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, Larry Nance (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Larry Nance (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

1980s: Larry Nance, #20 pick, 1981 NBA Draft

You could make an argument for Dan Majerle here. The Central Michigan product made three
NBA All-Star appearances in his eight seasons with the Suns and is an all-time fan favorite as a
beloved starter for those mid-90s Suns teams, but I think Nance was the better player and a
slightly better value as a draft pick.

Nance was an elite NBA athlete at the power forward position as he possessed a combination of
explosiveness, size and verticality the franchise had not ever had at that point.

Former Suns great, Dan Majerle fired at GCU. light. Related Story

Possibly most known for breaking out and winning the 1984 NBA Slam Dunk Contest over
Julius Erving and Dominque Wilkins, Nance was a pre-cursor to the athletic power forwards
such as A’mare Stoudemire and Shawn Kemp that would come later.

Surprisingly, Nance only made one All-Star appearance as a member of Phoenix Suns in 1985.

Admittedly, he would receive more recognition during his time as a Cleveland Cavalier, making
two more All-Star Game appearances and three All-NBA Defensive teams, but I still think his
most productive days were in Phoenix.

Here are his stats as a Phoenix Sun:

PTS: 17.3 REB: 7.8 AST: 2.6 BLK: 1.9 FG: 54.6% FT%: 75.5%

Nance really was the gift that kept giving for the Phoenix Suns franchise though as he was traded
to the Cavaliers in 1988 for a young unknown point guard at the time named Kevin Johnson,
Mark West and the draft pick that became Dan Majerle.

Those are three of the starters and two of the best three Suns players from their golden era of the