with the talent at the top that we look forward to.”

Given that they will be listening to offers from other general managers, what would it take to pry away that precious number one pick from the Suns’ hands? Though the possibility remains that they keep the pick, there may be a few offers that will be enticing enough for them to risk giving up their valuable spot in the draft order.

Let’s take a look at what the other 29 teams can offer the Suns in exchange for the number one draft pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and whether Phoenix will bite the bait.

29. Houston Rockets

deandre ayton, luka doncic rockets

Suns receive: P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon, three future 1st-round picks

The Houston Rockets have very few assets that they can offer the Suns especially with so many free agents this offseason. The most they can propose is P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon plus three future first rounders.

That’s an awful looking trade package and one that the Suns will hang up quickly on if general manager Daryl Morey ever tries to pitch this.

28. Brooklyn Nets

Suns receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAngelo Russell, #29 1st-round pick

Spencer Dinwiddie

Sorry, Brooklyn Nets fans, but your team isn’t going to be rewarded with a high draft pick just yet. With the very few tradeable assets, the Nets won’t be stealing away that number one pick from the Suns this June.

They can dream about the future, though, which is the only thing they can do at this point.

27. Indiana Pacers

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, pacers

Suns receive: Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, #23 1st-round pick

As good as Victor Oladipo was for them this past season, given a chance at the number one pick of the draft, the Indiana Pacers won’t hesitate to trade him along with Myles Turner and their 1st-round pick to the Suns.

But Phoenix is unlikely to bite on this offer even though it’s a better deal than what the Rockets or Nets can give.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder

Suns receive: Carmelo Anthony, Steven Adams, future 1st-round pick

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, thunder

No matter which combination of players the Oklahoma City Thunder can offer the Suns, it’s impossible for them to put together a package of players that will be commensurate to the number one pick in this year's NBA Draft. The best that OKC can do is send Carmelo Anthony (if he waives his no-trade clause), Steven Adams, and a future 1st-round pick in exchange. Anthony is too old and too stubborn to make an impact next season and Adams isn’t going to make anyone think that he is as good as Ayton.

Sorry, OKC, but even if you offer Russell Westbrook, I doubt the Suns will even look twice at your offer.

25. Miami Heat

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, heat

Suns receive: Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson, two future 1st-round picks

Hassan Whiteside is on the trading block after a disappointing season that saw the talented but temperamental center sitting on the Miami Heat bench a lot during the playoffs.

According to Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo, who was writing about the first round of this year’s playoffs, Whiteside’s trade value has declined.

“Whiteside’s trade value is at an all-time low. The Heat’s highest paid player is due $52.5 million the next two years, the final two of the $98 million deal he signed two summers ago. And while that value declined this season it has nosedived during the playoffs as he is averaging just 6.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the first four games against the Sixers.

But that does not mean Pat Riley will give up on trying to move the 7-footer. Whether it takes adding a .sweetener to the deal – perhaps Josh Richardson or Justise Winslow – or taking back another team’s disgruntled high-priced player or even a bad contract, the Heat will do all it can to trade Whiteside. And it might even mean just packaging him for the purpose freeing up some cap space. But Miami would have to trade more than just Whiteside to gain any significant money seeing it enters the summer about $17 million over the cap.”

Hassan Whiteside

If Whiteside had developed into an All-Star player, the Suns could have listened to this offer. Alas, things didn’t happen that way for the Heat.

The key to the Suns accepting this trade isn’t Whiteside, but Richardson — who has the potential to be a special player. Adding future first rounders won’t be enough, too. And lastly, even the benefit of getting rid of Brandon Knight’s contract along with the first pick isn’t going to cut it for the Suns.

24. Toronto Raptors

Suns receive: Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, future 1st-round pick

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, raptors

The Toronto Raptors have already fired coach Dwane Casey after their 4-game sweep at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. More changes may be coming and if they were to make a trade with the Suns for the NBA Draft, it should involve Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and a future 1st-round pick.

