Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland left the NBA Draft Combine on Wednesday, fueling the belief that he received a promise from a team in the lottery. While there has been speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 4) or Chicago Bulls (No. 7) gave that promise, the latest buzz is it was actually the Phoenix Suns at No. 6:
Draft buzz: Some belief among NBA teams that Darius Garland left the combine with a promise from the Phoenix Suns
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 16, 2019
This would make plenty of sense given the Suns’ desperate need for a point guard. Phoenix failing to get a legit point guard to play next to Devin Booker was one of its biggest failings this season, helping them finish with one of the worst records in the NBA yet again. The Suns traded for Tyler Johnson at the deadline, but he’s not a long-term answer at the position.
Garland is the consensus second-best point guard in the draft behind Murray State’s Ja Morant. Garland only played five games for the Commodores in his freshman season because of a torn meniscus, but he impressed with his long-range shooting in the small sample size, shooting 47.8% on 3-pointers.
The Lakers and Bulls could very well be interested in Garland as well. Lonzo Ball has been up and down in his first two seasons in the league, but Garland could also be drafted to play alongside Ball if there are no trades. Furthermore, Garland is a Klutch Sports guy.
Chicago has made it known it wants an upgrade at point guard, making Garland and North Carolina’s Coby White the prime targets if they’re available at No. 7.