Phoenix Suns: 5 Best Draft Selections This Century

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

4. Deandre Ayton

Granted, Ayton is and will be a much better player than another ahead of him on this list. But these are being ranked on value in comparison to draft position and what else the Suns had available to choose from.

The number one overall pick in 2018, Ayton has developed into a maximum contract level player who can be the starting center on a championship level team. Across four seasons he’s averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, solid numbers for any young big given they can often take longer to develop into their full capacity.

The Suns will be hoping Ayton, on the back of re-signing on a four-year, $133 million deal, can become a more diverse offensive weapon while retaining his near 60% field-goal shooting over his career to date. Having averaged just one block per game, they’ll also be hoping he becomes a far greater defensive presence in the paint.

Ayton is on his way to becoming an All-Star calibre player, however, given the Suns had access to the likes of Trae Young and in particular Luka Doncic, he has to remain at four on this list.

3. T.J. Warren

While there’s always been some question marks on his defense and capacity as a winning player, along with the foot problems that have seen him sidelined for practically the last two years, Warren has turned out as great value for the 14th overall pick in the draft.

After being taken in 2014, Warren became a double-digit efficient scorer by his second season. His best season at the Suns came in 2017-18, averaging 19.6 points and 5.1 rebounds on nearly 50% shooting from the floor.

Phoenix Suns, TJ Warren
Phoenix Suns, TJ Warren (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

He had signed a four-year, $47 million deal prior to that season, before eventually being dealt to the Indiana Pacers. He’s perhaps best known for an unbelievable run in the Orlando bubble in 2020, producing a 53-point performance on the way to being named in NBA All-Bubble First Team.

The most immediate ten picks after Warren were Adreian Payne, Jusuf Nurkic, James Young, Tyler Ennis, Gary Harris, Bruno Caboclo, Mitch McGary, Jordan Adams, Rodney Hood and Shabazz Napier. You could argue that Warren’s best was better than all of those players.

He most recently signed with the Brooklyn Nets on a minimum deal in free agency as he looks to make a return from the debilitating foot problems.