NBA Draft Avenue: What The Phoenix Suns Should Do With The Sixth Pick

If your favorite NBA team wasn’t a title contender, it was likely leaving tributes at the base of Mt. Zion (Williamson). Thirteen franchises all sit under the stoplight that is the 2019 NBA Draft. TSFJ gives each team a reason to speed through, take caution and even hit the brakes hard before making a wrong turn. We continue this series with a look at the 6th overall pick and the Phoenix Suns.

Previous stops: Boston - Miami Charlotte - Minnesota - Atlanta - Washington - Chicago

How They Got Here

Credit: Chris Schwegler, NBAE/Getty Images

There can’t be another team that is more disappointed in their draft position than Phoenix. With yet another terrible season, Phoenix finished tied with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers for the best chances to land the #1 pick. However, a year after securing the bag atop the draft for the first time in team history, they had nowhere near the same amount of fortune again. While the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers crashed the party atop the draft board, it was the Suns were left to be the night’s biggest losers. They ended up with the sixth selection, a very complicated position for them, despite it being a very deep draft.

Green Light: Draft Darius Garland

I spoke to one Suns fan and his opinion of the sixth pick seems to echo the opening sentence of this article. Being in the sixth position means the Suns will definitely miss out on Murray State stud point guard Ja Morant. He would have been a perfect fit and a player Phoenix has had its eyes on since he shot up draft boards over the course of last season. Phoenix is starved for a point guard, and Morant would have been a huge boost at the position.

Instead, they will have to pivot towards hoping the draft’s other top PG is still on the table. Vanderbilt's Darius Garland is still a high lottery pick, even though he's recovering from a knee injury that ended his freshman campaign. He's a 6'4" – bigger than Morant — and just as capable as a playmaker. The only reason he didn't come with the fanfare Morant does is because he was sidelined with injury. Garland would be a nice fit for the Suns and a gift at this point in the draft.

Yellow Light: Draft Coby White

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Again, needs matter more than wants. North Carolina's White would also fill that point guard need for Phoenix. The only caution here is that if Garland is available, I do believe he's a slightly better prospect. White is identifying as a PG and at 6'5" and coming from a prestigious program, he can be comfortable both leading with his own offense or distributing to the likes of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. The only caution here is not about White as a player what he is capable of, rather it is about choosing him over Garland, if the option is in play.

Red Light: Draft Cam Reddish

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Phoenix has talent everywhere, but there is no stable leadership, whether it is on the court or in the front office. Management is trying to change with another head coaching change (bringing in a second head coach in as many seasons in Monty Williams) and former NBA marksman James Jones taking over as general manager.

With that said, the first draft pick of the new regime is critical, and the last thing Phoenix needs is another offensive-minded wing. With T.J. Warren already in tow as a complimentary piece alongside Booker, this isn’t the place to spend such a vital pick on. A forward like Duke's Reddish, though a gifted shooter in a similar plane as Booker with Warren's size, does not fit there. The Suns should stay away from any player that isn't a point guard.

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