The Suns have found limited value in the second round of the NBA Draft.

NBA Draft’s Second Round Has Produced Little Value For Suns
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

The Phoenix Suns find themselves in a familiar position as they gear up for the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft scheduled for later this month.

The Suns have now gone four straight drafts without a first-round pick, as they traded them away for Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets in February. This is consistent with their previous trades for Chris Paul in 2022 and Mikal Bridges in 2021.

Phoenix Suns will make one pick in the upcoming two-round draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on June 22nd, selecting 52nd overall.

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The Suns have chosen a total of 41 players in the second round since 1988, with notable selections such as Marcin Gortat in 2005 and Steve Kerr in 1988, both of whom have become integral players for the franchise.

If Arizona sports betting were to establish odds on these outcomes, it would be wise to temper expectations for the Suns in the second round.

Phoenix has not yet found a second-round steal like Denver’s two-time MVP Nikola Jokic (41st pick in 2014) or former San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili (57th pick in 1999).

Yengols.com conducted an analysis of the career win share of every second-round pick since 1988 in order to assess the potential value that Suns fans can expect from the team’s choice in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Second-Round Selections by the Phoenix Suns in the 21st Century

Draft Year Player School Career Win Share
2019KZ OkpalaStanford1.0
2018George KingColorado-0.1
2018Elie OkoboFrance1.5
2017Davon ReedMiami1.5
2017Alec PetersFrance1.5
2016Tyler UlisKentucky0.5
2015Andrew HarrisonKentucky3.2
2014Alec BrownWisconsin-Green Bay0.0
2013Alex OriakhiMissouri0.0
2010Gani LawalGeorgia Tech0.0
2010Dwayne CollinsMiami0.0
2009Taylor GriffinOklahoma0.0
2009Emir PreldzicBosnia and Herzegovina0.0
2008Malik HairstonOregon0.8
2007D.J. StrawberryMaryland-0.2
2005Marcin GortatPoland61.3
2001Alton FordHouston0.8

Arizona sports betting apps have Victor Wembanyama as the strong favorite (-50000) to be picked by San Antonio as the first overall selection in the draft. Brandon Miller from Alabama is predicted to be the top choice for Charlotte with the second pick.

Can the 52nd pick become a valuable player for the Suns in the NBA?

Considering the team’s track record, it is improbable that the Suns will have the opportunity to draft a standout player at the 52nd pick.

Since 2005, the Suns have not selected a second-round pick who has accumulated a career win share total exceeding 10.0, with Gortat being the last player to achieve this milestone.

Nonetheless, thanks to the lengthy careers of veteran second-round picks like Kerr, Ceballos, and Jackson, who have amassed impressive career win shares, the Suns’ second-round choices have averaged a collective 11.2 win shares since 1988.

In the 1988 draft, the team selected Kerr, Andrew Lang from Arkansas (28.6 win share), and Dean Garrett from Indiana (14.1 win share) as their top second-round picks. Combined, they amassed a total of 89.9 win share over their NBA careers.

Conversely, the fact that six Suns second-round draft classes have a career win share of 0.0 highlights the difficulty in predicting which late picks will thrive.

FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona lists Phoenix with the fourth-best odds at +700 to win the 2024 NBA title, while Denver is the favorite at +460 to defend their championship.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has spent over seven years working in the Arizona sports and sports betting industry, with previous roles at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He currently holds the position of lead writer at yengols.com.

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