The Phoenix Suns should not swap second round picks with the Atlanta Hawks

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

One Souring Down South writer has speculated that that Atlanta Hawks should trade up with Phoenix in the second round. I argue that the Suns should do no such deal.

While I have argued in the past that the Phoenix Suns should  trade their 32nd overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, I do not believe that they should move it as a means of acquiring more  second round picks and instead should find a way to sell it off for cash or future assets that will amount to not much today.

Of course second round picks have very little value as the turnout of talent is exceptionally low – there are of course exceptions to this rule, but the odds of landing a talented player who will help the Suns in any meaningful way is about as high as you winning the lottery – more on that in a moment.

So when I saw that Chris Guest of Souring Down South speculated that the Hawks should trade up in the second round to the Phoenix Suns’ spot at 32, offering two later second round picks in return, I personally had to scoff at such an offer.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

In 2019, the Atlanta Hawks appear to have briefly taken on the role of Sam Hinkie and the “Process” Philadelphia 76ers by not only accumulating a number of picks overall, but far too many second round picks than any team should ever have at one time.

That is to say that the Hawks now not only have three first round picks (8, 10, and 17), but three second round picks as well, at 35, 41, and 42.

Guest offered a trade scenario that the Hawks would swap 41 and 42 to the Suns for the 32nd overall pick.

From the Hawks’ perspective, I would argue that this is both a reasonable and fair trade to offer. In short, it usually would have merit for both teams.

However, in 2019, this isn’t a move that the Suns should pursue for one very specific and important reason: James Jones needs to improve the roster quickly  and avoid repeating the franchise’s recent history of constant player development – which is all a second round pick would be.

If the Suns keep their sixth overall pick, or trade back in the first round (a move with Atlanta could in that case be a reality), then there is no room on Phoenix’s roster for an additional two rookies from the second round taking up spots that should go to veterans who are already at points in their careers that they can help a team like the Suns win.

Of course they could select a couple of draft-and-stash foreign players, but let’s be honest here: those rarely  work as well, and if there was truly a player somewhere else around the world that merited such effort, they should just take him at six anyway (that player would presumably be the best in the world as there are no mock drafts anywhere that has a draft-and-stash player going anywhere near the lottery), and not waste a current roster spot with a developmental player in 2019-20 regardless of where in the world he currently plays.

Truthfully, the idea of a “draft-and-stash” player is really a person owning a single Megaball ticket rather than a state-based lottery ticket, with the Megaball risk to reward much  greater than in-state, but the odds of winning (although still extremely low in either case) much worse than the local game.

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The Phoenix Suns should not trade back with the Atlanta Hawks in the second round and should instead focus on moving the 32nd overall pick as part of a package that would help return a player of immediate value to the franchise.

While I can understand that holding two lottery tickets in the second round in a way doubles the Suns’ odds of winning at least once, there is no reason to waste their assets on taking such a chance this season, and should instead direct all resources to players who will help them win now.