2017 NBA draft grades: Josh Jackson addresses pressing needs for the Suns
No one had a worse season in the Western Conference than the Suns. At 24-58, the team extended its seven-year playoff drought, the third-longest active stretch behind the Kings (11 years) and Timberwolves (13 years). Never before has Phoenix gone this long without qualifying for the playoffs, and the team probably just isn't one draft pick away from contention. Phoenix dealt with its share of injury problems, shutting down Eric Bledsoe, Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight after the All-Star break. But the Suns appear committed to continuing their rebuilt through high draft pick. With the fourth overall selection on Thursday, that's precisely what they have.
Last season the Suns also held the fourth overall pick, going with Croatian big Dragan Bender. He struggled in his rookie year, limited to 43 games due to injuries and averaging 3.4 points per game in the mean time.
Here's the full list of picks the Suns hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated with grades and analysis as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 4 (No. 4 overall): Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
There was speculation the Suns could either trade this pick or pair De’Aaron Fox with Devin Booker here, but the Jackson selection addresses a more immediate need. It makes a lot of sense given the young core Phoenix continues to assemble. Jackson will immediately provide toughness and help improve the Suns’ defense. Fox was surely tempting, but the thought of Jackson and Devin Booker running on the wings is tantalizing.
Round 2, Pick 2 (No. 32 overall): Davon Reed, SG, Miami
Round 2, Pick 24 (No. 54 overall): Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso