Welcome to the third installment of the Bright Side Round Table as we address all the major questions and discuss all the pertinent issues for the Phoenix Suns off-season. Go back and see our thoughts on Jeff Hornacek as the new Head Coach and the No. 5 pick.
(Today we welcome in Richard Parker to the discussion as Jim Coughenour is on sabbatical)
Third topic: Five Questions on the No. 30 Pick
1. Breaking the Ice: What are your initial thoughts on what the team should do with the No. 30 Overall Pick?
Kris Habbas: The ideally would like to avoid duplicated positions with their two first round picks so a big early means a wing late, and vice versa, but this pick also gives them a chance to swing hard for the fences.
Dave King: I think the team should trade up in the draft, using the 30th pick as bait along with a Suns player or two, or acquire a young NBA talent for it. If they keep it, they should go for a high-potential talent rather than a safe one.
Jacob Padilla: Well, what the team does will depend on who is taken at No. 5 and who is left on the board. McDonough said drafting two players at the same position can stunt their growth a bit, so if the Suns go big at five I'd anticipate them looking at guards at 30 and vice versa. Although I do think 2 wings is a possibility.
Richard Parker: My initial thoughts are to hate the Los Angeles Lakers more than I already do because that pick should be 16 spots higher. Anyway, I think that with the 30th pick we should get good value in a draft deep with guys that project to be rotation players. That can be either by using the pick as part of a package to acquire an even better asset or to just take a relatively talented player that can play on this team (either right away or after some time in the D-League).
Sean Sullivan: If possible, they should try to acquire another lotto pick first, possibly by packaging it with a player. I would also like them to look at next year's draft and see if there is any way they can acquire another pick there as well. If not, just take the best player available. There is plenty of depth this year, if not top-tier talent.
2. Should the team try to trade it? If so, what is the value?
DK: By itself, the 30th pick doesn't hold a lot of value in trade with most NBA teams fighting the salary cap. It's actually worth less than the 31st because the 30th guy gets a guaranteed contract. Yet, it's still a first-rounder, and is likely the most valuable to a team who watches a favorite of theirs drop and can't live without him. So, if it's being traded its either (a) a throw-in to a bigger trade so a team can say they got a first-round pick back or (b) traded "on the clock" to a team that really wants a particular player.
JP: I wouldn't be opposed to moving 30 as part of a larger deal. However, I would like to get at least 2 first round rookies out of this draft and I think the Suns should be able to get a fairly decent one at the end of the first round.
RP: I don't think you should have the mindset of definitely trying to either trade or keep it at this point. McDonough should definitely explore all the possibilities, and there is bound to be plenty of movement in the draft. If a deal comes up where we can package the 30th with other assets to move up in the draft or acquire a better asset, that's when you think about definitely trading it. I think it has some value to it. This draft class is supposed to be deep and there are several players projected to go late first round or early second that will at least be rotation players. However, it is guaranteed salary as opposed to an early second rounder (like the 31st pick) so a lot of teams might prefer the latter.
SS: Yes, see above. I think the value will be determined by the team who wants it. I think we should look at trading one of our players along with it for another lotto pick and possibly a player in return, depending on the deal.
KH: Teams are trying to get under the cap, trade out of the draft in general, and project their roster heading into free-agency. This pick does not have much value as it serves as a counter agent to those goals.
3. Of the prospects the team has worked out, who do you like the most for the team at No. 30?
JP: I haven't set my sights on any one player. It's a lot harder to predict who's going to be available at 30 compared to five. However, I do think there should be some good wing prospects available and the Suns have worked out a couple of them in Archie Goodwin, Ricky Ledo and Tony Snell.
RP: I like Tony Snell, though I'm not sure he drops to #30. I think he'll go in the mid-20s but if he's available, I think he'd be a solid pick. He's got good size to play either wing position, is a good shooter and defender (though he needs to put on some weight), and seems like the kind of player that can at least be a 3-and-D guy in the league. Archie Goodwin is another guy that I like with this pick, though he's much more of a project than Snell is. Ricky Ledo has tons of talent, but his question marks scare me - his red flags are really red. Other guys I like (that we haven't worked out yet but might) are Muscala (one of the most skilled and underrated players in the draft), Withey (probably won't be available though), Crabbe, Glen Rice Jr., and Mouhammadou Jaiteh.
SS: Of the prospects we've worked out who I think could still be there, I like Ricky Ledo. He's a gamble but has probably the most upside of any player in that range.
KH: The wings stand out, but so do some of the point guards. I have been high on Tony Snell, Archie Goodwin, and Ricky Ledo all year so if they are there then the team has some high risk (high reward) options. Keep an eye on point guards as well here including Ray McCallum and Erick Green.
