Phoenix has officially thrown qualifying offers to reserve center Robin Lopez and point guard Aaron Brooks, effectively making the duo restricted free agents, the Suns announced Thursday. The team...

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Draft day 2012 is finally upon us. On this day one team will draft a franchise superstar, many others will select quality building blocks and some will pick busts. With the No. 13 overall selection...

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Who's next?

After all of the speculation, rumors, and trade winds...the day is finally here. Tonight is the 2012 NBA Draft in which young, talented prospects from around the world will wait to hear if their names are called, and by which teams.

Likewise, NBA fans everywhere will also be eagerly anticipating which shiny new player will become the latest addition to their team, in hopes that they will provide that missing piece to bring them that much closer to a championship.

How will the chips fall tonight? We'll have to wait and see. But for now, read on after the jump for the official BSOTS Mock draft for the first round, as well as a summery of who we believe the Phoenix Suns will pick and why.

Draft Order

Omaha Sun

Jim Coughenour

7Footer

Alex Laugan

1. New Orleans Hornets

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

2. Charlotte Bobcats

Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson

Bradley Beal

3. Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Harrison Barnes

Thomas Robinson

5. Sacramento Kings

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Harrison Barnes

6. Portland Trailblazers

Damian Lillard

Andre Drummond

Damian Lillard

Andre Drummond

7. Golden State Warriors

Andre Drummond

Dion Waiters

Andre Drummond

Dion Waiters

8. Toronto Raptors

Dion Waiters

Jeremy Lamb

Dion Waiters

Jeremy Lamb

9. Detroit Pistons

John Henson

John Henson

John Henson

John Henson

10. New Orleans Hornets

Austin Rivers

Damian Lillard

Austin Rivers

Tyler Zeller

11. Portland Trailblazers

Tyler Zeller

Austin Rivers

Tyler Zeller

Damian Lillard

12. Houston Rockets

Meyers Leonard

Arnett Moultrie

Perry Jones III

Terrence Ross

13. Phoenix Suns

Jeremy Lamb

Kendall Marshall

Kendall Marshall

Austin Rivers

14. Milwaukee Bucks

Perry Jones III

Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard

15. Philadelphia 76ers

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones

Perry Jones III

16. Houston Rockets

Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross

Terrence Jones

17. Dallas Mavericks

Mo Harkless

Tyler Zeller

Jeremy Lamb

Kendall Marshall

18. Houston Rockets

Arnett Moultrie

Moe Harkless

Arnette Moultrie

Arnett Moultrie

19. Orlando Magic

Kendall Marshall

Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger

20. Denver Nuggets

Jared Sullinger

Andrew Nicholson

Andrew Nicholson

Moe Harkless

21. Boston Celtics

Royce White

Perry Jones III

Royce White

Royce White

22. Boston Celtics

Fab Melo

Fab Melo

Fab Melo

Andrew Nicholson

23. Atlanta Hawks

Quincy Miller

Tony Wroten

Moe Harkless

Draymond Green

24. Cleveland Cavaliers

Andrew Nicholson

Royce White

Quincy Miller

Fab Melo

25. Memphis Grizzlies

Will Barton

Evan Fournier

Will Barton

Quincy Miller

26. Indiana Pacers

Jeff Taylor

Marquis Teague

Jeff Taylor

Will Barton

27. Miami Heat

Festus Ezeli

Festus Ezeli

Festus Ezeli

Festus Ezeli

28. Oklahoma City Thunder

Evan Fournier

Jeff Taylor

Marquis Teague

Jeff Taylor

29. Chicago Bulls

Marquis Teague

Doron Lamb

Evan Fournier

Marquis Teague

30. Golden State Warriors

Kyle O’Quinn

Quincy Miller

Scott Machado

Tony Wroten

As you can see, many of us had a lot of picks in common, and none of us shared our picks with one another before we made our choices. So either we're all pretty well dialed in, or we're all just reading the same articles. Either way, many of our picks were very similar, especially in the lottery. However, when it came to the Suns, our supposed area of expertise, only Jim and I share the same premonition...although for very different reasons.

