Phoenix Suns, Eric Bledsoe & their draft
I want to talk about the Phoenix Suns. The first thing I want to say is, I think the Suns should be awarded with an extra lottery for their efforts to make the playoffs even though everyone counted them out of the playoff race before the season started.
The Suns where expected to do a masterful tank job to try and land one of the big three prospects but instead, they battled until the end and barely missed the playoffs in the stacked west. I would give them the #15 pick in the draft which would mean 15 lottery picks instead of 14 and more odds to get the #1 pick (very little chance anyway) which would bump the Hawks to #16.
The second thing I want to write about is on Eric Bledsoe. I think it would be a big mistake for this franchise to overpay for his services. He was injured for a major part of the season and they managed to win without him. Goran Dragic is a more than capable starting point guard and is committed to the Phoenix Suns, something you can't say about Bledsoe.
Bledsoe was a nice bench player for the Clippers and showed some flashes of stardom in his lone season in Phoenix, but it would be a massive risk to extend him long term as it could turn out to be an Eric Gordon type of situation where the guy gets the money and he stops caring about the game.
Speaking of the suns and the offseason, they have three first round picks in this stacked draft. I would use the first two to trade up and select Gary Harris. He and Dragic would form a very good backcourt and Harris would bring the athleticism and slashing that would complement Dragic perfectly. With their last lotto pick, I would draft GRIII or Warren if he falls.
Bledsoe plays with alot of heart. you dont have to worry about his love for the game. i really like him but i wont give him the max. They should try to hold onto to him though, great defender and a stat sheet stuffer. Injuries may be a concern but he's still really young.
since i expect them to re sign Bledsoe, they guard position should be avoided in the draft. they're still developing Goodwin who has upside and showed flashes. with Gerald Green expected back, they seem jam packed at the guard spot.
i'd look for a SF, and a rim protector ( which seems ike zero in this draft after WCS returned to school).
they're in a good spot. they can try to flip their picks to get higher in the draft or maybe even flip it for a Melo.
"I think the Suns should be awarded with an extra lottery for their efforts to make the playoffs even though everyone counted them out of the playoff race before the season started."
Effort does not award you anything! Does KD deserve a ring for falling short?
Bledsoe will be that 42 yr old veteran ala Derek Fisher but better. He knows how to take care of his body despite the meniscus injury. Just look at his physique he's maintained that since his Fr. year at UK. It will haunt them not to pay him!
The Suns are going to be an interesting team in the draft. The main question is if Bledsoe returns or not. If EBled walks to another team I think another atheltic guard would make sense. Elfrid Payton would be a great pick up, Lavine too. Payton and Lavine could easily go sooner, but 14 and 18 is the appropriate range for these guys IMO.
If Bledsoe does stay, they'll probably look at the 3 and 4. Obviously they need a center but this draft doesn't have any of those in the late lottery-as mentioned above. But the answer is not GRIII. I've written about my GRIII skepticism for sometime now, he just reads Ronnie Brewer to me. Of course, Ronnie Brewer has been in the league for a while now so it's not a huge insult by any means. But there are players in GRIII's draft range that have superior potential IMO.
T.J Warren, Early and Payne are players that could fit into the Suns high-percentage shooting culture while fitting a need.
I understand what you mean by they "deserve" an extra pick for thier "effort" but its not realistic and its quite ridiculous. Effort is an expectation at any level of competition. The reward for orginized effort is the reason you play the game. The reward is wins resulting in championships and since they wont have a championship of any sorts this year alot more effort should be expected next year.
As far as Bledsoe goes you have to match what the market is willing to pay, it wont be a max so they will have to match. I doubt he demands more than 14-mil, I would aim for 12-mil I think he is worth that. You absolutely cannot let young talent leave your organization after taking a huge step forward. For those who say "well they managed to win and see success withoht Bledsoe", no they really didnt. They missed the playoffs.
Im sure there are Suns fans that believe with Bledsoe all year the teams progression would have been stronger, and possibly enough to make the playoffs. Im not an avid fan do I cant make that opinion but you cant say that losing a good player was okay because his teamates won games while he was gone, unless his FG% was mid 30's and turnover rate was high.
As for the draft alot of people have them taking Mcdermott. I dont like that pick. The Suns have capable perimeter offensive players with shooting abillities. I understand Mcdermott is arguably the most versatile scorer in the draft but I dont think he adds anything to the team
TJ Warrens midrange game and court savvy would be an instant fit in Phoenix. He scores in ways that nobody in Phoenix can and has great ball iq.
With the second pick and third picks they should get at least one Euro stash prospect and one project guy. I would personally pick the stash guy with the second pick and the project with the third pick that way you dont have three rookies on the roster which can be a pain, you get to choose your favourite stash guy before teams like Chicago, OKC, Minnesota, OKC who have history stashing prospects or are rumored to do it this year, and you save on cap room.
I like Nurkic with the stash and BPA or whoever falls or a potential pick like KJ Mcdaniels, Isaiah Austin, Jarnell Stokes with the second pick.
I think we need to look to retain Bledsoe but I'd not go over $40 million over 4 years. We also need to extend P.J Tucker maybe $18 million over 3 years as a ballpark figure.
With the draft picks I'd look for a young combo guard to give extra depth and maybe take the best avalable big with the 2nd first rounder and some sort of stasher with the 3rd one. My prefered option would be to look to trade up but with teams above us like Philly and Orlando having multiple picks, Cleveland having drafted a lot of recent players, trade ups are not that clear. Denver at 11 could be an option but I'd want a slightly higher pick for 14 and 18 combined.
A combo gaurd wouldnt be a bad idea but he would have to compliment Archie Goodwin so they dont stunt his development. He has shown he can be productive when given the green light. He turns 20 in August.
If they get a combo gaurd he needs to have good PG skills as apposed to be a SG by nature that can play at PG for stretches and has PG tendacies and skills it needs to be a PG by nature with SG skills.
Jordan Clarkson would be a good fit. Spencer Dinwiddie may seem like a reach but he is also a good fit if healthy.
Which PGs projected outside the Top 10 picks in the draft are worthy being selected in place of Bledsoe?
The Suns were 22-9 when both Dragic and Bledsoe started. Also, 22-7 when both started and finished the game (were not plagued by injuries in the fourth). That's amazing for a team that was ruled out before the start of the season.
I think they should really re-sign Bledsoe and look for a 3 at the draft.
They could re-sign Bledsoe and draft Cleanthony Early with one of the picks, Adreian Payne with another.
I like the idea of extra incentive for winning. Teams should be rewarded for winning past projection. Better odds at winning the draft lottery to top 5 maybe? Tanking is just NBA at its worst. No competition provided for better teams just makes the NBA the lesser sport to the NCAA. Makes the NBA a smaller sport only good for big market teams. After these top draft picks play their rookie contract with their small time team their reward is moving on out. Then its time to tank again... .... ... ...
The run and gun Phoenix Suns. I like McDermott. Need another SF and shooter but can he rebound? Lets draft Rebounding talent! Suns were playoff bound with better rebounding. Never see anyone with double digit rebounds in the stat box. I enjoyed watching Louis Admundson rebound and hustle. Seemed to grab every bball in sight. K Love can R E B O U N D. Bet the farm including Bledsoe on him but keep Lakers pick they are owed in 2015. 3 way some Love to PHX, sign/trade Bledsoe to LAL and sign/trade Gasol/picks to MIN.