DK: If the Suns keep the pick, a young guy with upside would be a good call. The Suns can afford the guaranteed contract to develop someone who is 18, 19 yrs old and needs time to develop: Archie Goodwin, Ricky Ledo, M. Jaiteh. All guys who have been invited over the past week.
4. There is no way this pick is more valuable to the teams' long-term success, right? Or is it? Explain
RP: Do you mean more valuable than the 5th pick? God, I hope not. I guess technically there's a chance that the player we draft at 30th ends up better than the 5th overall pick, so I wouldn't say there's no way. However, if that happens, it'll most likely mean the player we got at #5 turned out to be a bust so let's hope that doesn't happen.
SS: Probably not. In terms of the odds, there isn't a great chance that we land a starter or even a 6th man with the 30th pick. However, the possibility does exist, and if they can somehow hit on two starters in this draft, regardless of whether they keep the pick or trade it, then I think this could be a very crucial pick for the future success of the Suns.
KH: Obviously the No. 5 pick has more inherent value, but hitting here at No. 30 will be more difficult and therefore that much more valuable in the long-term. You are supposed to get a starter in the lottery, but to get one late in the first round is another story.
DK: More valuable than the #5? No, no way it's more valuable. However, having the 30 is more valuable than not having it. If you take the right player, he can turn out to be a mainstay on the team. Hornacek himself was a #46 pick. Barbosa was a #30 pick. Several other very good NBA players have been drafted in this range.
JP: No, I think you had it right the first time. With this pick the Suns are looking for a rotation player. If they strike out, they've got a few more picks over the next couple of years to make up for it. However, if the Suns are going to turn this thing around fairly quickly they are going to have to make every move count.
5. Sitting on Ryan McDonough's desk are the options to trade up, trade down, or trade out of the No. 30 pick, which should he entertain?
SS: Hard to answer without knowing the specifics of the offers. But of course I would like to move up if the price is right. However, if say Houston is offering T-Rob for the #30 pick as a salary dump, I would pull that trigger also.
KH: Trade up. If there is an opportunity to get a pick in the teens for No. 30 and a player on the roster then you pull the trigger unless their name is Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, or Marcin Gortat. Those three have more value at this year's trade deadline.
DK: All of them. Whatever gets the most bang for the buck. I've said in #1 though that he should get a higher pick than 30 as his second first-rounder simply because there's a lot of guys who can help this team.
JP: He should entertain all three options of course. However, I'd like to see him stay there unless he can use it to move up without giving up too much.
RP: Obviously, trading up is better than the other two options but it all depends on the price. If he can trade up for relatively little, why not? There's a good amount of talent in the mid-first round and early 20s that I like so we'd at least have to explore the idea if it presents itself. Trading down is also an option if McDonough likes someone in the second round just as much as the guy we'd be getting at #30. I don't think he would trade out of the 30th pick completely, unless it was for a young prospect that we're getting back or as part of a much bigger deal. There's definitely value at the end of the first round and with McDonough being a draft "expert," I'd be surprised to see him deal the pick away without getting an asset back.
6. BONUS: Who is a "worthwhile" risk at No. 30 to you?
KH: Both Goodwin and Ledo have very high ceilings, but also have low basements. If they can get things together mentally to become good teammates and more consistent then they will be potential starters for their career. Risks and gambles have to be calculated.
DK: Any of the 18, 19 year olds who need time to develop. The Suns can afford to wait.
JP: Goodwin and Ledo are both risks that might be worth taking at that point, as both have a lot of talent and plenty of potential, yet neither have proven much for different reasons. Glen Rice, Jr. might be worth a look as well, as would a European prospect like Giannis Adetokunbo.
RP: Depends on what you mean by risk. Since we have one lottery pick and are rumored to be interested in acquiring an additional first rounder, it could be well worth it to take a risk with the #30 pick. Archie Goodwin is a somewhat risky prospect because although he has tremendous talent, he's unpolished and would be a long-term project. However, at the 30th spot, he's probably a steal. Ricky Ledo is a big risk but one that could potentially reap great rewards if it works out, so that's a risk that might be worthwhile (though I still like other prospects more than him). I think Mouhammadou Jaiteh would also be a worthwhile risk because no one would be able to pronounce his name. Oh, and because he's an 18 year old project big man with great size and length (6'11", 249 lbs., 7'4" wingspan) and has major upside.
SS: Alan Crabbe, Ricky Ledo, Deshaun Thomas, Tony Snell are at the top of my list.