Empire of the Suns Blogs NBA Draft Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Stories tech

Suns face difficult, unpredictable No. 6 spot in 2019 NBA Draft

Suns face difficult, unpredictable No. 6 spot in 2019 NBA Draft

(Getty Pictures)

Let’s start off instantly by saying that sucked. The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery was dramatic but not an excellent time for the Phoenix Suns.

In what we will solely foresee from a pre-draft stage, the national consensus is that this can be a three-player draft. So, naturally, the Suns went from the third-best odds all the best way to the sixth spot.

There are some quick ramifications to type via, the first of which ought to take a gander at the Suns’ need for some extent guard and the way that modifications based mostly on the lottery fallout. Luckily, your good friend and mine Kevin Zimmerman ran by way of a few of that and names to control with the trade market.

Now let’s focus strictly on the names on this draft and why the specifics of the category add up to an unpredictable five-week leadup.

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett, barring some pink flags arising, will all go within the top-five and never be out there for the Suns.

The fascinating factor of this draft, a nasty one, is that it’s going to turn into the wild west once Barrett and Morant are off the board.

Whereas I’m part of a robust contingent that believes Texas Tech wing Jarrett Culver is separated from that muck and proper next to Barrett and Morant in a solidified top-Four, the post-lottery draft intel presently says in any other case. He’s lumped in with the likes of Vanderbilt level guard Darius Garland, Virginia ahead De’Andre Hunter and North Carolina guard Coby White.

But the separation between that small group and the one under them isn’t vital, in any respect. Overseas forward Sekou Doumbouya, Duke wing Cam Reddish or USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. are a number of guys who might bounce into that group based mostly on how shares rise via the combine, interview and exercise levels of the process.

So, whereas 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports activities Station’s John Gambadoro stories Culver, Garland and White are three early names to observe for the Suns, this isn’t a standard pre-draft outlook the place we will safely lock these guys in for the 5-Eight vary of the draft.

For instance, at this stage last yr there was a transparent divide of Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr., Trae Younger, Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr. and Michael Porter Jr. rounding out a definitive top-Eight after Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic. That, minus Porter’s damage considerations, performed out.

However for those who take a look at the subsequent tier, Kevin Knox was selected after both Mikal and Miles Bridges, something nearly nobody had in mid-Might. However Knox was a exercise stud and issues changed.

That’s the “vary” we’re in as soon because the Los Angeles Lakers (or whoever picks there) are on the clock at 4. Perhaps someone like Culver or Garland separates themselves or a name like North Carolina wing Nassir Little or Gonzaga ahead Rui Hachimura surges up draft boards over the subsequent few weeks. Who is aware of?!

What we know for the moment is the blokes on this “vary” and it adds as much as one other fascinating choice for the Suns to make.

If the Suns need to lock in strictly on a player that may contribute with a selected talent set, Culver and Hunter are the 2 names to spotlight. That looks like the most secure guess proper now given how a lot they need to enhance next yr.

Standing at slightly below 6-foot-7, Culver’s a secondary ball-handler who sees the ground nicely sufficient to make the correct reads when his scoring choices don’t open. It’s actually necessary to start out there with him as a result of he’s not going to be able to create his personal shot persistently sufficient instantly.

As you possibly can see within the first video under, some of these passes come out of conditions where he was unable to get area.

Adding onto my final tweet (https://t.co/0Sog3sAlzv)
Jarrett Culver additionally showed his passing & vision at this time. He finished w/ 7 AST & usee his measurement to move excessive of his defenders. He also did an incredible job of stepping into the paint & passing when the help protection committed pic.twitter.com/tLcjcAqWwB

— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) March 22, 2019

His greatest current trait, though, is how he finishes around the rim and having simply enough of a dependable handle to get in that area in the mean time.

Jarrett Culver was scoreless within the first half vs WVU last week with foul hassle, however ended up scoring 18 within the second half. Had a couple of impressive ISO possessions. pic.twitter.com/kQYJN2bfes

— NBADraftReports (@NBADraftReports) January 6, 2019

His shot off the dribble, and at a stand-still, continues to be rising at this stage and the protection is satisfactory.

But general, Culver’s obtained basketball expertise and a physical profile teams want on the wing. The Suns don’t have a participant like him in the intervening time given Josh Jackson’s stagnant progress as a slasher and Kelly Oubre Jr.’s tunnel vision when he attacks. He would supply a unique sort of affected person, regular ball-handler choice on the wing with upside for extra.

