As the Phoenix Suns continue to lose games, they continue to (technically) win in terms of the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery.
Or so one would think as the once-proud franchise holds a league-worst 19-57 (.250) record following Wednesday night’s 111-99 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Phoenix is currently on a 13-game skid and sit a jaw-dropping 42.5 games behind James Harden and the Western Conference-leading Houston Rockets.
Fans are hoping the latest tank-a-thon addition on Planet Orange will produce the number one overall pick this summer. If the Suns have any luck at all, they haven’t in recent lotteries, they could possibly have their choice at the top of either University of Arizona center Deandre Ayton or former Corona del Sol High School freshman phenom Marvin Bagley III, who made his decision official on Wednesday.
— Marvin Bagley III (@MB3FIVE) March 28, 2018
Both are widely projected to be sure-fire stars at the next level and each posses unique skill-sets perfect for the modern-day NBA. Coincidentally, the two were also teammates at Hillcrest Prep here in the Valley.
So who makes more sense for the Suns if they have the number one pick?
We decided to ask a couple people in-the-know.
“They’re the type of talent that you could see First-Team All-NBA and possibly down the line NBA MVP,” Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley said to Sports360AZ.com. “I think the difference in seeing Ayton…his hands, his footwork, his body….his skills. You really almost never see it with a guy his size. I’d give the slightest edge to Ayton.”
— Deandre Ayton (@DeandreAyton) March 27, 2018
Others feel, if the Suns secure the top overall selection, they may be in a no-lose situation deciding between the two freshmen phenoms who both garnered conference player of the year honors during their one and only collegient seasons.
“It’s a pretty good problem to have,” FS1/Pac-12 Network analyst and former Suns’ first-round pick Casey Jacobsen quipped to Sports360AZ.com. “I’m going to go with Deandre Ayton. I still contend the most difficult thing to guard in basketball is a dominant, low-post, back-to-the-basket big [man]. Two, it changes what you do defensively.”
Jacobsen believes adding an immediate impact player of Ayton’s size (7-foot-1, 260 pounds) would immediately make defenses’ overcompensate and leave scorers like Devin Booker and T.J. Warren open for shots.
“I think Deandre Ayton has the potential to be a guy like that,” Jacobsen explained. “I don’t think Marvin Bagley has as much potential to be that kind of player.”
For now, the Suns’ “focus” over the next couple weeks will continue to be not fixing something that is already broken.
In short, keep winning…by losing.
Maybe this is the year they get lucky.