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) /
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Markelle Fultz Jayson Tatum (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Markelle Fultz Jayson Tatum (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Is trading UP from 3 a possibility?

For those who want the Suns to trade out of the third spot, there is one recent deal involving the third overall pick, but it is such an outlier, it is very difficult to potentially see Phoenix pulling off anything similar.

In 2017, the Boston Celtics held the first overall pick and the ability to draft Markelle Fultz, although with the desire to hoard more picks to make a run at a bigger, more veteran, fish.

So they traded back with the Philadelphia 76ers at number three, allowing the Sixers to select Markelle Fultz, while acquiring the Lakers’ first round pick (which the Phoenix Suns once owned from the Steve Nash trade).

Why this is such an outlier trade that would be extremely difficult to duplicate in 2019 is two-fold:

  1. There was no consensus number one pick in 2017; no can’t miss superstar like Zion Williamson, available. Had Zion been in that draft, Boston was not going to move out of that pick. They would have have taken their superstar talent and ran into the Finals.
  2. The Sixers had the rights to the LA Lakers’ nearly unprotected first round pick in 2018, when the Lakers were nowhere near to being a playoff team, assuring the owner of that pick that it would be a Lottery ticket.

Therefore, whoever owns the first overall pick this year, will hold onto it with an iron fist, and even if the Suns made a run at it with the third overall pick, they do not have a highly-valuable pick like that Lakers’ unprotected one which means that nothing short of Devin Booker himself (and maybe not even him) would be able to pry the first overall pick away.

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If whoever is selecting first overall is not going anywhere, than three could really be a nice place to be for the Phoenix Suns. Not only does recent history show that there should be good, quality talent available to them third overall, but there should be opportunities to move.

If the Suns are heart-set on selecting Ja Morant, there is a more than decent chance that one of the teams that could be sitting second overall following the May 14th Draft Lottery, will be very happy trading it away (especially if only moving back one spot), adding additional talent along the way.