By Nathan Grubel @The_Only_Grubes on May 23, 2014
The Phoenix Suns made a lot of noise this past season due to their unexpected finish that had them one spot out of the playoffs in the Western Conference. Now armed with four draft picks and cap space, the Suns will look to take another step in improving the team for the long haul. Here are five players that are worthy of their lottery pick based on team needs and availability at their selection spot.
Grant may not be the prototypical scoring wing in terms of being able to shoot the ball, but man, is he an athletic bouncy forward. Grant is gifted with elite skills in the open court and finishing around the rim, and if developed properly, could turn into a solid rotation player down the line.
Young did not shoot the ball as well at Kentucky as he was projected to, but he still has a solid shooting stroke that can be improved over time with the right developmental staff. Young has great athleticism which allows him to be a force both in transition and on defense. Young could be a player who is able to contribute right away in the right environment, and the Suns' bench may be just the spot for him in his first year.
Early has a chance to be a special player in the NBA due to his blend of athleticism and scoring capabilities for a wing. Early showed off the entire offensive package at Wichita State, from step-back jump shots to three-point shots to some monstrous finishes in the lane. Early also has the potential to become a superb defender as well given his length and lateral quickness. Early could be a real steal at the 14th pick in the draft.
If the Suns do not want to wait on a player like a Young or Grant, then the team could target a more NBA-ready player like Payne. He had a spectacular season at Michigan State proving he could both bang down low and step outside and knock down the jump shot. Payne does not have as much upside due to being an older player out of college, but teams know what they are getting from him, and he could contribute right away.
LaVine is that "swing for the fences" pick for the Suns if they so choose to select him. LaVine has great size at 6-foot-5 with a splendid handle and deep range for the point guard position. LaVine could become a superior combo guard like Russell Westbrook down the road if a team develops him properly, and could even be a serviceable backup in his first year. If the Suns want a potential All-Star with their pick, it would be best they take him.
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