Phoenix Suns: 5 Best Draft Selections This Century

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

The Phoenix Suns have produced a wave of results since the turn of the century. Guided by a two-time MVP in Steve Nash, the franchise had a successful stint in the opening decade, headlined by back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances.

But after 2009-10, the Suns became a perennial lottery team doomed to the depths of the NBA standings. Finally, after ten straight seasons without a playoff appearance, Phoenix have re-established themselves as a championship contender over the past two years.

The Phoenix Suns drafting over the century has unsurprisingly mirrored their on-court performances. They’ve developed some into absolute gems who you could consider steals, while others have delivered underwhelming results.

Starting with the positives, let’s evaluate the five best selections the Suns have made. To make this list, said player must have been selected with Phoenix’s original pick on draft night. Therefore recent selections like Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson cannot be included as their rights were traded for. They must have also at least begun their NBA playing career at the Suns, eliminating someone like Bogdan Bogdanovic (27th pick in 2014).

5. Markieff Morris

This may be the most controversial player on the list, particularly given there were better players available when the Suns selected Morris with the 13th pick in 2011. The 6’9″ power-forward is by no means a star, but his development into a reliable role player is a serviceable result for a late lottery pick.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Morris had just over four seasons with the Suns, averaging a career-high 15.3 points in the 2014-15 season. He was then a key member of the Washington Wizards for a while before winning a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

Sure, the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris were all taken within the next six picks, but you could also argue Morris has had a much better career than quite a number of players taken ahead of him.