But would these be enough to make the Suns take a second look at their offer?

Not likely. If the Raptors want to break up their core team then they’ll have to look elsewhere for a trade partner as it’s definitely not going to be the Suns.

The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney believes that Lowry is hard to move anywhere in the league, not only because of his age but because of his contract as well.

“No one is clamoring for a 32-year-old point guard who was the league’s sixth-highest paid player last year and is slated for raises each of the next two seasons.”

23. Golden State Warriors

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, warriors

Suns receive: Klay Thompson, #28 1st-round pick

The Suns receiving another high-volume scoring shooting guard would be a luxury but it’s a deal that they aren’t looking to get done. A high scoring backcourt featuring a 4-time All-Star and a future All-Star would be fun but the Suns don’t aspire to be a fun team. They’ve been that in the Steve Nash-Era already. Adding the 28th overall pick isn’t going to move the needle either.

Unless the Warriors give away Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant for the number one pick, Phoenix would rather take a pass.

22. Los Angeles Lakers

Suns receive: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, #25 1st-round pick

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, lakers

As highly touted as he was and no matter how much Magic Johnson raved about him after last year’s draft, Lonzo Ball isn’t the next Jason Kidd. If the Suns ever answer the phone when the Los Angeles Lakers call, expect them to hang up immediately.

The best the Lakers can probably offer is a package of Ball, Kyle Kuzma and the 25th pick they received from the Cleveland Cavaliers. That’s simply not going to cut it as we’re talking about a potential franchise-saving talent a stake here.

However, LaVar Ball believes that trading away his son is not a good idea, something that he made very clear when he appeared on ESPN L.A. Radio:

“Stop it,” Lavar Ball said. “I’m gonna tell you why. You know what Lonzo is to me? Gelo is my pretty boy. [LaMelo] is my wow boy. But Zo is the people’s choice. They won’t let it happen. How’s that? You can’t get rid of Zo! He’s the people’s choice! Everybody on the outside can say what they want, but when you put it down on paper, the Ball boys are good for business.”

Kuzma would be an awesome addition to any team, but the Suns have a number of forwards already. They can trade one or two later in another deal, as Kuzma has the potential to be a star down the line.

Johnson will have to look elsewhere if he wants to move on so badly from the Ball family and the Suns will do the same.

21. New York Knicks

deandre ayton, luka doncic, knicks

Suns receive: Kristaps Porzingis, #9 1st-round pick

As good as Kristaps Porzingis is, he’ll be out for much of the season and he won’t be on the court until the middle of next season. He’s the best the New York Knicks can offer, but since he’s injured and concerns about his health will weigh heavily on the Suns’ front office’s mind, they’ll have to throw in that first round pick.

The Knicks will definitely pass up on this one and the Suns will, too. The pick from the Knicks is too low and health concerns, even with superstars, are still too risky for the Valley of the Sun.

20. L.A. Clippers

Suns receive: DeAndre Jordan, Tobias Harris, #12 and #13 1st-round pick

Clippers also receive: #16 draft pick

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, clippers

There’s no doubt that Jerry West is just salivating at the thought of the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft that the Suns own. If he can have his way, the L.A. Clippers could offer DeAndre Jordan, Tobias Harris, and the number 12 and 13 1st-round picks in exchange for the first pick. The Clippers also receive the Suns’ number 16 pick in this scenario.

That’s not a bad trade, but it’s also not a good one. A franchise-altering player is at stake with the number one pick and even the presence of a former All-Star and additional first round draft picks aren’t going to be enough.

19. Portland Trail Blazers

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, blazers

Suns receive: Damian Lillard, #24 1st-round pick

The Portland Trail Blazers may be moving on from the Damian Lillard-C.J. McColum backcourt. Though Lillard is the more important among the two, he is also the more desirable piece that the Suns will want to acquire. Including the number 24 pick in this deal won’t be enough unless they move up by trading a few more assets to acquire a pick in the top four which is going to be quite difficult.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, however, doesn’t believe that the Blazers are willing to part with Lillard and any future deals will involve McCollum instead.