While we are unable to qualify our choices for each of our 30 picks, we did provide a brief summary of why we believe the Suns will choose the player we picked. Here are our thoughts:

Omaha Sun - We're all pretty familiar with what appears to be the Suns' targets at this point in the game. Dion Waiters is reportedly their favorite, but the chance that he is available at 13 is slight. Austin Rivers was a possibility, but he is likely out of the Suns' reach as well. That leaves Connecticut SG Jeremy Lamb, North Carolina PG Kendall Marshall, Washington SG Terrence Ross and Mississippi State PF Arnett Moultrie as players the Suns have expressed interest in.

Moultrie was brought in for workouts on two separate occasions and he seems to be a great fit in the Suns' system. In addition, GM Lance Blanks said the team has no problems with stocking up on talent in a particular position, so the selection of Markieff Morris last year won't affect their decision in this draft. Marshall also met with the team twice, and the Suns are in need of youth and talent at the point guard spot whether Steve Nash returns or not. Terrence Ross reportedly turned down an offer to visit Phoenix, but Jonathan Givony of Draft Express seems to believe the Suns would have no problems with picking him anyway. These are all excellent possibilities and I would not be surprised to see the Suns pick any of them at 13.

However, in this scenario Jeremy Lamb is still available for the Suns, and so they the other prospects are forgotten about. Lamb not only fills a need but can also be considered one of the best players left on the board. He provides the scoring the Suns need on the wing in addition to athleticism and defensive potential.

Jim Coughenour - I think the Suns like Rivers, Waiters, and Lamb, but I doubt they will still be available when they pick. In my scenario, the Suns select Marshall because the other players they covet (including Moultrie at 12 to Houston) are all off the board. I wouldn't be upset at all if the Suns surprised me though, as I am not enamored with this group (I would probably give the nod to Rivers among them).

I think this draft has the potential to be the deepest since the 2008 class, where 13-26 in order went Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Javale McGee, J.J. Hickson, Alexis Ajinca, Ryan Anderson, Courtney Lee, Kosta Koufos, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, and George Hill. While Rush hasn't been bad (and I think the Suns should consider him in free agency), he might end up having a less impactful career than up to 10 players taken immediately after him. There seem to be lots of talented bigs, so maybe one of them becomes an unforseen choice. I will also be upset if the Suns aren't making a second selection on Thursday, since I believe that upwards of six quality starters may be selected between 20-35 in this draft.

7Footer - For me it all comes down to drafting the best talent combined with a need when dealing with a borderline playoff team like the Suns, who also have so many potential holes to fill. On top of that, there are two positions that I put a premium on...center and point guard. A dominant center is the most difficult to find, simply because of the rarity of finding true 7footers who are both skilled and physically gifted. However, beyond Anthony Davis there just aren't any prospects that have that kind of potential, especially in the Suns' range.

The other position I put above all others is the point guard. A true point guard is like the quarterback of the basketball team. They rarely score the most points, but the entire offense runs through them. They are the engine that drives the bus. We as Suns' fans should know this better than anyone. But at times I wonder if perhaps we have been spoiled by watching Steve Nash in his seemingly effortless ability to orchestrate the offense so efficiently.

Without Nash, how ugly would the last couple of years have been? This is a reality we may face sooner than later depending on what happens in free agency. And even if Nash chooses to re-sign with the Suns, how much longer can he continue to play at this level? But there's hope! A young point guard by the name of Kendall Marshall with a very similar ability to run an offense is likely to be available by the time the Suns pick. A pure point guard of his ability usually wouldn't last until the late lottery, but because of a combination of great talent in this draft, and overblown concerns over his ability to score and mediocre athleticism, he could be within the Suns' range. In my opinion, Marshall has the potential to not only be a starting point guard, but a very good one at that. I think the Suns recognize their dilemma in having very few options beyond Nash, and will address not only an area of great importance, but acquire a great talent by drafting Kendall Marshall with the 13th pick.

