Be The GM: Suns Edition

 

Despite Devin Booker’s scoring prowess, the Phoenix Suns did just enough to out-tank the Los Angeles Lakers and secured themselves with the second best chances at winning the draft lottery. More youth to go alongside Booker, Marquese Chriss, T.J. Warren, Dragan Bender and Tyler Ullis could be the way to go. On top of the projected second overall selection, Phoenix also holds the 32nd and 52nd slots on draft night. As of now, the depth chart looks like:

CE: Tyson Chandler
PF: Marquese Chriss | Dragan Bender | Jared Dudley
SF: T. J. Warren | Derrick Jones (Non-Guaranteed)
SG: Devin Booker | Leandro Barbosa (Non-Guaranteed)
PG: Eric Bledsoe | Brandon Knight | Tyler Ullis
Free Agents: Alex Len (R), Alan Williams (R), Elijah Millsap (R),
Jarrell Eddie (R), Ronnie Price (U)

Booker is clearly an untouchable player, while the Suns are rightfully high on Chriss as well as Ullis and Warren. Outside of that, it is little surprise that the Suns are looking to rid themselves of Knight and could potentially do right and send Chandler to a contending side. Dudley and Barbosa seem content on being the veterans to help teach the young’ns and be the old guys around.

Team Options/Guarantees:

Derrick Jones contract is guaranteed off the bat, same with Leandro Barbosa. I’d also float the qualifying offer to both Williams and Len, would be nice to keep them around for 2017-18.

Draft Night:

Assuming no changes occur during the lottery, and the Suns maintain the second slot, the decision will come down to whether or not Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz go to the Boston Celtics at the top slot. Trading down really isn’t something to look to, however, I would look to see if the Suns could potentially add another first round selection. It would also be a good night to gauge Bledsoe’s value.

Dallas could be a Bledsoe target if they wish to speed up the rebuild and give Dirk a final run, though, can’t see them giving up the ninth slot. Indiana as well if they want to build a legit team around Paul George to convince him to stay. My first target though would be Sacramento and try to snag the 10th and 37th selections along with Afflalo’s non-guaranteed (becomes guaranteed the day after the draft). Kings could get the point guard that could fit in well with the squad, while Phoenix clears up a good amount of space and gets an extra lottery pick.

Follow that up with a Brandon Knight + #52 to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jerryd Bayless, 2018 Knicks second, 2020 Brooklyn and Dallas second round selections. Clears up about an extra $5M or so of cap space for McDonough to work with. The future seconds have a chance of being decent.

At this point, Phoenix sits with the second, 10th, 32nd and 37th selections.

| | |

#2: Lonzo Ball from UCLA
#10: Justin Jackson from North Carolina
#32: Ike Anigbogu from UCLA
#37: Jonah Bolden from Australia

Post-Draft Depth Chart:
CE: Tyson Chandler | Ike Anigbogu
PF: Marquese Chriss | Dragan Bender
SF: T.J. Warren | Justin Jackson | Derrick Jones
SG: Devin Booker | Leandro Barbosa
PG: Lonzo Ball | Tyler Ullis | Jerryd Bayless
Free Agents: Alex Len (R), Alan Williams (R), Elijah Millsap (R),
Jarrell Eddie (R), Ronnie Price (U)
Rights: Jonah Bolden

Free Agency/Rest of Summer:
At this point, Phoenix has five open roster slots to work with, and I’d keep Jonah Bolden’s rights for another year or two, keep him overseas and see if he can develop into what was expected from him entering college. Alan Williams is someone I want to keep around for the long haul, he’s a local kid with a great attitude that can continue to improve, I throw him a 3 year deal valued at about $15-18M and hope he takes it, otherwise, I sit back and match any offer near those amounts. I also let Len hit the market and match anything that isn’t egregious, say a 3 year/$30M deal. If anything more, try to work out a S&T for two future second rounders, or something to that effect.

Rest of free agency is pretty bland, give Millsap his one-year deal and invite Ronnie Price to camp. Also invite Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, Thomas Welsh (if he doesn’t withdraw), Monte Morris,  Edmond Sumner, Alan Anderson.

Final Roster:
CE: Ike Anigbogu | Tyson Chandler
PF: Marquese Chriss | Dragan Bender | Alan Williams
SF: T.J. Warren | Justin Jackson | Derrick Jones | Jared Dudley
SG: Devin Booker | Leandro Barbosa | Elijah Millsap
PG: Lonzo Ball | Tyler Ullis | Jerryd Bayless
Rights: Jonah Bolden
Training Camp: Ronnie Price, Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, Thomas Welsh (if he doesn’t withdraw), Monte Morris, Edmond Sumner, Alan Anderson


Now, that may not be a world beating team, but the youth is intriguing, to say the least. Ball would seemingly be a great fit to allow Booker to continue to focus on scoring, and would definitely get him open looks, not to mention Chriss and Bender as well. Ball also has chemistry with Anigbogu, who has all the physical tools to be an elite defender at the next level.

About MikeK520

Avid sports fan looking to share opinions and thoughts. Fan of the NBA (Los Angeles Clippers), Soccer/Football (Armenian National Team, United States National Team, Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Tucson), College Sports (UCLA Basketball/Football, Cal State Northridge Basketball), NFL (Green Bay Packers), NHL (Detroit Red Wings), MLB (Atlanta Braves).
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