11 Amazing Suns Draft Facts
June 25, 2014
It’s been said before, but the future is here…or, rather, it has officially been ignited.
The Suns look ahead toward what they certainly hope will be a fruitful NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26.
To help get you ready, Phoenix Suns stat guru Cole Mickelson has helped piece together 11 interesting facts about the team’s draft history.
Click through for more.
The Suns currently possess three first-round picks (14, 18, 27) and one second-round pick (50) in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The Suns have three times used the No. 14 pick before, most notably selecting Suns Ring of Honor member Dan Majerle out of Central Michigan with the 14th pick in 1988, as well as John Roche of South Carolina in 1971 and Earl Clark of Louisville in 2009.
Majerle made three All-Star appearances with the Suns, averaging 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in eight seasons (1988-95, 2001-02) with the club.
Suns forward Marcus Morris is among recent players selected 14th overall as he was selected with the 14th pick by the Houston Rockets in 2011. Marcus was chosen one pick after the Suns drafted his twin brother Markieff Morris with pick No. 13.
The twins became the second pair of brothers selected with consecutive picks in NBA history, joining Dick and Tom Van Arsdale who were picked 10th and 11th, respectively, in 1965.
The Morris brothers are currently the third twin teammates in NBA history, joining the Van Arsdales who were also teammates with the Suns in 1976-77 and Floyd and Lloyd Kerr.
Lucky No. 18
The Suns have never before used the No. 18 pick in the draft. Though the Suns haven’t themselves drafted 18th before, current Suns guard Eric Bledsoe was drafted 18th by Oklahoma City in 2010 before being traded to the L.A. Clippers on draft night.
Bledsoe averaged career-highs of 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 43 games this past season, his first with the Suns.
Lucky No. 18, Part II
Suns swingman Gerald Green was also selected 18th overall by Boston in 2005. In his first season with the Suns, Green averaged a career-high 15.8 points per game and finished fourth in voting for the 2013-14 NBA Most Improved Player award.
Talent at 27
The Suns have drafted 27th overall four times in franchise history, selecting Fred Taylor (Pan American) in 1970, Malcom Mackey (Georgia Tech) in 1993, Mario Bennett (Arizona State) in 1995 and Sergio Rodriguez (Spain) in 2006 (Rodriguez was traded to Portland on draft night).
In addition, the Suns acquired Kenny Battle of Illinois, the 27th pick in 1989, from Detroit in a trade on draft night.
Talent at 27, Part II
The most recent player drafted 27th overall to make an All-Star appearance in his NBA career is Dennis Rodman, who was selected No. 27 by Detroit in 1986.
Of players drafted in 1986, Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek (drafted 46th overall by the Suns) scored the most career points, totaling 15,659 over 14 NBA seasons.
14 for All-Star?
Of the other picks possessed by the Suns in 2014, the last player selected 14th overall to become an All-Star was Peja Stojakovic (Croatia) by Sacramento in 1996, 18th overall was David West (Xavier) by New Orleans in 2003 and 50th overall was Larry Kenon (Memphis State) by Detroit in 1973.
50 Shades of Kerr
The Suns have drafted 50th overall on five occasions, including picking Steve Kerr out of Arizona with selection No. 50 in 1988. Kerr, who served as the Suns’ President of Basketball Operations and General Manager from 2007-10, played one season with the Suns in 1988-89, averaging 2.1 points in 26 games.
Recently named the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Kerr won five NBA titles as a player for the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. The Suns have also used the 50th pick on Rich Jones (Memphis State) in 1968, Milous Babic (Tennessee Tech) in 1990, Joey Wright (Texas) in 1991 and Charles Claxton (Georgia) in 1994.
The Suns have drafted an early entry candidate in each draft since 2008, and dating back to 1994 have selected an early entry in candidate in every draft except 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2007.
Each of the past six first-round picks to end up with the Suns following draft night (Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, Earl Clark, Robin Lopez) were early entry candidates, with Alando Tucker out of Wisconsin in 2007 (29th overall) representing the last first-round selection by the Suns to not have declared early.
Love for the ACC
The Suns have used their top selection in each of the past two drafts on players who competed in the Atlantic Coast Conference, picking Alex Len out of Maryland with the 5th pick in 2013 and Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina with the 13th pick in 2012.