“NBA executives I’ve texted with in the past don’t expect Lillard to be dealt anyway, so, for the sake of conversation, we’re going to assume Lillard is off the chopping block since he’s the face of the franchise. Any theoretical trades will involve McCollum.”

Too bad because Lillard would be a spectacular point guard partner to Booker.

18. Washington Wizards

Suns receive: John Wall, #15 1st-round pick

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, wizards

The Washington Wizards were ousted by the Toronto Raptors in the first-round of the playoffs, showing that they are still far from being a championship contender. John Wall and Bradley Beal are a backcourt tandem to drool over, but if the Wizards want to move forward, they may want to consider offering the former to the Suns for the number one pick.

They’ll have to part ways with the number 15 pick, too, but unless they are able to trade that up to a top four selection, the Suns aren’t going to be interested. The Wizards, though, have a better chance at a trade partner for their own pick to move up in the draft than the Blazers.

John Wall

Then again, there are those like Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post who disagree with the Wizards breaking up their All-Star backcourt.

“It’s not time to break up John Wall and Bradley Beal and try something else because it’s near impossible to recoup full value for either player in a trade, which means trying something else eventually would lead back to wishing the team could acquire another player the caliber of Wall or Beal. It’s not time to experiment because making the playoffs four out of five seasons feels boring with the team failing to advance beyond the second round. It’s not time to rebuild prematurely because, in case you’ve forgotten when the Wizards last rebuilt, they didn’t win 30 games for five straight seasons. And the time the franchise rebuilt before that, it didn’t make the playoffs in 15 of 16 seasons between 1989 and 2004.”

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, bucks

Suns receive: Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, #17 1st-round pick

To get a young talent with superstar potential, an offer of a couple of young talents and a first round pick could be the best that the Milwaukee Bucks have to offer. Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton and the 17th overall selection are nice pieces to a rebuilding team… except they aren’t the pieces that the Suns are looking for.

Brogdon is a good point guard and he has good size for a playmaker, though he’s not the traditional type. Middleton was great as the Bucks second-leading scorer. That 17th pick is too low for the Suns who also have the 16th overall pick in the June draft.

The fact is, the Suns need a player or players that can change the franchise’s fortunes and none of these three assets are going to do it for them.

16. Charlotte Hornets

Suns receive: Kemba Walker, Malik Monk, #11 1st-round pick, future first-round pick

deandre ayton, luka doncic, hornets

There’s no question that the Suns need a point guard and Kemba Walker is one player that fits the bill. He could team up with Booker to form one of the better backcourts in the league. The number 11 pick is a good addition, but it’s not going to be enough unless they move that draft pick to something higher. And even then, the Suns might not budge unless that pick turns into the second, third or fourth pick of the draft.

There’s also Malik Monk, who’s a project that the Suns might want to take on. Monk finally played up to his potential during the latter part of the season, averaging 20.4 points in his last five games. He could be a combo guard for the Suns.

Who knows what new general manager Mitch Kupchak can do with this Hornets roster? Perhaps he can make a trade to move higher in the draft and send the necessary pieces to Memphis or Dallas for their picks before trading up further with Phoenix if they’re still interested.

15. Utah Jazz

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, jazz

Suns receive: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, #21 1st-round pick

It would take the pair of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, plus the 21st overall pick for the Suns to even consider giving up the number one pick. It’s not a guarantee that they will and I find it hard to imagine Phoenix doing so.

This is the best that the Jazz can offer and if it were any other team giving up another All-Star or draft pick, this would be a winning deal. Pairing Mitchell and Booker in one team would make any coach envious and bringing in a defensive center of Gobert’s caliber would certainly improve the team tremendously, too.