Hunter’s a lot more minimize and dry. He’s an ideal defender, offering extra bulk than the velocity Mikal Bridges provides as a more succesful body defending guards.

Working via De’Andre Hunter’s NBA Draft scouting video. Unimaginable ft for a guy 6’8, 230 pounds. Really sound method guarding the perimeter. Plug and play defender who continues to make strides offensively/as a shooter. Excessive flooring. pic.twitter.com/E8eNpjQgue

— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) April 18, 2019

Whereas the hope that there’s some untapped potential for Hunter as a scorer slammed to a halt within the NCAA Event, he 43.Eight% from deep and 78.Three% at the foul line recommend he’s going to be a considerably reliable shooter. That’s a type of Three-and-D fellas you hear about all the time.

The best way to think about Hunter’s defensive value is he’s just like Toronto’s OG Anunoby in that he supplies the kind of measurement you’d hope to put on the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and so forth. Can he stop these guys? Nicely, no one can. But having a respectable choice to send on main perimeter scorers on the 6-foot-7 to 6-foot-10 spectrum is effective as those guys proceed to return into the league.

However the issue you’ve already considered is assuming Oubre re-signs, Culver or Hunter can be the fifth wing on the depth chart.

Sure, a logical conclusion for the Suns’ offseason is that they transfer Jackson and/or T.J. Warren, however that’s still drafting a guy who will surely play behind Devin Booker, Bridges and Oubre for the foreseeable future if that performs out.

How tempting does the point guard potential of Garland or White attract the Suns sitting at six if one or both can be found?

We could have extra in-depth pieces on each of these names afterward however the primary level on Garland and White is their largest weaknesses are, properly, being level guards.

Garland’s flooring vision and passing are uninspiring. Similarly, there’s a query of White if he is usually a main ball-handler. At the very minimal, it’s worthwhile to have a real good pitch ready to convince me on each being a lead guard sooner or later.

And see “sooner or later.” Both are solely 19 years previous, and if they’re enjoying subsequent season, can they be trusted to run the offense off the bench? Do it’s essential play them with one other ball-handler? In all probability, right?

That’s the frustrating push-and-shove debate the Suns may have of their draft room for the approaching weeks.

They have a need to deal with at point guard and there’ll probably be one identify there that can fill it, but there’s a critical concern as to how they slot in. There’s additionally doubtless going to be one identify on the wing that can assist them instantly, however there needs to be a judgment call made by them as to how much that really means to them.

At what point do they stare at that conundrum long enough, take a quick glance at Gonzaga huge Brandon Clarke and say, “Screw it. Unsure if we will play him on the 4 or the 5, however that dude’s a very good basketball player.”

Clarke’s an enigma. He weighs beneath 210 kilos and is simply at 6-foot-8 with a worrisome 6-foot-Eight wingspan.

He also can do that.

Armed with some nice touch, he can end just about every thing.

Brandon Clarke’s touch across the basket is among the greatest within the country. Yesterday, Clarke completed with 36 factors (15-18 FG, 6-Eight FT) towards Baylor and put his contact on display.

Listed here are a number of examples of Clarke’s delicate touch pic.twitter.com/W1A1vH9rJ9

— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) March 24, 2019

Due to his athleticism and smarts, he’s a very well-balanced defensive player. That, and being too small and skinny to play as a main rim protector, makes him more suited as a power ahead. Erm, if you will get past him weighing four pounds lower than Kyler Murray.

The difficulty is Clarke can’t shoot right now. Actually, he didn’t even shoot three-pointers in school. He tried a whopping 15 in his school profession.

Hey, perhaps he can sooner or later. Some individuals are alarmingly confident that he’ll as a result of he drastically altered his capturing type and put up good numbers from the mid-range last season.

However you must consider him for what he is right now, and that’s an enormous who must play in a selected spot with a selected companion to have his value bounce from huge man power off the bench to celebrity position player. That’s the place the Deandre Ayton propositions of the creating range on his jumper begin, something we’ll touch on sooner or later.

For now, that’s the place we’re at. Clarke might very nicely be the Suns’ best choice at six however it’s worthwhile to optimize an entire lot for him and there’s not likely a gap for him in the intervening time. Phoenix might also clog up its log jam even additional on the wing with Culver/Hunter or take a chance on some extent guard’s upside with Garland/White.

That, together with trade prospects, makes this quite the first draft for basic manager James Jones to deal with.

Comply with @KellanOlson