Numbers generally don’t lie, and they didn’t again last night. The numbers said that the Phoenix Suns were longshots to move up in last night’s NBA Draft lottery, so not surprisingly they stayed put. The team will draft at #13 in next June’s NBA draft, the second-last pick of the lottery portion of the draft.
So who will the Suns draft at #13? The two biggest mock draft sites out there, DraftExpress and NBADraft.net come to the same conclusion – Kentucky’s Devin Booker.
There are many reasons why this pick would make sense for Phoenix. First of all, Booker is a true shooting guard, something the team is in serious need of (whether they re-sign Brandon Knight or not). Plus, the 6’6″ Mississippi native brings a key skill to the table in dire need in the Valley – a deadly three-point shot. The freshman hit three’s at a 41.1% clip last season as a Wildcat, hitting 58 three’s in 38 games. Plus he’ll only turn 19 on Oct 30th, so there’s plenty of room for growth and potential.
The downsides to Booker include his lack of length (under 6’5″ without shoes on; 6’8″ wingspan), lack of explosive athleticism, and some concerns about his defensive potential. But if you are looking for a pure shooting off-guard, Booker is your man.
Over on our sister site, The Hoops Manifesto, Perry Missner projects the Suns selecting UCLA freshman Kevon Looney. Looney, who you can read about in a feature written by me in an upcoming issue of SLAM magazine, is a terrific rebounder and hustle guy who can also hit the outside shot. He could also be a nice fit for the 2015/16 iteration of the Suns.
Regardless of who Phoenix selects at the end of the lottery next month, chances are high they aren’t going to get a superstar player. But another nice, young piece to their rebuilding puzzle will do just fine.