3 players for the Phoenix Suns to consider on NBA Draft night.
3. Emoni Bates
The case for Bates is a compelling one, and he is the player that many mock drafts think the Suns will zone in on. It makes sense, Bates was one of the most highly thought of players in the country when he was in high school, and it didn’t seem conceivable that he would one day be available so late in the draft.
The Suns have some fantastic veterans in Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul (for now…) who could take Bates under their wing and help him get his basketball career back on track. It would be a much better landing spot for him personally than a locker room such as that of the Houston Rockets. The Suns want to win now, and won’t stand for a player who doesn’t at least try and help.
Where the issues arise are with the fact Bates has a wiry frame and is very much a scorer. In other words, the exact type of player that the organization does not need at this moment. Nice as it would be to have offensive contributors throughout the rotation, Durant and Booker can carry the load, and then have Landry Shamet show up once every two weeks to pour in 20.
Bates would be a nice addition, but is surely a luxury for the Suns at this juncture. The reason he’ll likely slide this far down the board is because he is seen as a project, and that requires a level of time and commitment that the team do not have right now. A more immediate contributor is what is required.
New head coach Frank Vogel has plenty of experience playing and working with young players from his underwhelming two year run at the helm of the Orlando Magic. Is Bates really the kind of player who will flourish in his defensive schemes and be given the green light to shoot? That seems unlikely, which is why the Suns would want to have extreme belief in Bates to take him.