The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Phoenix Suns will be evaluated.
While on paper the Phoenix Suns’ final record of 34-39 doesn’t seem all that spectacular, it doesn’t tell the entire story.
Heading into the Orlando Bubble, Phoenix limped in with a 26-39 and virtually no chance of making the playoffs. But eight straight wins over some of the best teams in the league propelled them to the verge of the playoffs, only to lose out by one game to the Portland Trail Blazers.
At the center of their success in the bubble was Devin Booker. Booker took another step towards stardom this season. He made his first all-star appearance and had a compelling case to be named MVP of the play-in games. It seems like Phoenix has finally found their next star player and expect them to build around Booker for years to come.
Last year’s first overall pick Deandre Ayton continued his consistent and steady improvement, although he did serve a multi-month long PED suspension. He averaged nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds a night and looks to be a lock at the center position for the foreseeable future.
Phoenix got quality starting play out of Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre Jr, both of whom had career-best seasons. Young players Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson also proved their worth as valuable pieces for the future, especially in the Orlando Bubble where both players hit their stride.
Overall the Sun’s future is very bright, and they are only a player or two away from being a playoff team in the competitive western conference.
The Phoenix Suns have one pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
First Round: Pick No.10
A long term backcourt partner next to Booker – While Ricky Rubio is a quality facilitator, he will soon be on the wrong side of the 30. His lack of defensive ability does not pair well with Bookers similar struggles at that end of the court and Phoenix would be wise to look for a more defensive-oriented guard to pair with Booker long term.
Another interior Presence – While Deandre Ayton is a great interior player, Phoenix needs another player who can rebound and block shots while Ayton sits. They ranked a woeful 29th in blocked shots and in the bottom ten in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, and total rebounds.
First Round, Pick No.10: Tyrese Haliburton, Guard (Iowa State)
While there are doubts that Haliburton will be available at the 10th overall pick, there is no such doubt that he would be a great fit for the Phoenix Suns.
Haliburton provides everything Phoenix needs in a secondary guard next to Devin Booker. He’s a quality passer with a high basketball IQ, which his conference-leading 6.5 assists per game and a 2.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio can attest to. He’s also a more than capable scorer, averaging over 15 points per game on 50/42/82 splits.
Defensively Haliburton is the ultimate swiss army knife. Standing at 6 foot 5, he has the body and length to guard the 1 through 3 and proved as much in college. He was one of the best defenders in his conference, averaging two and a half steals per game while chipping in almost a block per game as well.
His combination of quality passing, effective scoring, and dynamic defense make Haliburton the perfect candidate to pair alongside Devin Booker in the Sun’s backcourt for the coming years.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com
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