Phoenix Suns land 13th overall pick in 2011 NBA Draft


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)

  • Jasper Buckleman

    Wait, Marcin Gortat was originally drafted by the Suns!?! He could have been playing next to Amare Stoudemire this whole time?!?

    Having said that, the Suns really have made some nice selections for other teams. Your welcome, NBA.

  • Marley

    Nash for JJ Barea!

    JJ is the new Nash!

    LMAO!

  • Drew

    I think the Suns need to keep the tradition alive and decide which of the two Morris brothers is worse and draft him.

  • Phil

    What a superb draft history – I can’t believe we missed the playoffs with Rondo, Amare, Deng and Gortat plus scoring options like Robinson and Fernandez off the bench… oh wait, this was the Sarver era draft history, I forgot :-(

  • http://espn.com Rob

    Need Kemba Walker to free fall to number 13!

  • Jason

    It’s hard to believe we were as good as we were for as long as we were with that draft history. Nash truly was the MVP. I say we pick the best talent outside of need at #13 unless a PG drops.

  • Michael

    to be fair… mike d’antoni wouldn’t have played rondo much anyway. he would have never developed lol

  • Cam

    I hope Alec Burks somehow falls to us. If not take Morris twin or Hamilton and try to swing a pick or a player (Pietrus?) to a contender at the end of the first round to pick up a high upside player like Josh Selby. Go Suns.

  • Tony

    Hey Mike,

    any news on what Blanks was referring to when he said the franchise is open to trading the 1st round 13th pick? Obviously, with this being such a weak draft class and the fact that the Suns drafted 13th, what teams would really be interested in dealing for the Suns pick? Might this be another ploy by Sarver to refrain from paying a 1st round pick and another salary dump move? I expect nothing less from Sarver anyway.

  • Joe

    When this draft ends up producing 7 or 8 legitimate stars, I’m going to laugh. Everyone and their mom is so high on saying this is is such a weak draft class, but we haven’t seen one of them play a second of NBA ball yet. Before they were drafted, would anyone have bet on Kobe being a five-time champion or Steve Nash becoming Two Time? I doubt it, otherwise they probably would have gone 1-2 in the draft that year instead of 13-15.

    It’s REALLY tough to judge pro potential in basketball because the pro game is so much different from any other level of play.

  • Suns critic

    2004 – 2007… sigh*

  • Mikey

    JJ Barea is proof Steve Nash is OVER-RATED!

  • Steve

    Steve who?

  • PHS Suns Fan In LA

    can someone please tell me where in the world is gani lawal? he can be our rebounder and shot blocker…i really liked him in college. hes the 6’9 235 lb body we need to help thortat

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    They just said on sports talk that Nash has just stated how much he loves New York, the Garden and what a good roster the Knicks have.

    Maybe the Suns might soon be looking for a new PG….

  • Cam

    I wish Suns management had kept Dragic and the 1st round pick. Brooks isn’t the answer at PG and at least we could have focused on other needs instead of listening to everyone talk about how Jimmer Fredette could be the second coming of Nash. Ughh…We could’ve packaged those picks and a player to move up to get someone significant. I hope we see some fireworks in the trade market from the Suns. I need something to look forward to other than another season of middle of the road mediocrity. Go Suns.

  • Evan

    Does anyone think we can actually get something good for Nash? He has maybe 2 years left in him as a starter 1 on his contract, he has value now. What we Really need is a new coach, Gentry is great as an assistant but has not made good decisions with regard to playing time and play calling, and NO DEFENSE I know this is a recurring theme with this team but come on there are many nights where its obvious they dont even try to guard the other team. If we play Defense we can make up for not having allot of skill we just need the coach and personnel.

  • Phx suns fan in la

    NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford Has Jimmer Fredette To Phoenix But Suns Said No – SB Nation. For Suns to take Fredette, he may need improvement on the defensive end………..wtf? I like jimmer…defense will come eventually

  • Phx suns fan in la

    Or maybe we get jordan hamilton