But we’re talking about the number one overall pick in an NBA Draft that’s loaded with potential superstars. The Suns are going to pass up on this one though this is one of the better deals they can get.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers

Suns receive: Kevin Love, Ante Zizic, future first-round pick

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, cavs

Cleveland wants LeBron James to remain as a Cavalier for his entire career but the only way to do that is to make sure that he has the players necessary to continue competing for a championship every year. To that end, they will have to move up in the draft to add a player that can help James in his quest to add more rings on his fingers.

The Cavs can’t trade away the Nets’ pick that they acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal after they gave up their own first-round pick at the deadline.

The best available players for them to deal to the Suns would be Kevin Love who, when motivated, is still an All-Star power forward, along with Ante Zizic, and a future first-round pick. Love is inconsistent but a change of scenery and a bigger role on the team could revitalize his career. Zizic, meanwhile, looks like he can be one of the better centers in the league given more playing time.

Then again, Love and Zizic aren’t good enough to equal the value of the upcoming first pick in the draft. The Suns will look elsewhere if this is all the Cavs can offer even with a future first-round NBA Draft pick which may not be a high draft pick at all if James remains a Cavalier for the foreseeable future.

13. Detroit Pistons

deandre ayton, luka doncic, pistons

Suns receive: Andre Drummond, Ish Smith, future 1st-round pick

With the Suns needing help at the point guard and center spots, a deal with the Detroit Pistons for center Andre Drummond and point guard Ish Smith could do the trick. They’ll have to include a future first rounder to make Phoenix think twice about this deal, though. The returns for Detroit will be immediate as the first pick overall from the Suns will likely end up being Ayton as a scoring center, something that Drummond isn’t.

For the Suns, they get a young, developing point guard and an All-Star center who is getting better every year. It’s a very enticing deal and one that could be worth the front office’s time considering.

However, there are better deals ahead for the Valley of the Sun with many of them giving Phoenix a high first round draft pick in exchange as well.

12. Memphis Grizzlies

Suns receive: Marc Gasol, #4 1st-round pick

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol is the NBA’s Old Faithful. Though he’s not what he once was, he continues to be one of the better centers in the league today. They have a good shot at a franchise player at the number four spot but they can assure themselves of a truly transcendent player with the number one overall pick.

If the Suns want to move down to select someone like Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State or Texas’ Mohamed Bamba, then they can make a deal with the Grizzlies. This gives them a tough frontcourt that features Gasol, Jackson Jr. or Bamba, and Josh Jackson. It’s an intriguing enough offer that will make the Suns brass spend some late evenings figuring out whether the positives outweigh the negatives of Gasol’s huge contract and his age.

These are probably the only things that will derail this potential blockbuster deal.

marc gasol

And even if the Suns still want Doncic, he may be available at the number four spot anyway. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony says that if Doncic isn’t taken with the number one pick, he could fall as low as number four or five.

“The growing consensus among NBA decision-makers in attendance at Stark Arena in Belgrade is that the teams drafting behind the Phoenix Suns at No. 1, the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are likely to pass on European prodigy in favor of American frontcourt players. The question remains whether a team will trade up into the top three to snag Doncic, or if he will fall to the No. 4 (Memphis) or even the No. 5 pick (Dallas) after being heavily scouted in the Euroleague playoffs against Panathinaikos and mostly struggling.”

Doncic may be the top choice for Phoenix right now and if things play out according to Givony’s report, they can still get their man eventually.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, can move on with a new franchise player in their lineup. It might take them a few more years but Memphis is headed for better days whether a deal like this pushes through or not.

11. Philadelphia 76ers

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, sixers

Suns receive: Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, #10 1st-round pick

Markelle Fultz was supposed to be the future point guard of the Philadelphia 76ers but that ship may have sailed once it was clear that rookie sensation Ben Simmons showed that he could truly take over the playmaking chores for the team. If the Sixers are done with Fultz, maybe he can get more playing time and more confidence playing elsewhere.

