Somehow, the Phoenix Suns left the NBA Draft with both of their favorite players. Just days ago, the Suns were debating between selecting University of Washington PF Marquese Chriss or Croatian F Dragan Bender with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Suns were more interested in Chriss in the days prior to the draft, according to reports, but just hours before, the draft rumors began to swirl that Phoenix would be selecting Bender fourth. After the Boston Celtics semi-shocked the world by taking Cal forward Jaylen Brown at three, the Suns took Bender.
Most Suns fans probably thought, “Dragan Bender, nice. There goes our shot at Marquese Chriss.” Not so fast Suns fans. In what has become quite the off-season tradition, the Sacramento Kings swooped in to make another team better.
The Suns and Kings agreed to a trade, in which Sacramento sent Phoenix the eighth pick, and in turn they received No. 13, No. 28, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and a 2020 second-rounder. As you probably now know, the Suns used the eighth pick to take their other guy, Marquese Chriss.
There’s no point in trying to look at the Kings and decipher their logic. There really seems to be none. I’ve been trying all day, but have yet to come up with one reason why that trade will ever make them better. Sacramento ended up taking Greek C Georgios Papagiannis at No. 13 and Kentucky C Skal Labissiere at No. 28.
The Kings got solid value with Labissiere at 28, but there’s no guarantee that he or Papagiannis ever become even minor impact players in the NBA. Granted, there’s no promise that Chriss will hit his talent ceiling either, but I’d much rather bet on him than a Papagiannis/Labissiere combination.
The Suns got more talent than they could of even imagined on Thursday, and all of the sudden their team is starting to take shape. They have a lot of talent in a roster that has Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and Alex Len. Now it’s time for them to figure out how all of their pieces fit together.