Maybe the Phoenix Suns getting the 10th pick is a good thing

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns will be drafting 10th in the 2020 NBA Draft. Surprisingly, they’ve had better recent success in this range than in the top 5.

Getting the 10th pick was the most likely outcome, but Phoenix Suns fans couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed once again witnessing their team not move up in the NBA draft lottery on Thursday night. It is a natural feeling, but if recent history is any indication, drafting in that 10-14 range has served this team much better than drafting in the top 5.

Let’s look back at the Suns 10-14 picks in the last decade:

#11: Cameron Johnson (2019)
#10: Mikal Bridges (2018)
#13: Devin Booker (2015)
#14: TJ Warren (2014)
#13: Kendall Marshall (2012)
#13: Markieff Morris (2011)

Now let’s look at who the Suns drafted in the top 5:

#1 Deandre Ayton (2018)
#4 Josh Jackson (2017)
#4 Dragan Bender (2016)
#5 Alex Len (2013)

Bonus: #8: Marquiss Chriss (2016)

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The Phoenix Suns have had better luck drafting 10-14 than they have 1-5.

It is actually remarkable that in the past decade, the Suns have had 10 picks in either the top 5 and six picks in the 10-14 range. Their other lottery selection was Marquiss Chriss at #8.

For the picks the Phoenix Suns made between 10 and 14, only one was a real stinker, as Kendall Marshall never materialized into pro many people expected after watching him at North Carolina. And even though Suns fans have a dirty taste in their mouth left from Markieff Morris and TJ Warren, there is no denying they have put together solid NBA careers. Their other choices, Booker, Bridges, and Johnson, well, they’re kind of awesome.

As for the top 5 picks, you can say Alex Len was alright, and while the Ayton pick will forever be overshadowed by Luka, he is still a very good player. As for Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender, well it is safe to say those could have been better utilized.

For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll throw out the Marquiss Chriss pick at #8.

That means that 50 percent of the time the Suns have had a top 5 pick in the past decade, they have completely squandered it, and the 50 percent of the time they got someone decent, but definitely could have gotten someone better.

When drafting 10-14, they only drafted a complete bust once and drafted an above-average player the rest of the time, including an All-Star in Devin Booker.

That is not a bad résumé for what, on paper, should be a disadvantage. There is a large pool of players this year who may fall in that 10th pick range. Let’s see if the Suns can continue their success drafting in this range.

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