The Phoenix Suns were among the most active teams on NBA Draft day. Here’s the good, bad and ugly from the moves the Suns made.
Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones didn’t just sit by and let the other 29 teams in the NBA have all the fun.
Instead, Jones made his team’s presence known not only during the 2019 NBA draft, but started hours before the event even began.
While some of those moves were beneficial, some can be viewed as questionable and downright absurd.
Here’s an in-depth look at the moves the Phoenix Suns made on the team’s draft day:
The Suns found a power forward who can actually shoot the ball! (…Sorry Dragan Bender)
But in all reality, the trade Phoenix made to secure Dario Saric from the Minnesota Timberwolves was one that addressed a serious need for the team. Saric is a 6-foot-10 big man with the ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting (35.8 %).
He also is a nice fit next to Deandre Ayton in the Phoenix frontcourt and has experience playing with talented bigs like Joel Embiid and Karl Anthony-Towns.
Another positive for the Suns was trading back into the first round to select a point guard at No. 24.
With the pick the team selected Virginia guard Ty Jerome, who could provide a big help in the shooting column for the Suns. Jerome shot 39.2 percent from deep during his college career and ran an offense that won a national title this past season.
Along with Jerome, the Suns also received center Aaron Baynes from the Boston Celtics.
Baynes could be a very viable backup center for Phoenix, but reports have circulated that he could be bought-out by the Suns and join a contender. This would be devastating news for Suns fans as that trade was created using the Bucks 2020 first-rounder from the Eric Bledsoe trade.
While the Saric trade did fulfill a starting roster spot, it came at a price.
That ultimately came in the form of Texas Tech shooting guard Jarrett Culver, who the Suns essentially surrendered to obtain Saric. By giving up the sixth overall pick of the draft to the Timberwolves, the Suns essentially gave up on their quest to find a young guard.
Instead, the team settled on North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson with the 11th overall pick.
While Johnson is top-notch shooting prospect he projects as a small forward in the NBA. This coming to a team filled with forwards and lacking desperately in quality guards.
This was a huge miss for the Suns.
And along with that was the decision to to pull the trigger on a point guard at No. 6.
Yes, the team picked Jerome later in the first, but the Suns could have traded up to secure Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland. Either that or stayed put and drafted Coby White who fell later in the first.
Both moves are hard to evaluate because neither player has set foot on an NBA court, but could have been high-risk, high-reward moves for Phoenix.
Giving up T.J. Warren for close to nothing sucks.
Yes, the Suns cleared the three-year $35 million contract off the books, but boy did it come at a cost. That being the Suns only receiving cash considerations in return and having to tack on the 32nd overall pick on for good measure.
Overall, a poor trade for the franchise and the desperation was evident in how this was handled.
Not only did the Suns loose a valuable draft pick, but Warren was an extremely efficient scorer who should have been kept over the incumbent Josh Jackson.
Jackson’s lack of production his first two years in the league are a cause for concern, as well as are his actions off of the court. Jackson has found himself in trouble on multiple occasions and has shown a lack of maturity.
Another ugly move was sacrificing the 2020 first-round pick that was mentioned above. By trading the pick to Boston that turned Eric Bledsoe into a grand total of: Greg Monroe, Ty Jerome and Aaron Baynes.
That essentially is dimes to the dollar for trade value.
Although the pressure was on Phoenix to make a splash, at this point the front office got a little carried away and wasted what could be a very valuable pick.
While it wasn’t the best day for Phoenix Suns fans, there were some positive takeaways from the front office moves. The team secured a viable starter, shed a heavy contract and drafted a couple players who could help next season.