high draft picks in Suns history

BC867

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In the early years Jordan had some good bigs on the team - Horace Grant at PF was probably the biggest stud those years. Bill Cartwright was on the first threepeat group, as well. Stacy King, Scotty Williams and Will Perdue were lesser lights. Interestingly, Cartwright was the only one that didn't have a very high offensive efficiency rating among those five - with Horace Grant leading the bunch.

Luc Longley and Dennis Rodman (who is a stud in my book) were on hand for the second threepeat along with Wennington, C, and Dickie Simpkins, PF. Notably, Toni Kukoc, a 6'10 SF was on those teams. (Bigs who played briefly during this time were John Salley, Robert Parish, James Edwards and Joe Kleine.) Jason Caffey, PF, played a significant role in the second of the three years.
And most of those Centers (with the exception of James Edwards whose offense was 20 feet from the basket) were pretty much role players.

If your best players are not "bigs", it is do-able with solid role playing Centers -- three of them on the roster so you always have two.

Potentially with 3 Centers and 3 Point Guards, the Suns have a good foundation going forward for developing a balanced team.
 

Mainstreet

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I really like the #5 slot if "Skita" was not in it to give me pause about Len.

#5 overall
Walter Davis (1977)
Charles Barkley (1984)
Vince Carter (1998)
Jason Richardson (2001)
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (2002)
Alex Len (2013)
 

Errntknght

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And most of those Centers (with the exception of James Edwards whose offense was 20 feet from the basket) were pretty much role players.

If your best players are not "bigs", it is do-able with solid role playing Centers -- three of them on the roster so you always have two.

Potentially with 3 Centers and 3 Point Guards, the Suns have a good foundation going forward for developing a balanced team.

What I think this all showed was that P.J. (with able assistant and theoretician Tex Winter) was a genius at fitting players into the roles their system needed. I remember when he picked up Ron Harper on the downside of his career and I wondered why in the heck he was doing that - and, of course, Harper proved to be an important cog during the second threepeat. After that I noticed that whoever Phil put on the floor seemed to know just what his role was - there are very few coaches you can say that about.
 

Errntknght

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A little historical side note.

When Jackson took the job in LA, lot of experts said that the triangle wouldn't work with a dominating center like Shaquille - that it was designed to work with teams with more mobile players like Jordan and Pippen and Kukoc rapidly shifting the triangles about. Asked about that Jackson said it was nonsense - that Shaq was perfect for the triangle.
 
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elindholm

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Looks like the site change doesn't allow old posts to be edited. So, here's the July 2016 update:

#1 overall
Joe Barry Carroll (drafted 1980)
Danny Manning (1988)
Shaquille O'Neal (1992)

#2 overall
Wayman Tisdale (1985)
Armon Gilliam (1987)
Jason Kidd (1994)
Antonio McDyess (1995)
Stromile Swift (2000)
Tyson Chandler (2001)
Michael Beasley (2008)

#3 overall
Penny Hardaway (1993)
Grant Hill (1994)

#4 overall
Alvan Adams (1974)
Xavier McDaniel (1985)
Dennis Scott (1990)
Jim Jackson (1992)
Stephon Marbury (1996)
Wesley Johnson (2010)
Dragan Bender (2016)

#5 overall
Walter Davis (1977)
Charles Barkley (1984)
Vince Carter (1998)
Jason Richardson (2001)
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (2002)
Alex Len (2013)
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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Not sure I would add players that we didn't draft or trade for on draft night. Beasley and Wes for instance have no reason to be on this list. Or I am just missing the point of the thread.
 

GatorAZ

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Just looking at the Armen Gilliam draft... Damn the Suns almost had Robinson. Another HOF center missed by one pick in the lottery.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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It was coin flip. Missed two HOF centers with coin flips. That's luck. The Suns never get the damn luck.
 

Mainstreet

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It was coin flip. Missed two HOF centers with coin flips. That's luck. The Suns never get the damn luck.

The Suns have to do it the hard way... work for it. Luck has never been in their vocabulary. Even Steve Nash was drafted 15th.

The Suns should embrace youth but not tanking.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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The Suns have to do it the hard way... work for it. Luck has never been in their vocabulary. Even Steve Nash was drafted 15th.

The Suns should embrace youth but not tanking.

Disagree. Play the youth and lose. We seem to only lose in talent-poor draft years. This is supposed to better. Take advantage of the youth.
 
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elindholm

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Not sure I would add players that we didn't draft or trade for on draft night.

That list would be much, much shorter. Gilliam, Adams, Bender, Davis, Len. That's it.

Or I am just missing the point of the thread.

I can't remember why I started it, to be honest; it was many years ago. I was curious about which top-five picks had eventually found their way to the Suns, but I can't tell you what sparked that curiosity.
 

Mainstreet

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Disagree. Play the youth and lose. We seem to only lose in talent-poor draft years. This is supposed to better. Take advantage of the youth.

If you play the youth it's a win-win. Most likely you will lose but if the youngsters play well, I would never hold them back. Actually I think we have similar viewpoints. I want the Suns to play the young players much like you.
 

