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) /
2 of 3
Lonzo Ball (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

How did the Lakers get the 2nd overall pick THREE TIMES in a row??

For many, a Lonzo Ball comparison to Ja Morant gives them stomach craps like a lactose-intolerant after cheese.

However, I still believe that if he leaves the Lakers, Ball will grow into a point guard of the Jason Kidd-ilk (his now assistant coach). Therefore, in my opinion, if Ja Morant can become Lonzo Ball circa whatever year he is traded from LA, then the Phoenix Suns will have landed on the crown jewel of the draft.

That said, if you think that Ja will be better  than Lonzo, then again, the Suns will have landed on a jewel of a pick as that will imply that Morant will be on his way to All-Star games within only a short amount of time as the older point guards in the west begin to fade – or finally move east enough to spread out the backcourt talent.

Of the five most recent second overall picks, I think that there is little argument that Marvin Bagley is on his way already to becoming the best of the bunch, and if his WS after one season is any indication, he’s well on his way there.

Bagley made a big impact on Sacramento, coming off the bench the majority of the time (he started four games out of 62 appearances). He will be an All-Star some day (likely starting next to Deandre Ayton) and if Morant can become as effective as Bagely, Phoenix will have an All-Star point guard on their roster not like they have had since Steve Nash.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

NBCSports: (PG) Ja Morant – Murray State

NBADraft.Net: (PG) Ja Morant – Murray State

NBADraftRoom: (PG) Ja Morant – Murray State

Tankathon: (PG) Ja Morant – Murray State

Valley of the Suns: (SG/SF) R.J. Barrett – Duke

You’ll notice that most “experts” pick Ja Morant as the second overall pick while we here at Valley of the Suns believe that R.J. Barrett will be taken second overall.

The explanation for that is both simple, and logical.

While Morant might be the second best prospect in the draft behind only Zion Williamson, there are a number of teams that already have quality point guards on their roster, whether he is young and unnecessary to be attempted to upgrade, or a veteran making more money than God,  often on contracts that cannot be moved.

If the draft order stays where the odds place every team this year, then Cleveland will have the second overall pick and Phoenix will select third.

Here’s the rub: Cleveland just took Collin Sexton last year who not only appeared in every game, but averaged 16.7p and shot 40.2% from the 3 in the process.

While I feel that he is too much like Eric Bledsoe and personally wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him, they might not only deem Sexton too young to be attempted to upgrade; be happy with who he is and who he will develop into; doesn’t think that they can get the kind of value in trade that they feel a former 8th overall pick should receive; and look to fill another position (small forward, perhaps) and select R.J. Barrett instead, leaving Morant for the Phoenix Suns to take.

(I have long  argued too that traditional point guards do not win titles in the NBA, so from that perspective, they might feel that Sexton is good enough,  and look for that wing player who might actually lead them to the promised land.)