NBA Draft: 3 Projected Lottery Picks That Might Fall to the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns, James Jones (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, James Jones (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Alperen Sengun
Phoenix Suns, Alperen Sengun (Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Potential NBA Draft Steal: Alperen Sengun

Stretching out to 6’10 and with a 243-pound frame, Turkish big man Alperen Sengun enters the draft as an easily recognizable talent. He last played for Turkey’s Super Basketball League, averaging 18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game while doing so.

Those numbers won Sengun an MVP award and helped him attract a global spotlight. Naturally, he declared for the draft shortly after, looking to bargin his overseas success for a chance to play here in the NBA.

At this point, it undoubtedly looks like the right move, with several mock drafts predicting Sengun to go selected around picks 10-13. His old school, back to the basket playsyle shows that he can hold his own offensively. His incredible court vision also makes up for his lacking jump shot, still presenting him as an easily pluggable tool you can throw into the game at any time.

But even with all these attributes, Sengun might still fall back toward the first round’s latter half. Although Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic continue to help unwrite the narrative stating that overseas superstars do not translate well into the NBA, it still persists to a certain degree. Some GMs might pass on Sengun due to his infamiliarity with basketball played at the NBA level, no matter how talented he appears.

The Turkish Basketball league is not exactly known for its ability to churn out polished NBA products. Although it remains a prominent institution as far as abroad basketball leagues go, having generated talents such as Ersan Ilyasova, Omer Asik, and Hedo Turkoglu—it still lacks the competitiveness which Division 1 collegiate athletics carry. This puts Sengun at a disadvantage compared to almost every other player in the draft pool.

If he indeed slides and the Suns find themselves with a chance to select him, they can quickly fix their backup-center issue following Dario Saric’s ACL tear. Developing Sengun beside Jalen Smith already feels like a fun story to follow as well.