Saric is an amazing all-around talent who can be effective on any team. If they include the number 10 pick in this draft, the Suns will have no doubts that the Sixers are serious about getting that number one pick from them.

The Suns may not agree to this deal due to lingering issues about Fultz’s health. If he was showcased more in the playoffs and he performed well with the playing time given to him, then Phoenix would have had more reason to go for this deal. As it is, the Sixers need to disclose a lot of information regarding Fultz’s health issues before the Suns can feel good about this deal.

The great thing about this is that both Fultz and Saric are still playing on their rookie-deals rather than having huge contracts that can upset future transactions by the Suns.

10. Chicago Bulls

Suns receive: Lauri Markkanen, #7 1st-round pick

deandre ayton, luka doncic, bulls

A 2018 First-Team All-Rookie selection and one of the best rookies the Bulls have had in recent years, Lauri Markkanen is headed for an outstanding career. It is a bit early, nevertheless, to see whether he’ll be a perennial All-Star or someone like the Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins who’s good but not good enough to play in the league’s midseason classic.

He’s a versatile big man that the Suns need. Coupled with the seventh pick of the NBA Draft and you’ve got a remarkable collection of potential future All-Stars that can grow together in years to come.

It’s a safe deal for the Suns even if they’re not exactly looking for safe. They want a player that can be phenomenal and though Markkanen has shown flashes, giving up the number one pick may be too risky for them in exchange.

With the number 7 pick, the Suns could use it to select Trae Young as their point guard of the future if they want this deal.

9. Orlando Magic

Elfrid Payton

Suns receive: Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon, #6 1st-round pick

Elfrid Payton can be a good point guard for the Suns and with Aaron Gordon, they may have the Most Improved Player in the NBA next season and quite possibly a first-time All-Star, too. Coupled with the number six pick which they can use to select Wendell Carter, Michael Porter Jr., Bamba, or Young, then this deal could get real interesting.

That’s a great group of players to choose from at that draft position and choosing any one of them can make a difference for the Suns.

It’s a nice package that Phoenix will receive from the Magic if they choose to go this route. The only question is if they feel comfortable enough about the players available at number six that they can roll the dice.

The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney says that the Suns are already interested in Gordon which could lead to a future deal even if a trade for the first pick doesn’t pan out.

“League sources told Sporting News this week that the Suns are expected to be suitors for Gordon, who starred at Arizona for one memorable season. Phoenix has ample cap room and a roster in need of more proven players.

8. Dallas Mavericks

Suns receive: Dennis Smith Jr., #5 1st-round pick

Rick Carlisle, Dennis Smith Jr.

This draft is so deep that picking at the number five spot isn’t as bad as in previous drafts. In fact, whoever is picked at the five-spot could have been one of the top two selections in the previous few drafts. With that said, the Suns could consider making a deal with the Dallas Mavericks that would land them Dennis Smith Jr., one of the young and talented point guards in the league today. They would address their need for a playmaker and at the same time grab a potential stud in the draft.

With the 5th pick, they can select either Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. or Texas’ Bamba who is the top defensive prospect in the draft.

For the Mavericks, their rebuilding efforts will no doubt be accelerated when they select Ayton who is quite possibly the player that they are eyeing with that first NBA Draft pick.

7. Denver Nuggets

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, nuggets

Suns receive: Nikola Jokic, #14 1st-round pick

One of the most improved players over the last three years, Nikola Jokic has transformed himself into a superstar player over the final two months of the season. He’s the main reason why the Denver Nuggets were in the thick of the playoff race right up until the last game of the season before they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic could be a franchise player, one that the Suns covet. Best of all, he’s due a salary of only $1.6 million next season which is a huge bargain. Having the 14th overall choice in the draft may come into play as well. If the Suns want a talent at a dirt cheap price plus another draft choice, they need to look no further than the Nuggets who have the right player for them.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, receive the next dominant big man in the league with Ayton who will fit in nicely with this team. Doncic may be a good choice for them as well, but something tells me that Ayton will be the one who can take the talents on this roster to the next level.