Alex Laugan - I tried really hard to concoct a scenario where Lillard drops, but that would only happen if there is at least one blockbuster trade to a team(s) that want bigs. Perry Jones, T Jones, Harkless, Marshall, Ross, Rivers are all guys who COULD be gone by the Suns pick. And in those scenarios, it's possible that Lillard would drop. But that was never expected anyway.

So, here the Suns choose between Ross, Marshall and Rivers. I say Rivers. The Suns need an alpha dog and a guy who is comfortable taking the last shot AND talking to the media. Rivers would instantly bring recognition to the Suns, as well as a game that's only going to get better as he grows into his body and skillset. He can make and take any shot, and can make passes when he wants to. Of course, this assumes he progresses beyond what he showed as a freshman. If he doesn't, the best the Suns have is a cocky 6th-man offensive player (like Barbosa, except cocky).

So there you have it. With all of that said there's simply no way of knowing for sure. We each have our reasons as to why we think the Suns will pick a certain way, but a lot of it will depend on which players are available and who the Suns believe will be the best fit.

Of course, this could all change very quickly as well as there are certain to be at least a couple more trades today, and they could also impact how the Suns draft, or possibly even where. Remember, just because we haven't heard of any potential moves by the Suns doesn't mean it couldn't still happen...It's all still very much in the air.

Now it's your turn. Feel free to give your thoughts and your pick for the Suns in the comments below!


We may finally know for sure what Lance Blanks is employed to do for the Phoenix Suns. Aside from being the silent, invisible man for nearly 2 years in the Phoenix Suns front office, it appears that Mr. Sarver and Counselor Babby have given him the reigns on this year's 2012 draft. Do you buy that? Said Blanks in a recent interview:

"Without sounding arrogant, I trust my judgment in making the right selections and decisions on players."

I suppose someone would have gone on some A.M. talk show to clarify Blanks' comments if he wasn't a main decision maker in deciding the Suns draft choice.

In a sense it is a relief to hear what Blanks may or may not be allowed to do. Last season, in the midst of a playoff push, Blanks was jettisoned to China to have a chat or two with Aaron Brooks. While his public quotes reflected a positive outlook from a guy who appeared to be happy to speak openly about what he actually does, I have to wonder if getting shuffled off to the other side of the world to talk to a guy the Suns don't really like that much was more of an exile than a job.

Nevertheless, Blanks seems to be in his element, now, with a clear role (at least he is saying so), during a turbulent moment in Suns franchise history:

"It's in my DNA to accept extreme challenges, and I embrace that," Suns' General Manager Lance Blanks said. "I look forward to this. I look forward to making these tough decisions."

Is conducting a draft and all that goes into a selection an extreme challenge? Perhaps.

We cannot criticize Blanks for anything just yet, but let's be honest, we've all given that line before in a job interview or when your boss was giving you your yearly review.

So does Blanks have control of the draft and player moves? Does he have the final say? Does he have any autonomy with Uncle Lon looming over his shoulder? We know what Babby and Sarver are capable of. And it hasn't been very impressive of late. May as well give the rook a shot.


Phoenix Suns' future in Lance Blanks' Hands: Bickley/AZ Central

"Suns fans don't have great trust in Blanks because they don't really know him, except that he's nothing like Bryan Colangelo or Steve Kerr. The team's passive approach in the Nash saga -- letting him dictate the terms of his departure -- hasn't helped the current perception toward management."

Poll
Do You Think Lance Blanks Is Ready to Make Big Boy GM Decisions for the Phoenix Suns?

  236 votes | Results


We can predict who the Suns will take with the 13th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft based on which players teams will take before Phoenix is up to bat. We can project it by determining who...

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