Darius Garland ‘Promise’ rumors could impact the Phoenix Suns

Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /
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Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Darius Garland Vanderbilt Phoenix Suns (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

Recent speculation has that former Vanderbilt PG Darius Garland dropped out of the NBA Combine because he has received a ‘promise’ from an early drafting team. It could be the Los Angeles Lakers, which could make the Phoenix Suns trade partners.

Strangely enough, when the Los Angeles Lakers moved up to number four overall in the NBA Draft via the Lottery (oh! the humanity!), in a way, that launch might actually be a detriment to their ability to become a potential championship contender in one offseason.

LeBron James is only getting older (including playoffs, he has played in a total of 19 seasons in only 16 years, and is now 34-years-old), and any more lost seasons is only a loss of the prime of one of the greatest players of all-time.

The Lakers have no time for developing young players and need to acquire above-average veteran talent on the roster ASAP to build themselves into a contender before the start of training camp in August.

Jumping up to number four should be a positive as it means that they are going to have the chance to draft a solidly talented player, however, as they did not move into the top-three, they will not have the opportunity to select one of the three blue chip players in Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett – the only three prospects who project to be impact players right away.

At the moment, it appears that Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland is considered the fourth best player in the draft, and the potential selection for the Lakers.

This is the same player who is only one year removed from high school, and due to injury, only appeared in five total games in college – and while he looked really good in those five games, they were all non-conference matchups and are really no guarantee that he will be able to step in and take over the offensive reigns of a LeBron James-centric team.

Could they trade that pick as part of a package for a star player?

Sure, but the question is who? It appears that New Orleans will not budge on trading Anthony Davis (let alone to the Lakers), and especially now that the Pels have Zion Williamson about to enter the fold, they are probably going to attempt one more year of smoothing out relations before he becomes an unrestricted fee agent in 2020.

All of which leads us to the first day of the NBA Draft Combine in which Garland unexpectedly backed out, with the rumor that he has been given a promise already of a draft position in the top of the draft – and with numbers one through three already all but written in stone, the only logical location that would have made such a guarantee is the Los Angeles Lakers.