Welcome in to another Bright Side Roundtable. Last week we reviewed the coaching decision to hire Jeff Hornacek and now we take a peek behind the curtain for what the team could, would, and should do with their Top 5 pick.
Last week there was more of a consensus than I gave the crew credit for. Everyone played nice. However, this is a topic where a few of us have very strong opinions, and not many of us agree on the prospect that should be targeted with the No. 5 Overall pick.
Second Topic: Five Questions on the No. 5 Pick
1) Breaking the Ice: Were you disappointed in "dropping" back to the fifth overall pick in this draft?
Jim Coughenour: Define disappointed. I would much rather be picking fourth or higher (really third or higher), but it wasn't much of a letdown since the odds indicated that was the most likely outcome and I predicted we'd get the fifth pick in advance of the lottery (went out on a limb). Shouldn't we all be numb to unfortunate circumstances after this season anyway?
Kris Habbas: Whenever there is a chance to win something, a realistic chance, there is a level of disappointment. The biggest disappointment in falling to five is that there is a realistic chance that all the top perimeter players will be gone by the time the Suns are on the clock.
Dave King: No I wasn't. It would have been nice to get higher, but I'd rather save the "luck" for next year. I don't think the talent drops at 5 like many others do. Bennett, Len, Burke will be good NBA pros with as much upside as the top 4. Still think Oladipo goes #5 anyway.
Jacob Padilla: I was slightly disappointed as this was the first time that the Suns have had any realistic shot at a top 3 pick. However, the No. 5 was the most likely outcome so it was the one I prepared myself for.
Sean Sullivan: Yes, but not surprised. I was really hoping for a top 3 pick, of which we had around a 37% chance combined. However, we instead landed the 5th pick overall which was out highest singular possibility. There will no doubt be a very good player still available at 5, but I would have liked having a sure bet of drafting either Noel, Oladipo, or McLemore...Now we'll either have to get lucky to land one of those three players, or move up to ensure it.
2) Survey says Otto Porter, Ben McLemore, and Victor Oladipo are the top three targets, which of the three should the team target if they are all available?
KH: Upside suggests McLemore, best all-around skill leans towards Porter, and somewhere in between is Oladipo. The Suns need talent in a big way so McLemore and Porter have to be at the top of the list.
DK: Well, the Suns could use all three of those guys. Any of them becomes an instant 30+ minute per game starter. If all three were somehow available at 5, I say to take McLemore first, Porter second, Oladipo third. I'd rather have Ray Allen, then Nic Batum then Tony Allen/Aaron Afflalo.
JP: McLemore is rated the highest, and Oladipo is the fan favorite here on the site, but for some reason I think I like Porter the best out of the trio. McLemore and Oladipo could be really good, but both have weaknesses that worry me. Porter is a more complete player at this point and he does all the things you need if you want to win.
SS: I say Oladipo without a doubt. His all around game, energy, and defense are attributes that could change the culture of this team going forward. He may not have the highest upside, but I love his game.
JC: The three players I like best are Noel, McLemore and Oladipo in that order. I was turned off of Porter when I read a scouting report that included the words Tayshaun Prince and role player. Noel projects as a shutdown big. McLemore and Oladipo have similar physical gifts, with McLemore forecasting as a 20+ ppg scorer and Oladipo a relentless all-defense type of force.
3) Of those three, who fits the Suns the best?
DK: With Hornacek in the fold promising the Suns will have a wide open offense, I think McLemore is the best overall fit. But all three would do well.
JP: All three would be great fits. McLemore would bring much-needed outside shooting. Oladipo's athleticism, motor and relentless defense would be a great fit next to Dragic. And like I said, Porter can do some of everything for you and would fit anywhere. All are great options for Phoenix.
SS: Again, I have to give the edge to Oladipo for the reasons I stated above. However, McLemore's shooting makes him a close second. The Suns are in desperate need of a player who can knock down the three reliably, and McLemore will give us that no doubt. As much as I like Porter, I'm not keen on taking a SF this year with the quality of SG's available. Next year should be a much better year for top tier SFs, with players like Wiggins, Parker, and Glenn Robinson III all likely to be lottery picks. But I also understand the argument of drafting best player available, and if Porter is the guy who we think gives us the best chance to win out of the available
JC: McLemore, between those three. Last year there were only nine players in the league that averaged over 20 points a game. I think McLemore can be a top 10-15 scorer in the league (efficiently) while providing solid defense. I would be happy with either him or Oladipo, though.