This is an offer that the Suns will probably consider more than most of the deals on this list. It’s one that’s hard to pass up on, for sure.

6. Boston Celtics

Suns receive: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, #27 pick overall

Celtics receive: #1 first-round pick and #31 pick overall (second round)

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, celtics

Though they are missing their leading scorer (Irving) and their potential second-leading scorer (Gordon Hayward), the Boston Celtics are in the Eastern Conference Finals tied with the Cavaliers at two games apiece. That’s a testament to the brilliance of Brad Stevens as a coach as much as a compliment to the players that they have on the floor.

It also shows that Terry Rozier is capable of manning the point guard spot in place of Irving, making the former Cavalier somewhat expendable, especially since he will be demanding a huge payday in the summer of 2019. They can trade Irving along with Jaylen Brown and a swap of first-round picks in exchange for the right to draft DeAndre Ayton at the number one spot in the draft.

The Celtics would then boast of a young squad that can challenge for the championship for many years to come. That lineup would look like this: Rozier at point guard, Jayson Tatum at shooting guard, Hayward at small forward, Al Horford at power forward, and Ayton at center.

The Suns, meanwhile, get their highly-coveted point guard with Irving as well as a versatile swingman in Brown. They also receive another player in the draft from the first round instead of the second. Though the combination of Irving and Brown would be enough of a deal for almost any team to sign on, the Suns will still have to think long and hard about this one. The potential that Doncic and Ayton have will determine whether this deal is worth it or not.

5. San Antonio Spurs

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, spurs

Suns receive: Kawhi Leonard, Dejounte Murray

The San Antonio Spurs aren’t used to so much drama from their players like the one they’re going through with Kawhi Leonard. Despite the Spurs being one of the most stable and exceptional organizations in the league, they may have met their match with Leonard and his representatives.

Many believe that this is already a relationship that’s headed for a divorce and they may want to approach the Suns to offer Leonard in exchange for the first pick in the draft.

But the Spurs may need to offer more given Leonard’s recent injury history. Adding Dejounte Murray will appease the Suns’ worries as his inclusion into this deal gives the team a point guard who’s ready for a bigger responsibility running a young team.

The Suns get one of last year’s MVP candidates and someone who has a lot to prove in the upcoming season. Leonard could turn in annual MVP-type seasons and carry the Suns to the postseason in a year or two.

The Spurs can’t go wrong with Doncic or Ayton but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them select the EuroLeague MVP. Not only is San Antonio familiar with the way European players play, Doncic will learn the game from some of the best international players in league history in Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

4. Atlanta Hawks

Suns receive: Dennis Schroder, #3 1st-round pick, #34 2nd-round pick, 2019 first-round pick

deandre ayton, luka doncic, hawks

The Suns may want to retain one of the top picks in this NBA Draft and there’s no question that the Atlanta Hawks will want to have one of the top picks in this draft.

By going this route, Phoenix gets a point guard with Dennis Schroder to pair with Booker and they also receive a couple of draft picks as well. They could select Marvin Bagley with the third pick of the draft if Doncic isn’t available at the spot anymore. While many don’t project him to be as good as Ayton or Doncic, there are those who believe that Bagley should actually be the number one pick. Depending on how the Suns see the Duke big man’s potential heading into the draft, they could move down to the third pick and grab a few assets along the way.

The Hawks will receive a player from this NBA Draft who can immediately turn their fortunes around. Regardless if they select Doncic or Ayton, Atlanta will be grateful to have a future superstar on its roster. It will also be refreshing to finally have another future star in the East as most of the current ones now reside in the West.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves

Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, timberwolves

Suns receive: Karl-Anthony Towns

If there’s a deal for a veteran All-Star that the Suns should consider very carefully, it’s this deal for the Minnesota Timberwolves big man. Karl-Anthony Towns is the kind of frontcourt player that Phoenix can build its team around. A shooter like Booker will be ready to fire away when Towns gets double-teamed.

