Is Lon Babby the guy to bring some much-needed luck to a Phoenix Suns organization that's historically had little in that department? We'll find out on Thursday Tuesday, June 21 when Babby is up on that weird stage waiting for the results of the NBA Draft Lottery to be announced.

The Suns have a 11.9-percent chance of winning the first-overall pick in a draft lacking a clear choice at the top of prospect pack.

I'm talking to a few people and working on a story asking the question: Do you even want to win the lottery this year?

Regardless, Lon will be the man on the stage who in every practical sense will have no influence over the result but will be credited for being filled with magical powers should the Suns win and will receive absolutely zero fault should the odds play out as expected.


It is not about who is invited, but about who actually participates at the NBA Draft Combine. Just like every year the Combine is like a school dance. The gym is at capacity, but most of the cool guys are not dancing while all the girls are left wanting.

This year there have been a handful of prospects with injuries that required surgery in No. 1 Overall prospect Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett (4), Alex Len (5), Seth Curry (68), and Ryan Kelly (74). They all had routine off-season surgery sacrificing the here and now to be ready to play in the 2013-2014 NBA season in some capacity. They could have held off on the surgeries, but made the right overall decision.

Others are recovering from injuries in Jamaal Franklin (16), Gorgui Dieng (20), and C.J. Leslie (33).

Then there is the group that will not participate on Thursday due primarily to agent decisions in Otto Porter Jr. (3), Michael Carter-Williams (8), Trey Burke (9), Cody Zeller (10), Mason Plumlee (13), C.J. McCollum (18), and Dennis Schroeder (21).

That is by all accounts seven potential lottery picks by ranking wearing sweats instead of basketball gear. In the end that means nothing in terms of stock. Noel will go No. 1 to the teams that need his services and the same for McLemore, Porter Jr, Len, Oladipo, and Burke.

Today the players are working out in sessions for roughly 30-40 minutes at a time running drills that include shooting, rebounding, fast-break offense, closing out, and other NBA situations that allow decision-makers to see these kids play.

For most NBA decision-makers they are looking at these players for the first time due to the long grind of an NBA season. They have to go off of what the scouts have told them and then combine that with their own eye test.

Measurements will be taken Friday and will be up as soon as they are released. Check back in with Bright Side all month for extensive and exhaustive NBA Draft Coverage.

The narrative of Wesley Johnson’s first, and possibly last, season in Phoenix perfectly mirrors the story of the Suns’ season as a whole. Johnson’s arrival this past summer, like that of so many of...

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Reportedly, the Phoenix Suns will be scouting both players and coaches this weekend. The Chicago NBA Draft Combine pulls together all the who's who and who-wants-to-be's of the NBA into one place (unless you're a blogger who's working for free).

New Suns GM Ryan McDonough has brought an inherited Suns entourage to Chicago with him, not yet dotted with any of his own peeps. Judging by how the Suns have evaluated players the last few years, we can only hope that McDonough is the jack-of-all-trades he's reported to be.


McDonough not only has to pick out two diamonds from the rough (a top-7 pick and a #30 overall) of these draft-eligible players, he has to find a new coach as well.

While McDonough will likely talk to several potential coaches this weekend, don't expect any hirings to happen until more teams are eliminated from the NBA playoffs. One of Mike Malone (Golden State) or Mike Budenholzer (San Antonio) will be busy for at least two more weeks. Brian Shaw (Indiana) could be busy for another month himself. The Suns coaching list could easily contain assistants on the HEAT or Grizzlies as well.

Other candidates, such as Jeff Hornacek and Nate McMillan and J.B. Bickerstaff, are already available and may have already gotten interviews with McDonough, but we have no idea. Nothing's leaked to the media yet.

Keep your ears open


Measurements will tell us just how small Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke are, while athletic drills will tell just how un-athletic Shabazz Muhammad is. Those results are crtiical to the early draft evaluation process.

Other than that, NBA front offices get a chance to interview players for the first time. In these interviews, you get a feel for the kind of person they are. It's your first chance to glimpse their inner being, their true self.

McDonough and staff will be busy with all 61 players this weekend. They currently have picks at the top of round one, the bottom of round one and the last third of round two. That's the most picks the Suns have had in years. And that's only if they stay exactly where they are today. Remember in 2006, the Celtics loved Rajon Rondo so much they acquired the Suns #21 pick to take him after watching him drop.

Every single player here counts and might just be drafted by the Suns in June.

Keep your eyes open and ears tuned to the news.


Another interesting factoid... Marbury's similarity scores for win shares link him to players such as Isiah Thomas, Derek Harper, Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway, Dale Ellis and... four ex-Suns. Small world. They are Dick Van Arsdale, Sam Cassell, Walter Davis and Gail Goodrich.

Now that I'm done with the useless, and completely irrelevant, information section of the intro, on to a more pertinent preview.

This week's edition focuses on the continuing NBA playoffs, Suns' head coaching candidates and a segment where Kris and I hand out parting gifts to the Suns' players as they start their summer vacations.

Phoenix Suns Podcast Episode 23

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