With the Phoenix Suns all but guaranteed a lottery pick, and the draft expected to be moved back, how might that change strategy whenever the draft does take place?
In the midst of all of the other scheduling related moves dealing with everything else in life, the NBA draft looks to be added to that list sometime in the future. With the Phoenix Suns squarely in the lottery, this news should be important to the Suns.
ESPN reported that teams are hoping the draft would be pushed back from June 25, where it is right now, until at least August 1.
The purpose of this change would be to allow all teams to go through as much of the pre-draft process as they can. This would mean that the NBA regular season and playoffs have already concluded by that time, which is becoming closer to wishful thinking than anything else.
While a shortened draft scouting process might spell trouble for some teams, the Phoenix Suns should receive as little trouble as they could expect in this regard.
Going off of last year’s draft where the Phoenix Suns selected Cameron Johnson and Ty Jerome in the first round, it says a lot about their strategy. They were looking for players who were experienced and ready to contribute sooner rather than later.
That would lead one to believe that, after a successful season with more wins than the previous four, the strategy would remain the same. This means the players the Suns are targeting are both older, and only expected to become a role player in the NBA.
In this situation, players who are older with more college experience are obviously going to be easier to scout and get a better read on. There is also a good chance most non-freshmen who have entered the draft went through the combine the year before. Therefore, they would have spoken to a team like the Suns who managed to keep their coaching staff together for more than one season.
The roles that the Suns will be looking for their draftees to fill also plays a role in how they will be affected. Since the Suns are no longer indicating that they are searching for a third star via the draft that means their selections are made with how the player would fit around Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in mind.
Since that is something that can not be known for sure, even under normal circumstances, that does not change in any major way. When drafting someone who you are expecting to be a major building block for the future it is much more important to do private interviews and workouts to find out as much as possible before the draft.
However, since James Jones has shown he is more likely to play it safe on draft night, that removes a lot of volatility from the situation. Drafting a player to fit into a team, rather than define the identity of one, is much easier to pull off, and would be the smart decision by the Suns, especially in a time like this.
There is also the chance that the Suns could always trade their pick. There were rumors at the trade deadline about including their first-round pick to acquire Luke Kennard, although nothing official has been reported since then.
With the draft date and the Suns’ draft position both still up in the air it is impossible to correctly map out every scenario. However, based on recent history, and what is most likely to happen, the Suns should be able to handle a draft date change, whenever it takes place.