Suns Land Fourth Pick in 2016 NBA Draft

by Matt Petersen

Of all Phoenix's possibilities heading into the NBA Draft lottery, standing pat at No. 4 was among the least likely.

Even more unlikely was the scenario of every team standing pat at their pre-ordered spots heading into the lottery. That, however, is exactly what happened.

"Was there even a lottery?" Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough joked afterward.

There was, but its fickle nature was completely halted in 2016. Not one team moved up or down, leaving the Suns with the fourth overall pick. In doing so, Phoenix avoided the 52.3-percent chance they had of falling to fifth, sixth or seventh after seeing their logo come out of the fourth-to-last envelope of the lottery on Tuesday evening.

"That's a win," McDonough admitted.

The resulting pick will be their highest since 1987, when they selected Armen Gilliam second overall. Phoenix also kept Washington's pick, which stayed in place at 13th overall. That selection was obtained in a midseason trade, making the Suns the only team with two picks in the lottery range (1-14). In addition to those picks, Phoenix also holds the 28th and 34th overall selections.

With needs aplenty and the means to fill them, McDonough is eager to begin the final preparations leading up to the June 23rd draft. He said that the Suns will host its first pre-draft workout group of prospects on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the team will keep itself connected with other teams who could want to deal picks or established talent in exchange for one or more of the Suns' own selections.

"We have as much flexibility as any team in the draft, especially on the high end," McDonough said.

The highest draft pick the Suns have ever held is the second overall pick (1969, 1987). Their most recent top-five selection was current Phoenix center Alex Len, who was taken fifth overall in 2013.

This year's draft should inject further talent into an already young team. Devin Booker, taken 13th overall a year ago, recently finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting after having the highest-scoring rookie season in Suns history since 1995-96 (Michael Finley). Len is still 22 years old, while T.J. Warren (22), Brandon Knight (24) and Eric Bledsoe (26) are also in their early-to-mid-twenties.

Regardless of what happens in the three picks before their turn or what the Suns' most pressing needs may be, they are set on taking the best overall talent available.

"My philosophy has always been to just take the best players in the draft and then figure the rest of it out," McDonough said.


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