Phoenix Suns: NBA Draft Team Needs
2007-08 Record: 55-27; 2nd Pacific
Draft Picks: 15, 48
Key Free Agents
G Grant Hill (player option)
How they got here and what they need
The Suns went out on a limb and sent Shawn Marion and others to Miami in exchange for Shaquille O'Neal. While the deal made by GM Steve Kerr was with good intentions, I think he underestimated just how bad the majority of Shaq's teammates were/are on the defensive end of the floor. The days in which Diesel could bail out teammates on the back line and start a break in the opposite direction are over, yet the Suns couldn't comprehend that. The end result: another playoff exit at the hands of the hated Spurs and the departure of head coach Mike D'Antoni to New York.
With Terry Porter coming to take over the head coaching duties, look for Kerr to work to put a little of his imprint on the squad now that he's got "his guy" in the chair. That will most likely mean a stronger commitment to the defensive end of the floor, even if that means slowing down their breakneck pace a little bit. And with Steve Nash not getting any younger, the window to a title is slowly closing in Phoenix. The areas that the Suns could use help in: players committed to the defensive end of the floor and a backup point guard.
Who they take
In this spot I agree with Shawn's mock draft and like Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts. While he may not have the smoothest game, he's extremely effective at what he does well and has a good understanding of who he is as a basketball player. And while he wasn't a great lockdown defender in college, he's better than just about anyone else on the Suns roster other than Raja Bell and D.J. Strawberry.
Draft History (since 2000)
- 2007: Rudy Fernandez (24), Alando Tucker (29), D.J. Strawberry (59)
- 2006: No Picks
- 2005: Nate Robinson (21), Marcin Gortat (57)
- 2004: Jackson Vroman (32)
- 2003: Zarko Cabarkapa (17)
- 2002: Amare Stoudemire (9), Casey Jacobsen (22)
- 2001: Alton Ford (51)
- 2000: Jake Tsakalidis (25)