With the 2018 NBA Draft just weeks away, trade rumors are heating up for a number of teams that might be looking to secure a better position in order to grab the rookie they want. Despite holding the first overall pick, the Phoenix Suns appear to be one of those teams, as reports suggest that they might be trading their second first-rounder in order to move into the top 10 and select the University of Oklahoma’s star point guard, Trae Young.
According to a tweet from Bleacher Report NBA draft specialist Jonathan Wasserman that cited a source close to the Phoenix Suns, the team has been trying to invite Young for a dinner and a workout session, though has had difficulty bringing the talented young guard over due to scheduling issues. But with the Suns reportedly hopeful that they will get to meet with Young before the draft on June 22, Wasserman added that those plans are “evidence” that Phoenix wants to have a second lottery pick in this year’s draft. As noted by CBS Sports, the Suns are widely expected to choose University of Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick.
Predicting what could happen if the draft and trade rumors are accurate and both Ayton and Young end up in Phoenix, CBS Sports wrote that the two prospective rookies could team up with Josh Jackson and Devin Booker to form a solid nucleus of young players to anchor the team’s rebuilding project. As Young is expected to go in the top 10 of the 2018 NBA Draft, that could mean surrendering a key contributor, though CBS Sports speculated that Booker and Jackson, who was picked fourth overall in last year’s draft, are “as close to untouchable as it gets.”
Assuming the Phoenix Suns will indeed be trading up for Trae Young, CBS Sports mentioned a few names that could be in consideration as a veteran player to bundle with their 16th overall selection, including big men Tyson Chandler and Dragan Bender. The publication also mentioned the Orlando Magic as a potential trade partner, considering how the team coincidentally traded starting point guard Elfrid Payton to the Suns before the 2017-18 trade deadline.
“If Orlando isn’t thrilled with Young [in pre-draft workouts], then the Magic could take him, make a deal with Phoenix on draft night, and then move back in the draft to make a pick at No. 16 instead,” wrote CBS Sports.
According to the NBA’s official website, Trae Young had a sensational freshman season for the Oklahoma Sooners, becoming the first player to lead the NCAA Division I in scoring and assists. He has often been compared to Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry due to his quick release, deep shooting range, and his ability to “visualize his or his teammates’ next move” before it happens.