Will Phoenix Suns Trade Into 2022 NBA Draft?

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The 2022 NBA Draft is just days away, and questions still surround the entire draft board from top to bottom. 

Who will become the No. 1 selection? The Orlando Magic are still operating with full powers to take the likes of Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren or Paulo Banchero with the top pick. 

Where will Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe fall? Will rumors of Jerami Grant being moved for any of the top seven teams come to fruition? Franchises are desperate to find their next piece for the future, and nothing should be off the table. 

That also goes for the Phoenix Suns, a team that has been at the central of offseason talks without the luxury of having picks in either two of the rounds set for Thursday’s draft. 

What Happened to Phoenix’s 2022 Draft Picks? 

The Suns’ first-round selection was packaged in the trade that landed Chris Paul with the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Thunder received: Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick 

Suns received: Chris Paul and Abdel Nader.

Phoenix’s second-round pick was dealt to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Torrey Craig. 

Pacers received: Jalen Smith, 2022 second-round pick

Suns received: Torrey Craig

Should the Suns actually sit the draft out, it would be the first time since 1998 where Phoenix didn’t have any picks, and just the second time in franchise history where no new players were welcomed via the draft. 

Suns GM James Jones on Moving Back Into NBA Draft

The current lack of picks won’t stop Suns general manager James Jones from evaluating the possibility of getting back in the game. 

“You know me, I explore all options,” said Jones to reporters earlier in the offseason.

“If there’s an opportunity for us to get back in the draft, we will. We’re gonna use all avenues to improve whether it’s the draft, free agency, summer league. You name it, we’ll be looking at it.”

If they were to pick somebody in the second round, it would be the first time since 2019 where Phoenix drafted a player past the first round. 

What Prospects Have the Suns Worked Out? 

Phoenix has still been doing their homework on a handful of prospects, which includes the following confirmed players (via sites such as HoopsHype)

  • Jaylin Williams, PF, Arkansas
  • Lester Quinones, SG, Memphis
  • Collin Gillespie, PG, Villanova
  • Izaiah Brockington, SG, Iowa State
  • Jermaine Samuels, SF, Villanova
  • Marcus Weathers, SF, SMU
  • Lucas Williamson, SG, Loyola Chicago

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  • Adonis Arms, SG, Texas Tech
  • Javante McCoy, PG, Boston

The Suns have likely worked out more players, yet teams do not have to disclose who they bring in leading up to the draft. 

Phoenix has focused their efforts mainly on guys who will likely be available at the tail end of the draft, or even as possible undrafted free agents afterwards. In Yahoo’s final NBA mock draft, just Williams (No. 38) and Gillespie (No. 53) were taken. 

Suns Have Interest in Moving Back Into NBA Draft

Arizona Sports’ 98.7 FM John Gambadoro believes the Suns are indeed intrigued in acquiring a second-round pick for the draft:

While a trade into the lottery or even first round seems unlikely, keep a watchful eye on Phoenix as the draft board begins to dwindle, as the Suns may covet what they believe to be a hidden gem and wouldn’t mind paying the small asking price to ensure they got their guy. 

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