NBA Draft: History of the Phoenix Suns in the lottery

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Fate has not been kind to the Phoenix Suns franchise when it comes to lottery night. Let’s look at the team’s history on this fateful day.

The Phoenix Suns have not had huge success in the past when it comes to the lottery. In fact, they have not bettered their position on ping-pong ball night since 1987 when the moved up from 7th best odds to the #2 overall pick.

The year prior, in 1986, was the only other time they upgrade, and on that occasion, it was only up one spot from 7th to #6.

Most of the time, the Suns have kept their status quo as nine out of the 16 years they have been in the lottery, their position has not changed relative to their pre-lottery odds.

Five out of the 16 years they’ve been in the lottery, the Suns have actually seen their draft position worsen, most notably last season when they had the best odds of landing the #1 overall pick (14%), even though they had the 3rd worst record in the league, and found themselves plummeting all the way down to #6.

This not only led to them missing out on Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, but compelled the team to trade down on draft night, which landed them solid players (Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson), but not exactly the superstars they could have gotten if lady luck favored them on lottery night.

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The Phoenix Suns’ lottery history:

YearPickPre-lottery PositionPosition change

In this year’s draft, there is no Zion Williamson or even a Ja Morant-caliber no-brainer in the top echelon of the class. There is no one that is going to instantly drive up season ticket sales (assuming fans get to watch live basketball again) or whose face will be plastered all over Valley billboards.

However, as General Manager and team lottery representative, James Jones has said, there are a number of quality basketball players and that is what they are after.

Let’s just hope wherever the Suns land on Thursday night, Jones makes the most of it, and Sarver doesn’t do anything dumb like sell it for cash.

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