Round 1, No. 11 overall (trade No. 14 and No. 18 to Denver for No. 11) – Doug McDermott, SF/PF, Creighton
The Phoenix Suns have three picks in the first round of the 2014 draft this season, but none of them fall in the top 13. As a result, Phoenix could look to package two of their picks to move up and grab a player they like that they otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to land. One such player could be Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who has proven to be a very polarizing figure in pre-draft workouts.
While no one questions McDermott’s ability to put the ball in the basket, his quickness and perimeter defense have been significant red flags, especially for a player many consider to be a three in the NBA. While McDermott has the post moves to play the four in a smaller lineup, he also doesn’t possess the size and bulk to effectively defend bigger forwards in the paint.
Although McDermott is a bit of a tweener positionally, he’d provide a big boost to a Suns team looking for upgrades at the three. PJ Tucker may be on his way out, and McDermott would be a very favorable replacement for him at the three while also being capable of playing inside or out as Jeff Hornacek‘s offense stresses. Even though Phoenix may have to part with the 18th pick to move up and grab McDermott, his addition would take a good deal of the scoring load off Phoenix’s starting backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, assuming he returns.
Round 1, No. 27 overall – Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Assuming they deal the 18th pick to move up and grab McDermott, Phoenix’s second pick would come towards the latter part of the first round where they own Indiana’s pick from last season’s Luis Scola deal. The Suns found a potential diamond in the rough in a similar spot last season when they selected Archie Goodwin out of Kentucky, and they will likely be looking for a similar type of prospect with little experience but worlds of potential.
Capela is very much an enigma — a player who is a freak athlete with a tremendous wingspan but suffers through long bouts of inconsistency and has had trouble adapting to the game at higher levels. At 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, Capela could still use to put on some muscle as he matures, which could help him from getting pushed around on the interior, but his jumping ability and long arms give him a decisive advantage on tip-ins and putbacks off offensive rebounds. Capela’s offensive game is still very much a work in progress, but thanks to his athleticism and length, he profiles as a plus defender capable of becoming a difference-making shot blocker.
While Capela is still very raw and may not see the NBA for another few seasons, he’s not a bad roll of the dice this late in the first round.
Round 2, No. 50 overall- Deonte Burton, PG/SG, Nevada
The Suns’ final pick comes in the second round, and at this point it will likely be about finding someone capable of making the roster out of camp, which not many second rounders do. Burton is also a tremendous athlete who plays much bigger than his size would indicate. While he’s not a true point guard, he’s certainly capable of spelling both Dragic and Bledsoe at either guard spot, which makes him an attractive fit at this point in the draft.
Although Burton is only 6-foot-1, he has a wingspan five inches longer which allows him to stay in front of bigger players on the perimeter. Burton’s calling card, though, is his offensive versatility where he’s capable of throwing it down in the lane, hitting a mid-range jumper or dialing it up from three. He offers many different ways to put the ball in the hole and, as such, should find himself on someone’s roster come next season.