Phoenix Suns: Best NBA draft picks by decade

Phoenix Suns David Stern (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns David Stern (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Walter Davis Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Phoenix Suns, Walter DavisPhoto by Focus on Sport/Getty Images /

1970s: Walter Davis, #5 pick 1977 NBA Draft

Walter Davis was the key cog and go-to scorer for a few great Suns teams in the 1980s that are
almost never mentioned in the same breath as the Charles Barkley-led Suns in the mid-90s or the
Nash led-Suns of the 2000s.

Davis was a bucket-getter through and through with his smooth shooting stroke and velvety
touch around the rim.

Davis is the Phoenix Suns franchise all-time leading scorer with 15,666 points in a Suns uniform
over his 11 seasons in Phoenix.

Davis was an instant star for the Suns, winning NBA Rookie of the Year for the 1977-78 season
and making the All-NBA 2nd Team while averaging 24.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4
steals per game.

He would be an NBA All-Star the first four years of his NBA career and make another All-NBA
2nd Team appearance.

He would struggle with cocaine addiction in the early to mid-80s though and his game suffered
as a result. His scoring went down to 14.4 points in only 55 appearances in the 1981-82 season.

His play would be a little inconsistent from that point on as he battled with addiction, but he had
the 2nd best season of his career in 1986-87, making his final all-star appearance and averaging
23.6 points per game.

Here are his career numbers with the Suns:

PTS: 20.5 REB: 3.2 AST: 4.4 FG: 52% FT%: 84.1%

It is worth noting, the Suns drafted George Gervin with the 40th pick in the 1974 NBA Draft after he had played two seasons with the Virginia Squires in the ABA. Gervin decided to stay in the ABA and joined the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs just always seem to get the lucky breaks against the Suns, don’t they?