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Rumor: Suns would prefer veteran guard than drafting at No. 6, want to see ‘tangible growth’

Suns

The Phoenix Suns have no clear route to immediately improving their team besides the recent hire of head coach Monty Williams. Having struck out in the NBA Draft Lottery and fallen outside of the top three, despite having one of the worst three records in the league last season, along with a 14% chance to obtain the No. 1 selection.

The Suns could select Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland at No. 6, assuming the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers pass on him, but given their recent history of failure with various young point guards since Eric Bledsoe’s departure, they are more likely to want a veteran floor general to pair Devin Booker with, rather than a work in progress.

Per Sam Vecenie of The Athletic:

“If Garland was to fall to No. 6 — likely if the Lakers pass on him at No. 4 — he’d be the projected selection here. However, the feeling around the league is that the Suns would prefer a veteran guard, something that they’ll have ample opportunity to acquire via trade or free agency. There are also mixed reports both from public sources and sources who have spoken privately with The Athletic as to whether or not this pick could be moved. The Suns do want to see tangible growth in regard to record this season after four straight seasons of 24 wins or fewer.”

Let’s run down the list: Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Canaan, Shaquille Harrison, Mike James, Elfrid Payton, Elie Okobo, De’Anthony Melton and Tyler Johnson. Those are the names of the slew of point guards that have at some point started for the Suns since Bledsoe was traded, with none of them becoming a sure shot of becoming Booker’s partner in crime.

It’s heavily unlikely that a rookie guard would make a vast difference alongside Booker, already a polished scorer with plenty of untapped potential.

If the Suns are hoping to win more than they have in any of the last four seasons, they will need a proven veteran to serve as Booker’s backcourt support, rather than a rookie learning on the job.