Yes, the Phoenix Suns got Deandre Ayton, but while he was the consensus pick at first overall, the debate rages on if he is the best player. Because of that, there are several reasons to not like what transpired for the Phoenix Suns during the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Phoenix Suns went into the NBA Draft armed with a quiver full of assets, weapons of choice to make deals to move up in the draft.
From four picks in this draft alone, to five first round picks over the next three seasons, to plenty of cap space now and next offseason, as well as a good small forward in T.J. Warren, two young and still developing players in Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss, and two expiring contracts in Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler, it really seemed like the Suns were all set to make a dramatic and splashy move on Thursday afternoon.
Don’t get me wrong, they made a move, but it was neither dramatic nor splashy. After the selection of Deandre Ayton, this draft gave fans multiple reasons to walk away saying…”meh.”
They didn’t pull the trigger on Michael Porter Jr.
Armed will all those aforementioned assets, it really seemed like the Suns were going to be able to make a dramatic play for someone that many people had rated as the best player coming into his freshman season in college, Michael Porter Jr. As he slid, Suns fans (and even the local media) began to become giddy at the thought that either he would slide all the way down to 16 and fall in Phoenix’s lap, or that they could easily jump up to 10 and Philadelphia, 11 with Charlotte, or even with the Clippers at 12 or 13.
Then John Gambaoro of Arizona Sports innacurately tweeted that the Suns had made a trade with Philadelphia at 11. With that tweet, it seemed that the dreams of an Ayton/Porter first round had been realized.
But then, he corrected himself.
It was the Los Angeles Clippers who had traded up with Charlotte, not Phoenix, and while the excitement had nearly reached a fever pitch, in an instant it was lost in a puff of stale Red Aurbach cigar smoke, leaving everyone wondering how the Suns could possibly recover.
Many scouts peg Michael Porter Jr. as a top-three talent if healthy, and the Suns didn’t pull off a trade to grab him. Sure, if he never heals completely he may never have the opportunity to realize his potential, but the upside was there and if nothing else, the Suns would have won the press conference, something they haven’t done in a long time, and had the best medical staff in sports to help oversee his recovery.
When they were finally on the clock at 16, they did trade up to 10 with Philadelphia, but it was too late. Porter had already been selected by the Nuggets at 14 and there was nothing Phoenix could do to get him.
Except offer a trade to the Clippers for 13 or Denver at 14?
There have been no reports that Phoenix did, and if so, what they may have offered or been told the pick was worth. But at least for the time being, fans who were desperate to see Porter in a Suns uniform, are disappointed, and once again, the Phoenix Suns did not make that trade.