As we count down the hours before Draft Day 2009, let’s first take a quick look back at the Suns’ recent draft history.
It isn’t pretty if you look only at the impact that player made in a Suns uniform. Amare Stoudemire is the only drafted Sun to do much of anything this decade.
Ironically or not enough, Amare was also the last lottery pick the Suns kept.
However, if you look at the players the Suns actually drafted, they haven’t done so bad for themselves. As for actually keeping them in Phoenix, that’s an entirely different story of course.
Here’s the list of notable players drafted by the Suns in the last 15 years:
, C Stanford, Pick 15
Malik Hairston, G Oregon, Pick 48
* Traded to Spurs with cash for(Pick 45).
Rudy Fernandez, G Spain, Pick 24
*Traded to Portland with James Jones for cash.
Alando Tucker, F Wisconsin, Pick 29
Rajon Rondo, G Kentucky, Pick 21
*Traded to Boston with Brian Grant for a future first-rounder.
Sergio Rodriguez, G Spain, Pick 27
*Traded to Portland for cash.
Nate Robinson, G New York, Pick 21
* Traded to New York with Quentin Richardson for Kurt Thomas and the rights to Dijon Thompson (Pick 54)
, C Germany, Pick 57
* Traded to Orlando for cash.
Luol Deng, F Duke, Pick 7
* Traded to Chicago for Jackson Vroman (Pick 31), a future first-rounder and cash.
Zarko Caparkapa, F Serbia, Pick 17
*Acquired Leandro Barbosa (Pick 28) from the Spurs for a protected future first-rounder.
Amare Stoudemire, F Cypress Creek, Pick 9
Casey Jacobson, G Stanford, Pick 22
Alton Ford, F Houston, Pick 51
Jake Tsakalidis, C Greece, Pick 25
Shawn Marion, F UNLV, Pick 9
Stephen Jackson, G Oak Hill, Pick 42
, G Santa Clara, Pick 15
Michael Finley, G Wisconsin, Pick 21
Wesley Person, G Auburn, Pick 23
It says something about the success of the franchise that it’s only thrice been in the lottery in the past 20 years, and not counting the Deng trade they’ve picked up building blocks in Amare and Matrix both times, although neither of those selections were hailed as savior picks at the time.
Yes, it’s unlikely that happens again, but the Suns certainly got incredible value at the No. 9 spot in both of those drafts, and they even got great value at No. 14 the last time they held that selection 21 years ago when they picked a guard out of Central Michigan you may have heard of by the name of Dan Majerle.
We’ve spent much of the past year lamenting all of the money-saving draft-day trades the Suns have made, so let this be the last time we do such a thing this week. (That is, unless the Suns dump No. 14 for cash. Then we’ll spend the rest of the offseason complaining about that.)
Think about this for a second. If the Suns were to theoretically put together a team from their draftees of the past 15 years, this is how it would look:
SG Stephen Jackson/KryptoNate/Finley before he got old
PF Marion (small ball of course)/Amare (with the bigs)
Could you imagine that team flying around the court? D’Antoni would have to coach this squad no doubt, with Nash, Nate, Rondo and the Spaniards flying around the backcourt and Trix and STAT running bigs off the floor like they always did in their heyday. This team definitely wins a championship even if they don’t play much defense.
Kind of interesting how well all of those sold picks would have fit the Suns (oops, I promised not to bitch about that again!), but the moral of this story is that the Suns really haven’t done such a bad job of drafting, particularly when they’ve had a decent pick.
At least the ones they’ve kept.