The dream continues as the league's best set of twins will represent their team at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 20 on ESPN.
The Phoenix Suns have only a 1.8% chance to move into the Top 3 of the best Draft in years, the worst odds among all non-playoff teams. The Suns won 48 games last season, the most wins ever by a non-playoff team since the league went to a 16-team format (tied with Golden State, 2008).
Showing up at the Lottery in New York City seems just a formality, but you have to show up just in case. In 1993, the Orlando Magic had just a 1 in 66 chance (1.5% chance) of getting the #1 pick but got it anyway. Other than that, no one with the worst odds has jumped that high since the weighted lottery system was implemented 24 years ago. And even since then, the league made the worst odds three times worse (from 1-in-66 to 5-in-1000).
But as Lloyd Christmas puts it, "So you're saying there's a chance?"
Yes, Lloyd, there's a chance the Suns will get the #1 overall pick (0.5%) or at least a Top-3 pick (1.82%).
If the Suns do get a top-3 pick this season, they will STILL have the #14 along with #18 and #27 because the Minnesota Timberwolves would drop to 14th (unless they too win a top-3 pick) and convey the pick to the Suns, giving the Suns four first round picks this season.
The Suns are trying to double up their luck this year by sending the Morris twins to represent the Suns in the lotto room and on the dais. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris will (hopefully) wear the same exact suit and share the same chair behind the Suns podium.
The Morrii are intimidating, so maybe they can scare the ping pong balls into coming up in the Suns' favor. Watch out for reports of Markieff getting his 13th technical for staring down the ping pong machine while his brother has his back.
The Suns could use some luck. They lost the coin flip for Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul Jabbar), getting the servicable Neal Walk instead. They also got screwed in 2007, when the Hawks jumped up from giving the Suns the #6 pick (could have been Joakim Noah) to keeping the #3 pick (Al Horford) after beating the odds to move up.
The Suns have been in the lottery 10 of the 29 seasons there's been a lottery system, and moved up twice: moving from No. 7 to No. 6 in 1986 (selected William Bedford) and moving from No. 5 to No. 2 in 1987 (selected Armon Gilliam).
Ok, reading that again it appears the Suns have done okay in the luck department. But that Alcindor coin flip and the Hawks catastrophe has Suns fans feeling screwed over in the lottery.
Let's go Suns!
Today was day two of the NBA Draft Combine, and the players went through various athletic testing including vertical jump and lane agility. Here's what happened.
Today the players at the NBA Draft Combine went from showcasing their physical measurements to displaying their athleticism...or lack thereof.
For a full list of all the athletic testing numbers, go here.
Now that we have all or most of the measurables and athletic testing results for the players in attendance, we can take a look at some of the players who helped their stock over the past two days, and why.
Not only did Vonleh measure out as one of the best power forwards in the draft physically, athletically, he graded out near the top as well. Vonleh posted the third best max vertical among power forwards and centers at 37". Combine that with his 7'4.25" wingspan, his 9'0" standing reach, and his enormous hands that measure 11.75" wide...and you are looking at an extremely high ceiling for a post player. In addition, Noah is one of the best shooting big men in the draft as well...hitting .485 of his three point attempts at Indiana last season. Vonleh was already considered to be a top-10 pick, but with his combine performance, he may find himself in the top 5 as long as his workouts go well.
Gordon was considered a tweener by many...but he showed that he is more than capable of playing with the big boys at the Combine. Gordon came in at just under 6'9" with shoes...and he's only 18, so he may still be growing. Not only that, but his nearly 7 foot wingspan and 8'9" standing reach put him right in the upper-middle of the power forward prospects. However, his athleticism is what really sets him apart. Gordon had the single best max vertical among power forwards at 39". Not only that, he was also fist among power forwards in his lane agility time, and had the best shuttle time out of all positions at only 2.76 seconds. Very impressive numbers for Gordon.
If you've ever watched LaVine play, you already know he's super athletic...and he simply confirmed that with his results at the combine. LaVine graded out with the best overall lane agility time at 10.42, the second best overall shuttle time at 2.80, as well as the third highest overall max vertical at 41.5", and the fourth highest overall standing vertical at 33.5. When you add that to the fact that LaVine also measured out at nearly 6'6" in shoes and has a great stroke with NBA range on his shot...you can see why he has a ton of upside and potential.
Stauskas is known mostly as a lights-out shooter...but his Combine performance shows he can do more than just that. Not only did Stauskas measure in as the third tallest shooting guard in shoes at 6'6.5", he had the 5th best max vertical (35.5") and shuttle time (2.92), and the second best lane agility time among shooting guards. Stauskas will no doubt be primarily a shooter in the NBA, but these athletic results show he is very capable of defending the perimeter and staying in front of his man on the other end of the court as well.
Exum may have helped himself most by simply by showing up and letting the scouts and team representatives see his game first hand. However, it certainly doesn't hurt that he measured in at 6'6" in shoes with a 6'9.5" wingspan...which is great size for a point guard. In addition, Exum registered the second best lane agility time overall at 10.75, and the 6th best shuttle time at 2.88. His standing (31.5") and max (34.5) verticals were nothing special, but they showed that he definitely has enough lift to play above the rim...and combined with his agility and size, makes for one of best overall point guard prospects in the draft.
Others who impressed or surprised in one or more areas: Nick Johnson (41.5" max vertical, 10.80 lane agility), Patric Young (37.5" max vertical, 25 bench press reps), Doug McDermott (36.5" max verticle)
A nice little bonus during the NBA Draft Combine coverage today was an interview with the Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who answered some questions about their plans in the coming NBA draft.
First he was asked about Aaron Gordon and what he thought about his free throw percentage, which was terrible last season at only 42%. McDonough said that he thought Gordon was a better free throw shooter than his stats would indicate, and that he has good form overall, leading him to believe it is correctable and may have been more mental than anything.
The Suns GM went on to once again allude to the fact that the Suns will be looking to either move up in the draft, or trade draft picks from a star player. McDonough talked about how the Suns have three draft picks this year and as many as three next year, plus rookies Alex Len and Archie Goodwin already on the team. He stated that they aren't looking to bring in as many as eight new players onto the roster, and are looking to win now...being that they were only one game removed from making the playoffs this year.
When asked if the Suns would be active on draft night..."We're going to be very active."