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

The Phoenix Suns made a draft night trade to move down to 28th and select Ryan Dunn, but what grade to they get for the move and selection?
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In the end - as has so often been the case since owner Mat Ishbia bought the organization - the Phoenix Suns made an unxpected draft night pivot. Trading out of their 22nd selection and moving back to 28th to take Ryan Dunn, a player who was seemingly gaining buzz the closer it got to the draft itself.

That wasn't all, as the Nuggets also gave the Suns the 56th pick in this year's draft, as well as two second rounders down the road. The front office of the Suns managing in one swoop to impressively replenish some of their draft capital in a class that has failed to capture the imagination.

That deal alone is enough to give the Suns a good grade after the first round of the draft, but where does the selection of Dunn leave them?

For starters, Dunn has been spoken about as one of the best defenders in this draft class. That skill set rivalling only a true point guard as the biggest needs for this Suns roster this offseason. To get a player like Dunn on a rookie deal is a great way to begin the summer, an individual who will be tasked right away with locking down elite scorers.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer - somebody with a knack for correctly predicting which college players will excel at the next level and why - was quick to praise the selection. Just look at the below write up, as well as the comparisons to Herb Jones of the New Orleans Pelicans. That alone should excite fans in The Valley.

The Suns went out and got a player in the second round last year in Toumani Camara who had some similarities to the game of Dunn. After some nice games in Summer League play, Camara ended up going to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Deandre Ayton deal. A throw-in at the time, but a player who not only has a role assured in Portland, but somebody the Suns could have used last season.

Could they trade Dunn before next season even starts? It is possible, but he fits a clear need for the franchise. His desire to want to defend alone is something previous head coach Frank Vogel would have loved to have had at his disposal, while new leading man Mike Budenholzer should have no problem finding a spot for him in the rotation.

The name Mikal Bridges is one that cannot be whispered lightly when it comes to comparing Suns prospects to a cult hero in Phoenix. Dunn is also just a beefier and more explosive player next to the longer-limbed and more meticulous Bridges who entered the league back in 2018.

But on the plays where Dunn is patrolling the perimeter on the defensive end, his ability to jump passing lanes, disrupt a developing play and just stick to his man like a man possessed would remind you of Bridges. If he can bring even half of what Bridges once did on that end of the court, he is going to be an instant hit for the Suns.

There was plenty of speculation about who the Suns would select 22nd overall - but in trading down and getting three additional second round picks - the organization clearly won this deal. They added the wing defender they desperately needed, somebody who as long as he stays on this roster is sure to see the court come opening night.

dark. Next. 3 players you didn't know landed on the Suns' G League roster. 3 players you didn't know landed on the Suns' G League roster

With the Suns now having a G League affiliate starting next season, Dunn also has a place to go to develop some if needed. With the team dreadfully short of young players to both replenish their roster and also potentially trade down the road, the front office did the right thing in selecting Dunn with the 28th pick.

Final Grade: A