There’s a lot to like with this deal.

Khaleel Abdullah of the Valley of the Suns also believes that the Suns should trade for Towns and this may now be possible due to a falling out between him and coach Tom Thibodeau.

“Darren Wolfson, a vet reporter in Minnesota, discussed a few weeks ago that Towns’ fit with head coach Tom Thibodeau was ‘awkward’ and that he had a gut feeling something crazy is going to happen there this summer.

Now, on a podcast with a couple ESPN guys, Zach Lowe said KAT and the Wolves are ‘not in a good place internally.’ Brian Windhorst followed that by saying it wouldn’t be unheard of if his name eventually surfaced in trade discussions.”

Though there are other superstar players that the Suns will accept in exchange for the pick, realistically, Towns is one of the best offers they can get anywhere in the league.

2. New Orleans Pelicans

Suns receive: Anthony Davis

Deandre Ayton, luka Doncic, pelicans

What can top the Towns deal in the NBA Draft? If the Suns can get both the New Orleans Pelicans’ big men this summer, then that would be it.


First, the Suns could trade the number one pick to New Orleans for Anthony Davis who is an MVP candidate this season. Davis is one of the top centers in the game today and it’s clear that the Suns want a talented big man. He is as talented and special as any center that has held a basketball. They will not be short-changed if they decide to trade the number one pick for Davis, for sure.

Next, Hoops Hype’s Bryan Kalbrosky believes the Suns can try to sign DeMarcus Cousins as a free agent.

“If Cousins doesn’t return to New Orleans this summer, Phoenix could be an interesting destination given their young core (which includes three former Kentucky standouts – Booker, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis – whom Cousins likely has a relationship with) as well as assistant coach Ty Corbin (whom he played under in Sacramento).

The offensive juggernaut has continued to be a monster in the paint while drastically improving as a three-point shooter. In his first five NBA seasons, Cousins made just 11 threes and shot 15.9 percent from beyond the arc. During his final season and a half with the Kings, he started expanding his range and was a solid shooter. But he’s been even better since joining the Pelicans, hitting 35.9 percent of his threes on six attempts per game.”

Anthony Davis

If Davis wants out along with Cousins, the Suns would have a deadly frontcourt that will propel them to the postseason immediately.

For the Pelicans, they would have a shot at an all-around player in Doncic that would complement Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday nicely. But they could also replace their big men with the center of the future by selecting Ayton.

But the Pelicans will fight to keep both Davis and Cousins this offseason and that’s why the Davis deal isn’t the number one deal for the Suns.

1. Sacramento Kings

Zach Randolph

Suns receive: Zach Randolph, #2 1st-round pick

The Sacramento Kings may be looking to move up just to ensure that they get DeAndre Ayton in this draft. Ayton is the kind of center that could change the fortunes of a franchise and they can’t risk the Suns spoiling that for them. Though Doncic is still a terrific player for the Kings to have, Ayton is the best fit for the Kings who need a franchise player that they can build their team around.

Sacramento has the cap space to sign a veteran to a max contract and giving up Randolph gives them even more room under the cap to get another free agent. They could build a strong playoff contender in the summer and be one of the surprise teams next season.

For the Suns, this frees them up to select Doncic who is likely the player that they want all along. Getting Randolph will give them the veteran presence that a young team needs to succeed. He can teach Marquese Chriss and Jackson a thing or two about playing in the post and taking advantage of opportunities.

They’d have a starting lineup of Doncic, Booker, Jackson, Chriss and Randolph. Not bad for a team that just had the worst record in the league this past season.


This is the first time that the Suns will be picking first in the NBA Draft and it will be hard to knock the pick from their grasp due to the novelty that this brings to the struggling franchise. However, if the Suns get knocked to their feet with a deal that’s too hard to pass up, then the heck with history. The Suns will definitely take that deal! Now it’s time for rival GMs to go offer them a deal that they can’t refuse.