Being second best (overall) is as good as number one for the Phoenix Suns

D'Angelo Russell Phoenix Suns (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell Phoenix Suns (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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D’Angelo Russell Phoenix Suns (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
D’Angelo Russell Phoenix Suns (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the NBA Draft Lottery literally hours away, the Phoenix Suns might be staring at the second overall pick, which for them, might be as good as number one.

The Phoenix Suns need a legitimate point guard more than anything, and while there is a very real chance that they can snag Ja Morant while originally picking 3rd through 7th depending on who lands at number two overall, if the lottery balls move them up one spot and select the Zion Williamson sweepstakes consolation prize, they won’t have to give anything else up in the process.

This draft is one of the special ones where everybody knows who the first and second best players are going to be.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we all know who the second pick will be  though as not every team in the lottery needs a point guard.

But there is little doubt in most basketball minds that Ja Morant will be the second best player in the 2019 draft class, and the fact that he plays point guard plays perfectly into James Jones‘ plans.

Why am I so confident that Ja will be good?

It’s simple: recent history says he will.

(Whatever you do, do not take recent history as a barometer for how good Ja Morant will be).

In the past five years, the players selected second overall with their associated Win Share are as follows:

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2014 – Jabari Parker (11.6 WS)

2015 – D’Angelo Russell (6.6)

2016 – Brandon Ingram (4.5)

2017 – Lonzo Ball (3.5)

2018 – Marvin Bagley III (3.6)

While none of those players have developed into superstars as of yet, when healthy, even Jabari Parker has averaged over 20ppg.

Sadly, if his knees would have just held up, Parker would be a superstar in the NBA right now. Like Amar’e Stoudemire, he holds natural, God-give abilities of height and athleticism combined with fantastic coordination which allows him to both be explosive off the dribble in the post with a great mid-range jumper, keeping defenses eternally honest.

While the Suns won’t be looking for a power forward at second overall (although they will be if they land the first pick again), if Ja Morant can play at Jabari’s level (and stay healthy), they will have found the next Kevin Johnson – without a doubt – and given up nothing to acquire him).

D’Angelo is probably most Phoenix Suns fan’s most coveted free agent target for both his passing acumen as well as his friendship with Devin Booker. While Morant is not currently Book’s friend, Devin does not seem to be the kind of guy who is ever going to be unfriendly with his teammates, and if Ja helps Booker win, I can’t help but think that the two will become all but inseparable.

Brandon Ingram is the second in three back-to-back-back former LA Lakers second overall picks, arguably the best of the bunch (which, seriously: c’mon! If the Lakers  can get the second pick three times in a row, can the Phoenix Suns get number one just twice??)

Again, we have to look at the player apart from his current position discerning only his talent, but while Ingram took a few years to really begin to develop his game, no one will argue that if Morant can become the kind of player that Ingram currently is and appears to be on the rise to become, he will be a stud point guard in this league for a very long time.