This Wednesday at 8pm EST a new wave of talent will enter the NBA via the draft. Many are calling this year’s crop of young hoopers shallow or that it isn’t as strong as recent years. While yes, there’s not a generational Zion-like phenom leading the way with fellow franchise cornerstone like Ja Morant behind him. This year’s draft is full of prospects that I believe can be very good starters or role players on future or even current playoff teams. Aside from Edwards, Ball, and Wiseman being possible stars of course.

Luckily, the Suns kept their 10th overall pick this year after the Chris Paul trade. The Phoenix Suns have two glaring needs in my eyes. Depth and defense. Chris Paul and Devin Booker have the potential to be one of the best guard combos in the NBA this season. Add in a young bull in the paint like Deandre Ayton and with the right pieces this team will find themselves in the playoffs. 8-0 in the bubble last season was impressive for sure. But how can they build on that?

The Suns front office definitely sees they can be in a position to win now even with a fairly young team (adding CP3 kinda skews the age average). But his leadership and mentorship of Booker and Ayton and the rest of the young cats on the team is an underlying reason why I believe the Suns will take a step forward this season. Phoenix just needs to “win” the rest of the offseason. Which need will they address in the draft and which would they rather fix via free agency? Having the 10th selection in the draft I believe the Suns are in a good spot and should select one of the following prospects. 

Isaac Okoro

Auburn Tigers Forward

6’6” 225lbs

https://theathletic.com/2199347/2020/11/16/knicks-mock-draft-isaac-okoro/

First and foremost, it’s hard for me to imagine Okoro slipping this far. But in a sorta special draft with all the COVID regulations, a gem like this kid could fall right into Phoenix’s lap. Best defender in the draft and can defend possibly all positions. You will find Okoro using his size and strength to effect the game in enough ways to make up for his incomplete offense. If Okoro can get his three pointers to fall he could end up as a star. Will fit in as a Draymond Green type role with the Suns. 

Saddiq Bey

Villanova Wildcats Forward

6’8” 216lbs

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zacharycohen/2020/03/05/nobody-in-the-2020-nba-draft-craves-greatness-like-villanovas-saddiq-bey/

Another gem that might slip right into a nice role in Phoenix is one of the best three and D players in the draft. Saddiq Bey could provide many key assets to a playoff team. Averaged 45 percent from the three point line last year for Nova. Will be a real catch and shot weapon from day one. Even though he isn’t the most athletic player on the court he makes a real impact on defense and will guard multiple positions. Would play a Trevor Ariza style role with the Suns. 

Tyrese Maxey

Kentucky Wildcats Guard

6’3” 198lbs

Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey reacts after making a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State early Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in New York. Kentucky won 69-62. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Maxey would fill Phoenix’s back up guard need and could play the one or the two. Excels at making his own shot and finishing through the trees in the paint. Doesn’t let up on defense ether but is limited to guarding other guards. Phoenix has a history with drafting Kentucky guards so them going with this former Wildcat shouldn’t be too far out of the question. His three point shot will have to improve at the next level. But will make up for it by driving to the bucket to get three points the hard way and shoots 83 percent from the line. Think of him like a Emmanuel Mudiay type player with Kemba Walker potential.

Cole Anthony

North Carolina Tar Heels Guard

6’3” 190lbs

https://theathletic.com/1564831/2020/01/31/cole-anthony-return-injury-unc-tar-heels-nba-draft/

Cole Anthony would be a bit of a gamble selection here. Formerly thought of as a top five pick but has seen his stock fall due to a knee injury and being sloppy with the ball at times. But this is the type of sometimes overconfident guy that can turn into a star with some CP3 mentorship. Anthony is an aggressive scorer and was a highly touted high school recruit. This pick could turn into a home run selection if he listens to what CP3 has to say. Giving him a couple years as a backup could result in having a legit point guard after CP3’s contract is up. I can see Anthony mold into an Eric Bledsoe type of guard. 

Devin Vassell

Florida State Forward

6’8” 200lbs

https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/sports/peachtree-ridge-grad-devin-vassell-turns-into-super-sub-as-florida-state-freshman/article_de07b60f-ed3e-5fa1-91b0-8ff6735493d6.html

Last but not least we have one of the most versatile prospects in the draft. Explosive athlete who can make his presence felt on both ends of the court. Shot 41 percent from the three point line in both years at FSU and averaged a block and a steal per game as well. Only knock I can see against him is ball handling but CP3 and Book should do plenty of that. Vassell will bring rebounds, scoring, defense and highlight plays to the desert. Ironically, I would say he is a Kelly Oubre type player.

Who do you wanna see the Phoenix Suns draft? As the new Phoenix Suns Beat Writer for Belly Up Sports I’d love to hear what Suns Nation has to say. Come find me on Twitter and we and chat until the sun comes up.

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Randy Perry

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