Phoenix’s 2.2 percent chance of moving into the 2011 NBA draft’s top three wasn’t enough on Tuesday as the lottery odds held true and the Suns will indeed select 13th overall come June 23.
Vice President of Player Programs Mark West couldn’t bring any luck to Secaucus, N.J., where the Cleveland Cavaliers stole the spotlight and secured not only the No. 1 overall pick but the No. 4 pick as well.
The Suns, on the other hand, stayed put at 13, continuing a trend of failing to move up that dates back to 1987. But with the lottery’s second-best record and a 96 percent chance against them, the Suns were expecting the 13th pick and have a handful of solid prospects to choose from.
Although this year’s draft is the weakest in recent memory, Phoenix still has an opportunity to add much-needed youth to an older team lacking a young stud. So who are some possible candidates that could be around at the tail end of the lottery?
Most publications have the Suns selecting former BYU sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette at 13. As Tyler Lockman wrote last week, Fredette fits the Suns’ up-tempo, free-firing, no-defense style, but I doubt he’s the long-term answer behind Steve Nash.
It’s also hard to see him falling past the Utah Jazz and their 12th overall pick. Although his shooting ability would allow him to contribute as early as next season, Jimmer’s lack of upside may not be worth a 13th overall pick.
If the Suns hope to go big they could take a long look at the Morris twins out of Kansas. Marcus Morris, who’s drawing rave reviews through workouts and plays as more of a three, is expected to be gone by 13. Markieff Morris, however, should be available and brings more physicality as well as range out to the three-point line.
Another popular choice who figures to be a borderline lottery pick is Texas’ Jordan Hamilton. The 6-foot-7 swingman is a lethal scorer with NBA range and could very well bring the Suns that perimeter playmaker-of-the-future that they’re yearning for.
With all of that said, although the Suns couldn’t make a splash at Tuesday’s lottery, they certainly have a slew of options to choose from when they make their selection next month.
Judging by their last two lottery or borderline lottery picks — Earl Clark and Robin Lopez — Phoenix has nowhere to go up this time around. Here’s a look at the Suns’ draft history (since 2000):
2000: Jake Tsakalidis from Greece (25th overall)
2001: Alton Ford from Houston (51st overall)
2002: Amare Stoudemire from Cypress Creek High School (9th overall) and Casey Jacobsen from Stanford (22nd overall)
2003: Zarko Cabarkapa from Serbia (17th overall)
2004: Luol Deng from Duke (7th overall)
2005: Nate Robinson from Washington (21st overall) and Marcin Gortat from Poland (57th overall)
2006: Rajon Rondo from Kentucky (21st overall) and Sergio Rodriguez from Spain (27th overall)
2007: Rudy Fernandez from Spain (24th overall), Alando Tucker from Wisconsin (29th overall), and D.J. Strawberry from Maryland (59th overall)
2008: Robin Lopez from Stanford (15th overall) and Malik Hairston from Oregon (48th overall) — who was traded for Goran Dragic from Slovenia on draft day
2009: Earl Clark from Louisville (14th overall) and Taylor Griffin from Oklahoma (48th overall)
2010: Gani Lawal from Georgia Tech (46th overall) and Dwayne Collins from Miami (60th overall)