Grade the pick: Suns aggressively move up to take intriguing big man

The Phoenix Suns made another trade on night two of the NBA Draft to go and get an intriguing big man in Oso Ighodaro
NC State v Marquette
NC State v Marquette / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns sprung a surprising trade on the opening night of the 2024 NBA Draft, trading back from 22nd to 28th to pick up Ryan Dunn. A move that gets top marks, and which was made all the better by the Suns getting three second round picks in the deal as well.

The trade was done with the Denver Nuggets, and the belief was that the Suns were getting a second rounder to use in this draft, and two futures down the road. Only when it came time for the 40th selection, the Suns were suddenly back on the board again, taking big man Oso Ighodaro from Marquette University.

With another big on the books, what kind of grade does the organization get for adding a second young player to this roster?

First we need to see how the Suns actually got here, and there's nobody better than former member of this website and current PHNX Sports member Gerald Bourguet to do the honors for us. Yeah, we're still a bit confused even after this breakdown as well.

On top of that, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports revealed that the organization had coveted Ighodaro. So much so that they thought about using their first round pick on the player, but instead pivoted to Dunn once they realized Ighodaro was going to be waiting for them in the second round. They appear to have traded up just to be sure they got their man.

Looking at tape of the 21-year-old, and it is easy to see where he is going to excel for this Suns team. One of the biggest problems they had in the playoffs was that starting center Jusuf Nurkic was exposed by quicker opponents. More physically imposing bigs such as Rudy Gobert also highlighted his limitations painfully.

Ighodaro on the other hand is going to be a problem around the rim - he easily has a better handle and more explosive burst than Nurkic - while his reading of pick-and-roll situations on the offensive end already looks to be at an above average level. On the defensive end he gives up size in some matchups, but he has a sturdy frame and appears to thrive in that contact.

The glaring issue here is that the Suns didn't draft a point guard, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead they can look to free agency to go and get a veteran, and not have to bring a young player along at the most difficult position to learn in the league.

Grade the pick: Suns take Ryan Dunn 28th in NBA Draft. Grade the pick: Suns take Ryan Dunn 28th in NBA Draft. dark. Next

Instead the franchise have added a clear and obvious replacement for Nurkic - having been linked with Yves Missi prior to the draft - while Dunn will be able to provide an imitation of Mikal Bridges, albeit in a bigger body. To get two players who can make a difference on the defensive end - Dunn especially - is a massive get for a roster that frequently looked uninterested in that area last season.

Perhaps best of all, Ighodaro has completed four years of college, and so should be able to help right away. Yet he's still relatively young, and should be pushing Nurkic for minutes right away. Watching Drew Eubanks walk makes much more sense now, knowing Ighodaro is entering their depth chart. This is a win in as much as a second round draft pick can be for a group like the Suns.

Final Grade: B