The Phoenix Suns’ top draft pick should be off limits

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 21: NBA draft 2018 in Barclays Center in New York, United States on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 21: NBA draft 2018 in Barclays Center in New York, United States on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns are desperate for a quality starting point guard, no doubt. But they can not believe themselves to be so desperate that they would throw their first round pick away.

Unless, by some miracle, the Phoenix Suns turn their season around, it looks like they will lose well north of 50 games, prolonging this long stretch of basketball ineptitude that never seems to come to an end.

If that happens, there is a good chance that they will be in the top-three of the NBA lottery again come June 2019, ready to add another young piece to an already excruciatingly youthful roster.

They do, however, have options to try and avoid such an outcome, and that is by upgrading the roster anyway that they can, especially at point guard.

But to make such a trade, there is one asset in particular that they hold that should absolutely avoid being moved, and that is their 2019 first round pick – especially for a mediocre point guard who while young, is likely never going to become a franchise altering talent, rather just another ho-hum decent point: Terry Rozier.

And yet locally, some believe that trading that pick for Rozier should  be an option on the table:


This kind of an idea can never  come to fruition – and fortunately never will.

The Phoenix Suns would never offer nor accept a trade like this, nor should they.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Suns did make this deal. Is Rozier really the kind of player that could make Phoenix so much better that the draft pick’s stock would drop so low as to make that first round pick worthless to the Suns?

Not a chance!

Even with  Rozier, Phoenix is missing the playoffs, and probably still finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference – if not the league.

Without a first round pick to add another potential franchise player (ie RJ Barrett or Zion Williamson), the Suns would be stuck in limbo with only the ability to sign free agents (look where it got them last offseason) and still likely not be a desired destination for those players who would best improve the team heading into 2019-20.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

They would still have to then re-sign Rozier as he is going to be a restricted free agent, potentially having to overpay him just to keep another team (say the Boston Celtics) from snagging him away.

At that point, the Suns would be without a franchise point guard, the hope of a franchise player coming in the draft, and the odds of acquiring a franchise player in free agency – as small as they already are – dwindled to near nothing with both Rozier and Devin Booker‘s contracts suddenly spiking.

Phoenix too would waste their time offering that trade to Boston with the requirement that the pick is heavily protected. Why would the Celtics do that?

Even a top-seven protection (as some have speculated could be an idea) would make no sense to the Celtics as they would be giving up one of their pieces that they are hoping will help them climb over the top in the Eastern Conference with nothing but a future player in return hurting their chances of climbing to the NBA Finals this season.

If they treated Phoenix’s pick as a piece they would immediately attempt to flip, they likely couldn’t utilize it in a trade the way they’d like with the draft restrictions diminishing the picks’ value anyway.

The Celtics would only acquire that pick if it were unprotected (where they know that there is a legitimate chance that it could end up being number one) where they might have a shot at flipping it this season in a trade for another superstar, or add that top player in the offseason to an already incredibly stacked core (imagine replacing Al Horford with Zion).

No, the pick would have to be unprotected and regardless, even if it were only top-seven protected and the pick ended up eight, the value in that selection spot is still far too great to the Suns since a star player could still be had, if their scouts identify that surprise diamond in the rough.

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While I want a starting-caliber point guard on the Phoenix Suns as much as anyone else, Terry Rozier is not worth the 2019 first round pick, and truthfully, only a small handful of players in the entire league  should be considered for that pick, and none of their respective teams would move those players for it anyway.