Errntknght

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I don't just want them to play youth, I want Watson specifically to start Ulis. The reason for that is because I don't believe the other youth will learn much about how to play the game with Bled operating Watson's pathetic offense. I am less convinced than the bulk of our posters that Ulis cannot stand up to the rigors of heavy minutes but I do have my doubts, too. I think it's silly to assume that he can't and while we are finding out whether or not he can, we'll have the other young guys benefiting from his playmaking ability.

I have such little hope for Watson that I don't believe that we'll even find out how good the youngsters are with him in charge - Ulis will help some but we really need to get rid Watson.
 

AZCrazy

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You can add Anthony Bennett to the list as of today. Recent #1 overall.
 
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elindholm

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You can add Anthony Bennett to the list as of today. Recent #1 overall.

Not until he plays in a regular-season game. The Suns also "had" Emeka Okafor not that long ago, but he's not on the list.
 
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elindholm

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Looks like the site change doesn't allow old posts to be edited. So, here's the November 2017 update:

#1 overall
Joe Barry Carroll (drafted 1980)
Danny Manning (1988)
Shaquille O'Neal (1992)

#2 overall
Wayman Tisdale (1985)
Armon Gilliam (1987)
Jason Kidd (1994)
Antonio McDyess (1995)
Stromile Swift (2000)
Tyson Chandler (2001)
Michael Beasley (2008)

#3 overall
Penny Hardaway (1993)
Grant Hill (1994)

#4 overall
Alvan Adams (1974)
Xavier McDaniel (1985)
Dennis Scott (1990)
Jim Jackson (1992)
Stephon Marbury (1996)
Wesley Johnson (2010)
Dragan Bender (2016)
Josh Jackson (2017)

#5 overall
Walter Davis (1977)
Charles Barkley (1984)
Vince Carter (1998)
Jason Richardson (2001)
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (2002)
Alex Len (2013)
 

BC867

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Looks like the site change doesn't allow old posts to be edited. So, here's the November 2017 update:

#1 overall
Joe Barry Carroll (drafted 1980)
Danny Manning (1988)
Shaquille O'Neal (1992)

#2 overall
Wayman Tisdale (1985)
Armon Gilliam (1987)
Jason Kidd (1994)
Antonio McDyess (1995)
Stromile Swift (2000)
Tyson Chandler (2001)
Michael Beasley (2008)

#3 overall
Penny Hardaway (1993)
Grant Hill (1994)

#4 overall
Alvan Adams (1974)
Xavier McDaniel (1985)
Dennis Scott (1990)
Jim Jackson (1992)
Stephon Marbury (1996)
Wesley Johnson (2010)
Dragan Bender (2016)
Josh Jackson (2017)

#5 overall
Walter Davis (1977)
Charles Barkley (1984)
Vince Carter (1998)
Jason Richardson (2001)
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (2002)
Alex Len (2013)
So history says that the way the Suns got most of the 1-5 picks who have excelled have been through trades or free agent signings. Not by getting high draft picks.

'Seems to prove that the concept of losing for years (either through ineffective GM's or tanking) is not the way to go, considering the drawbacks of a losing culture.

Thank you so much, Eric, for quantifying it.
 

JCSunsfan

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So history says that the way the Suns got most of the 1-5 picks who have excelled have been through trades or free agent signings. Not by getting high draft picks.

'Seems to prove that the concept of losing for years (either through ineffective GM's or tanking) is not the way to go, considering the drawbacks of a losing culture.

Thank you so much, Eric, for quantifying it.
Fair. But then, what they get is usually busts, injured, or over-the-hill players. On this list, players that were not drafted by the Suns, major injury issues, busts, or basically over the hill:

Jason Kidd
Antonio McDyess
Xavier McDaniel
Stephon Marbury
Charles Barkley
Jason Richardson

I get it. Gunning for a top pick is a crap shoot, demoralizing to the team, and reinforces bad habits in young players. But getting top 5 pick through trade or free agency is not cake walk either.

The forgotten thing is the importance of picking well no matter where your pick is.

Kevin Johnson (7th). Tom Chambers (8th), Amare and Matrix (9th), Devin Booker (14th), Steve Nash (15), Michael Finley (21), Jeff Hornacek (46th).
 
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elindholm

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It seems like I have to go through this every time. There's no message or conclusion behind the list. It's just a set of facts. Make of them what you will.
 

Errntknght

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I learned something about myself going over this thread. I read the whole thing and twice I read a post and thought - he thinks just like me. Both times I looked at the poster and I was the poster. So right or wrong I think the same way consistently.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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So history says that the way the Suns got most of the 1-5 picks who have excelled have been through trades or free agent signings. Not by getting high draft picks.

'Seems to prove that the concept of losing for years (either through ineffective GM's or tanking) is not the way to go, considering the drawbacks of a losing culture.

Thank you so much, Eric, for quantifying it.


Actually it’s all in how you see it. 13 of those that you’re flaunting as coming by way of trade or FA arrived either broken, past their prime, or shells of their former selves.

Of the ones we drafted two were terrific (Adams and Davis), two were meh (the hammer and Len) and two are still babies (bender and Jackson). If those two pan out it greatly sways the argument in favor of building via high draft picks.
 
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