Phoenix Suns seeking a miracle in draft lottery

Posted by on May 17th, 7:03 am

The fortunes of the Suns may change if the lottery grants them a top-three pick and a shot at a stud like Derrick Williams. (ESPN NBA Lottery Mock Draft Screenshot)

The fortunes of the Suns may change if the lottery grants them a top-three pick and a shot at a stud like Derrick Williams. (ESPN NBA Lottery Mock Draft Screenshot)

There’s a 96 percent chance the Phoenix Suns will pick 13th in the 2011 NBA Draft (that is, assuming Sarver doesn’t sell the selection).

Tonight we will find out whether the Suns’ 2.2 percent long shot at a top-three pick comes through to change the tenor of the current rebuild vs. status quo argument. The lottery begins at 5:30 p.m. MST on ESPN before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Suns officially have six combinations that could net them the No. 1 overall pick, giving them a 0.6 percent shot at the top overall selection, as well as a 0.7 percent shot at No. 2 and a 0.9 percent chance at No. 3. They also face a 1.8 percent chance of moving down to No. 14 if the Houston Rockets luck into a top-three selection.

The lottery system only applies to the top three selections in the draft, so if the No. 13 pick is announced with a Utah Jazz logo then Suns fans can rejoice.

The Suns will be counting on former center and current Vice President of Player Programs Mark West to bring some luck with him to Secaucus, N.J. West has been a part of Phoenix’s front office since 2001 and played for the team from 1988-94 and 1999-00.

“Our chances aren’t very high, but I’ve got a chance,” West told The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro. “As long as there’s a chance I’m an optimist, so I’m going there with the thought we can get one of the top-three picks. I’ll guarantee you one thing: I’ll come back with a pick.”

Of course, some teams have practically been allergic to lottery picks this season (see the Clippers) due to the lack of elite talent in this draft, but although there isn’t a LeBron James or Dwight Howard that will change your franchise the Suns’ future would most certainly be much brighter picking in the top three rather than 13th, especially considering the shallow talent pool of the draft.

Then we could debate the merits of a Nash succession plan that could take place by selecting Kyrie Irving against the virtues of Derrick Williams’ fit as a pick-and-roll partner with Nash and star of the future after Nash.

After all the bad breaks suffered during the Seven Seconds or Less era — including the 2007 lottery bust when Atlanta owed Phoenix a top-three protected pick and then drew the third selection — perhaps the Suns’ luck will finally turn tonight as a new era approaches.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Draft · Phoenix Suns

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // May 17, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I think there are four or five guys who can be big-time stars in the NBA in this draft, and it’s not extremely likely one of them is going to fall to 13, but it’s also not impossible. Even if we’re stuck at 13 or 14, we really need to draft according to value, not need.

  • 2 Giancarlo Paraliticci // May 17, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I am Very optimistic…maybe a new era is starting!!!…think positive~

  • 3 Lloyd I. Cadle // May 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Hopefully the Suns can get into the top three. If not, there seems to be some good PF’s available.

    Either way, the Suns must keep the pick (remember the trading of Rondo). All good teams build through the draft-look at the Spurs and some of their picks.

    Giancarlo Paraliticci – You have a great name! If I had a name like that, I would definitely start a restaurant.

    One of my best friends is Italian and when I lived in L.A. we used to go to lunch almost every day for seven years. The only question we had was, “which Italian restaurant are we going to today?”

    Have a great day!

  • 4 Mel. // May 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Lloyd, I hope you made Palermo–in Las Feliz–one of your regular stops. You won’t find a more delicious basket of garlic bread in the entirety of Los Angeles County. :D

  • 5 K.L.S. // May 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    About a month ago I kept trying the ESPN lottery machine until the Suns got #1- when it happened (finally!), it had the Suns choosing Kyrie Irving instead of Williams. Don’t know if I agree with this. Now, I think it has the Suns picking Jimmer most of the time, and about a month ago it had us choosing Jordan Hamilton. So maybe it’s changed since when it showed the Suns picking Kyrie with pick #1. Don’t know.

  • 6 Lloyd I. Cadle // May 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Mel -

    Yes. Palermo right there on Vermont Ave. No one had better garlic bread, indeed. At least once a month.

    Another great one is Nino’s in Long Beach. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin used to eat there. The owner, Mr. Cristiano is a big Italian soccer fan.

    We also used to eat lunch at Marino’s in Bellflower. They had killer shrimp and scallops in an incredible wine sauce. We used to give the waiter big tips and he responded with extra baskets of garlic bread.

    Keeping with basketball, I’ll bet Paul Coro of the Republic has some great Italian restuarants.

  • 7 Cam // May 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Just messed with the trade machine until the Suns got the first pick. It has them taking Kyrie Irving. I’m a little worried about his foot because the news outlets are saying he is going to have to wear a special shoe for the rest of his career. So I got this little idea. If Minnesota falls out of the top three and we got the #1 pick what would the Suns faithful think of this trade:
    Swap picks in 2011 NBA first round, Phoenix gets the rights to Ricky Rubio, and either Anthony Randolph or Michael Beasley (they aren’t going to let go of K. Love). Minnesota gets Hakim Warrick and another player to match salaries.

    I like it because we still get a high pick, we get to keep Two-time to mentor Rubio, and we get a PF to complement Channing Frye. Is this really out there because I think that Minnesota would give up on Rubio if they could get Irving and A. Randolph/M. Beasley are upgrades over Warrick and we could dump Warricks contract. Sound off without destroying me please. I’m just trying to be a little optimistic.
    Go Suns

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