The Phoenix Suns have had a rather notable weakness at point guard for the last several years, and have been unable to fix it despite repeated efforts. They’ve found themselves in the lottery once more, and at this point, point guard is the only position they haven’t invested substantial draft capital in. They’re now faced with a choice to finally do so in this year’s draft.
However, it’s not the only avenue they can take to shore up the position. RealGM reported yesterday the Suns were willing to trade the No. 6 pick for a veteran point guard. Phoenix finds themselves at a crossroads; they have tons of young talent after years of landing in the lottery, but owner Robert Sarver is getting impatient and wants his team to win now. They must now face this question, a question which may define the immediate and long-term future of the team: should they trade their pick? Let’s take a look at their options.
Keep the pick
The easiest of the available options, the Suns can always just keep the pick and invest in a long-term solution at the position who will grow alongside the plethora of young guns in Phoenix. The issue at hand is who will be available at No. 6. Ja Morant will definitely be gone, so the top PG prospect is out the window. If Darius Garland slips past the Lakers at No. 4, he’s an enticing prospect, but his defensive capabilities are suspect and the injuries are always concerning.
It’s the same with Coby White, who will definitely be available and is at the top of the second tier of point guard prospects but, as an offensive force and defensive turnstile, doesn’t fit that well with Devin Booker. This option also comes with the financial benefit of getting a potential building block on a team-controlled deal for the first four years, and the edge on an extension once the rookie contract is up.
Trade the pick for a veteran straight-up
While dependent on who the veteran is, this appears to be the most short-sighted of the available options. Chris Paul has been coming up in trade talks recently, but everyone should have questions about his personality fit on a team filled with young guys who have never even been to the playoffs, not to mention his albatross of a contract. Mike Conley would be a huge get if the Grizzlies want to double down on this year’s draft, but they may be waiting to see how free agency plays out before deciding on a trade partner.
Otherwise, there aren’t any other guards on the market who’d be worth the sixth overall pick. They’ll go with this option if the pressure to win right now from up top proves to be too strong to resist.
Use the pick to facilitate an Anthony Davis trade
The most enticing of the available options, this could result in the Suns landing a good and potentially young player. It’s hard to anticipate such a situation, of course, because the Suns’ involvement is entirely dependent on the desires and needs of the other teams involved. From the information available, the most likely possibility involves the Suns throwing in their pick to help grease the wheels on a Lakers-Pelicans trade.
It would look something like this: New Orleans gets the No. 4 pick, No. 6 pick, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart, while Phoenix gets Lonzo Ball, and the Lakers get AD. This is the best-case scenario for Phoenix, who land a defensive-minded point guard who’s comfortable running the offense and playing with a pass-first mentality. The Suns have long had their eye on Ball, and the Lakers would never trade him for the sixth pick in a draft like this. But to help bring AD to LA? They’d pull the trigger in a heartbeat. A lot needs to happen in just the right way for Phoenix to get in on the deal, but if they can, it’s probably the best use of their pick.