They traded away the Miami Heat’s unprotected 2021 pick
Of all the prior mentioned assets in Ryan McDonough’s arsenal, the one that appeared to be the most valuable was the Miami Heat’s 2021 unprotected first round pick. An unprotected pick, from a team that doesn’t look like they are on the upswing at all, in a draft that looks like it is going to be stacked with talent, was thought to be the kind of trade piece that could be the part of a package that would get Phoenix either all the way into the top-seven, or at least the ability to trade for a star veteran player.
Instead it was used to trade up six spots.
The Phoenix Suns were on the verge of selecting Donte Divincenzo, the guard form Villanova who’s draft stock had risen from possible second round pick, all the way to the Suns at 16.
Then Philadelphia called with a trade offer that Phoenix “couldn’t pass up.”
Maybe Mikal Bridges turns into a very good player, and maybe he doesn’t. Maybe the 2021 pick becomes a really good player, and maybe it doesn’t.
Obviously there are a million if’s with everything in sports and there is no guarantee that that Miami pick will be used on an impact player, plus there is a very real chance that Bridges becomes a great player on a great team and helps lead Phoenix to their first ever five NBA titles.
But Suns fans had been sold on the tremendous value of that pick for some time now, and then all of a sudden *poof* it’s gone, and in it’s place is a player that has neither played an NBA game before, nor was he projected to be a top-seven pick – those players who were supposedly the most highly sought after in the draft.
Had Ryan McDonough made a trade to 10 to select Bridges but not use the 2021 pick, Suns fans would have been elated. Even if the pick had been traded but to help the Suns land a top-three, five, or 10 pick, or McDonough had at least placed protections on it, any of those would have been more than immediately acceptable to fans.
But to trade that pick, which has every opportunity of becoming a top-5 pick in that draft (and likely a much better opportunity than the Suns’ pick that season), is enough to make the 2018 draft one not worth like that much for the Phoenix Suns.