3 biggest draft misses from the Phoenix Suns since 2010.
1. Tyrese Haliburton
We’re not sure what it says that a third straight King has made this list, because that organization hasn’t exactly been known for knocking the draft out of the park throughout their existence. But here we are. Tyrese Haliburton was traded for Sabonis and sent to the Indiana Pacers, in a deal that seemed to work out for both teams. A rarity.
The 2020 draft wasn’t full of high end talent, and yet Haliburton somehow slipped all the way to 12th. The Suns, a slowly improving group who would make the finals a year later, were pegged in the 10th spot. With Booker and Ayton already secured, and Paul about to help take the Suns to the next level, they somehow drafted Jalen Smith.
In a somewhat full circle moment, Smith was later traded to the Pacers, where he currently plays with Haliburton, for former fan favorite Torrey Craig. A player they are surely going to miss this coming season for his defensive enthusiasm. Smith’s time with the Suns is already barely remembered, and he managed just 56 games for the team.
For Haliburton however, it is the same familiar story. He was an All-Star last season, and at only 22-years-old he has the highest potential of all of the players listed here. He even said all of the right things about playing for the Kings while still part of that organization, proving early on that he had the right attitude to back up his fantastic talent.
Many have wondered before if a rookie Haliburton could have helped the Suns to win a maiden championship in 2021. After all, this is the easiest what if to talk about because the team already had Booker, Ayton and Paul, and were about to make the finals as constructed. They could have simply added Haliburton. We’ll never know, but there’s no doubt he was a huge miss for the Suns.