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Phoenix Suns

2016 NBA Draft Recap: Phoenix Suns

The NBA Draft for the upcoming season is in the books. It was a solid draft, and though it was likely not good as last years, there were a ton of shocking trade moves. The Suns had more than 2 picks, and were looking to improve through the lottery.


1st Round —

Pick #4 — Dragan Bender – With their first pick, Phoenix took power forward Dragan Bender from Croatia. He’s only 18, but he seems “almost” ready to me. Bender is very athletic, and very talented. I think they did a nice job with this pick. He is over 7 feet tall, has played in Israel for the last couple of years, and made the Israeli All Star Team. I don’t think he is as NBA ready as a few forwards available for the Suns, but it seems like high risk, high reward. Grade: B-


Pick #8 (VIA KINGS) — Marquise Chriss – Sacramento drafted Chriss for the Suns as the Suns traded 2 first rounders for this pick. For the Kings, this pick would make almost no sense, as they already have Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins. For Phoenix however, Chriss can play down low and stretch the floor, which is something I think they needed. They really wanted Bender and Chriss, and with this trade, they got both of them. A win-win for what they had on their draft board. Grade: B+


2nd Round —

Pick #34 — Tyler Ulis – The Suns selected Tyler Ulis with their final pick of the draft, guard from Kentucky who joins forces with 4 other Kentucky players on the Suns (Bledsoe, Knight, Goodwin, and Booker). They made a good pick here. Even while undersized, he’s a true basketball “stud”. He was one of the best guards in the nation last year at UK. Phoenix loves to pick Wildcats for sure. They even selected a Harrison twin last year out of Kentucky, but eventually traded him to Memphis. Grade: A-


Overall, the Suns had a solid draft, they originally had 4 picks, but traded two of them to the Kings for 1, so they ended up with 3 picks. With that in mind, I think their front office did a great job in filling their needs with the correct players. They definitly got what they wanted on their board with Bender and Chriss. Overall Grade: A-


Ethan Carter (@EthanCarterSP)

Spark Sports Analyst

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