Which direction will Phoenix go in the NBA draft now that they have a head coach in place?
That question and several other inquiries could be revealed as soon as May 15 when the NBA Draft lottery takes places. There are a few rumors suggesting that if the Phoenix Suns land the No. 1 overall pick, they could target Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic, according to AZ Central. However, the Suns drafting Arizona center Deandre Ayton has not been ruled out.
With the NBA draft about six weeks away, there is a slew of NBA rumors circulating regarding what several teams may or may not do. One of the teams making headlines is the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix Suns’ general manager Ryan McDonough is expected to take a look at all avenues to improve the team. Despite the rumors involving the Suns and their interest in Luka Doncic, McDonough was adamant about exploring his options.
“It’s an easy assumption to make, but we’re going to draft whoever we think the best player is. If we do get the Number 1 pick, Doncic will certainly be in that mix. But Ayton and a few other guys will, as well.”
Judging from Ryan McDonough’s words, the Phoenix Suns also view Deandre Ayton as a fit despite Luka Doncic being a natural fit.
The Phoenix Suns' new head coach, Igor Kokoskov, was Luka Doncic's head coach when he won the 2017 EuroBasket title. The Suns were already an intriguing destination for Doncic, but now he makes a TON of sense.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 2, 2018
Before turning much of their attention toward some of the players eligible for the NBA draft, the first thing that the Suns did during their offseason was hiring a coach. The Suns landed an agreement with Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov to be their head coach (courtesy of Arizona Sports). Kokoskov has strong credentials which should make him a quality hire for the Suns.
Ironically, Igor Kokoskov has ties to Luka Doncic. The NBA rumors that are in circulation are suggesting that the Phoenix Suns now view Luka Doncic as their preference in the upcoming draft. Having Kokoskov in the fold as the head coach gives the Suns a leg up on the competition for Doncic. Kokoskov coached Doncic on the Slovenian national team.
As it currently stands, the Phoenix Suns could finish with no worse a pick than N0. 4. Falling that far in the draft may eliminate some options for the Suns. However, that has not precluded the front office from thinking about the best-case scenario.
Falling to No. 4 would take the Suns out of the running for Deandre Ayton. Barring a change in how teams view Ayton, he is likely to go within the top three picks.
The Phoenix Suns already have a couple of young frontcourt players on the roster in Dragan Bender and Maquesse Chriss. They are expected to lose Alex Len to NBA free agency. Ayton would be a good fit for the Suns.
Deandre Ayton can run the floor, shoot, and defend. Most importantly, Ayton’s ability to stretch the floor should appeal to the Suns. However, the Suns’ biggest need is a floor leader.
With Igor Kokoskov in place, coupled with the Suns’ need for a lead guard, Luka Doncic is an ideal prospect to key an eye on.
The Phoenix Suns will have some say in what a few of the other teams do in the NBA draft. Having ties to Luka Doncic makes it clear what direction the Suns may lean.