Number Three might be the place to be for the Phoenix Suns

Luka Doncic Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Ja Morant Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Ja Morant Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Who “experts” believe will be available #3 overall

NBCSports: (SG/SF) R.J. Barrett – Duke

NBADraft.Net: (SG/SF) R.J. Barrett – Duke

NBADraftRoom: (SG/SF) R.J. Barrett – Duke

Tankathon: (SG/SF) R.J. Barrett – Duke

Valley of the Suns: (PG) Ja Morant – Murray State

Obviously the vast majority of mocks drafts have Barrett going number three – regardless of what team is there – although apparently basing it entirely on big boards which have Morant as the second best prospect in the draft, so why pass up on him?

Well, for the reason that Valley of the Suns actually has Morant going third – and why he could very reasonably be available to Phoenix if they sit at number three – because point guard is arguably the only position that a team needs  to have a competent player, and there are a number of teams in the Lottery that do, that if they moved up to number two, might  be inclined to look at Barrett’s upside and fill in a gap on their roster as a greater need than to redundantly stock up at point guard.

More from Valley of the Suns

And history – recent history – actually has a team doing this:

The Sacramento Kings in 2018.

Already with De’Aaron Fox on the roster – a budding star even before last season – Sacramento passed on Luka Doncic and selected power forward Marvin Bagley III leaving Atlanta at number three with options, which they ultimately used to pick then swap Luka for Trae Young and more.

Could this happen again in 2019?

Absolutely, and I actually think that the odds are much greater than almost everybody seems to give credit because of the number of teams in that position who already have point guards with so many other needs on their roster (Cleveland, the current number two team, in particular).

Plus, one of the reasons that Luka slid was because of the fear that his European game was not going to translate well to the NBA.

One of the fears that many people have with Ja Morant is that his play from a small school will not translate as well to the NBA – whereas at least Barrett played at Duke.