KH: If we are factoring in Goran Dragic as the point guard of the future then his backcourt mate needs to fill his holes and balance his game out. Like I said above, McLemore and Porter should be at the top of the list, with Porter being the better "fit" due to his ability to be a secondary ball-handler.
4) There are no "superstars" in this draft; would it be wise to trade out of the lottery?
JP: I don't think so. Like McDonough said, there are at least five really solid prospects in this draft, and Phoenix will get one of them.
SS: No, I think we need to get a top tier prospect now. While there may not be any Lebron's this year, there are quite a few players who could end up being potential all-stars. Noel, McLemore, Oladipo, and Porter could all legitimately reach that level...There could be others as well. If we want to acquire more picks, we should do so by trading players, not our lottery pick.
JC: Probably not unless some bad teams want to give us unprotected lottery picks for next year. I have a hard time envisioning a scenario that would be enticing. If someone wants to throw one out for consideration, go for it.
KH: Unless you net back a talent to build around or at the very least off of in return you have to keep the pick. There is talent to be had here in this draft to build with even if there is not a star to build off of.
DK: No. Anyone in the lottery is potentially better than all but 2 current Suns (Dragic, Gortat), so you have to stay in the lotto. No reason to drop from 5 at all.
5) Should they aggressively try to move up if the opportunity presents itself?
SS: If the price is right, absolutely. I really want one of the three prospects between Noel, Oladipo, or McLemore, and I think Orlando's 2nd pick makes a lot of sense for us to look into. If they really do like Burke, he will certainly be available at #5, and they may be willing to swap picks with us if we offer to take on a contract, like Turkoglu, and maybe throw in a second rounder or something. I don't want to give up too much though, and I'm not sure it would be possible without having to give up more.
JC: I would love to move up to 2, 3, or 4 (depending on who's on the board). I really only like three players in the draft. Since I don't think we can maneuver into getting Noel, I would at least like a chance at McLemore or Oladipo. I see potential for a deal with any one of Orlando, Washington or Charlotte. Since Dudley is probably involved in any of those possibilities, it also depends on what Phoenix might be doing in terms of acquiring an extra later lottery pick. Higher picks tend to be better (shocking), especially in a class that isn't too deep in high end talent.
KH: Yes. If the price is not too high there is no downside to moving up to get the most talented player in the class in the teams eyes. Right now the price for the No. 1 pick has been rumored to be Kevin Love or DeMarcus Cousins, which are talents the team does not possess.
DK: I really don't think so. The only way you move up from 5 is to take on long-term salary or give up other valuable assets, and the Suns really shouldn't be worried about that. Orlando likely wants someone to take Glen Davis (2 yrs), for example, in order to trade down from #2. Yet the talent in a McLemore is not much better than the talent in Oladipo or Bennett.
JP: No, I don't think moving up is worth it in this draft. I'd love to get one of the top 3 wings, but if it doesn't happen I'm perfectly OK taking someone like Alex Len at five. There isn't enough of a difference in talent to give up what few assets we have.
BONUS: Who do you feel will be the best player in three years from this draft class?
JC: Nerlens Noel.
KH: It is fun to poke fun at this draft class, right? Well the truth of the matter is that there will be a lot of talented players to come from this class including some potential All-Stars. Nerlens Noel has the most upside as a defender and athlete, with McLemore and Porter not too far behind him.
DK: Definitely Noel. He's just scratching the surface offensively but can already dominate a game on the defensive end. Worst case, in my mind, he's Tyson Chandler.
JP: This is a tough one. The top prospects have big holes in their games (Noel, McLemore) while the next tier maybe doesn't have as much upside (Porter, Oladipo). I don't love Anthony Bennett either. I guess I'll continue my theme and say Porter just for the heck of it.
SS: I think Noel has the best chance if his knees hold up. He really is a game changer on defense and blocked shots at close to the same rate as Anthony Davis when he was playing. He will have to put on substantial bulk as well, but his frame looks like it could accommodate the extra size, and I really like his chances to be a great player in the NBA.