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, Shawn Marion Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport
Phoenix Suns, Shawn Marion Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport /

1990s: Shawn Marion, #9 pick, 1999 NBA Draft

Looking at that, it really feels like Marion should have worn number 9 during his career doesn’t

I bet you were expecting to see Steve Nash here. While he was clearly the best NBA player
drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 1990s, Marion was a better draft pick and here is why:

Nash only spent two seasons in his first stint with the Phoenix Suns, starting 11 total games in
those two seasons and essentially serving as a backup to Jason Kidd (the Suns were able to trade
for Kidd midway through the 1996 season because of this drama) and Kevin Johnson.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2004 when the Suns signed Steve Nash in free agency after
establishing himself as an All-Star caliber point guard in Dallas, that Nash became the greatest
player in Phoenix Suns history.

Marion, on the other hand, paid dividends from the beginning of his career and quickly
established himself as a star in his 2nd NBA season, averaging 17.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2
assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.4 steals in the 2000-01 season.

light. Related Story. Marion discusses career in new podcast

“The Matrix” would play nine seasons in Phoenix and achieve the honor of a 4-time NBA All-Star and 3-time All-NBA performer. Not to mention, he was a huge centerpiece of those Nash-led Phoenix Suns teams that changed the game of basketball and competed for championships in the mid-2000s.

Marion’s game was about as unorthodox as it gets with his ugly two-handed jump shot and array
and unique pull up and turnaround jump shots.

He was a long and athletic with the best second-jump ability I have ever seen. His hustle and
instincts made him an elite defender and a tremendous rebounder, even at 6’7”.

Here are his numbers as a Phoenix Sun:

PTS: 18.4 REB: 10 AST: 2 BLK: 1.9 STL: 1.4 FG: 48.1% FT%: 82.4%

He was traded for Shaquille O’Neal in an earth-shattering blockbuster trade in 2007 that the Suns
would come to regret.