Suns Mailbag: Draft Plans, LeBron, and More

We answer a few question s regarding the Phoenix Suns in this recent malbag.
Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
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PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns are just under two weeks away from the 2024 NBA Draft - and will enter the free agency period several days later.

The first offseason under head coach Mike Budenholzer has started off fairly nicely, with the coaching staff being rounded out and some encouraging rumors going into the stretch run of summer that began about eight weeks too early.

What are some of the most pressing questions at this juncture ahead of the draft/free agency time period?

Thanks to everybody who participated in our most recent mailbag!

Q: Who is your ideal pick at No. 22?

A: There have been five names frequently linked to the Suns that fans should feel absolutely thrilled with adding to the roster - Indiana's Kel'el Ware, DaRon Holmes of Dayton, Tyler Kolek out of Marquette, Jaylon Tyson from Cal and Kansas product Johnny Furphy.

All five of those players could step in and contribute to varying degrees right away while also having potential to become long-term starting players.

USC's Isaiah Collier, Duke's Jared McCain, and even Kentucky G Rob Dillingham could be surprise droppers in the draft that would be absolute steals at pick 22 - though it shouldn't be expected that any of the three drop to that point.

Q: Do you think the Suns have a legit shot to land Lebron James if they draft Bronny, and what would they need to do to make it happen (realistically)

A: There have been some whispers that LeBron could be willing to listen to various teams if he were to opt out of his final season of the deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Suns would be an enticing squad for James to join, as he would gain an instantly stronger roster, more stability at head coach, and a city that is an hour flight away from his family in L.A.

The ultimate factor that makes it unlikely is that the elder James would have to accept the veteran minimum of just under $3 million for the upcoming season. It just doesn't make sense for him to sacrifice that much money.

Q: Who are pending free agents the Suns should prioritize re-signing?

A: Royce O'Neale and Bol Bol are the only two that don't carry a player option that should be priorities.

Things could change if the Suns do in fact draft a prospect such as Ware or Holmes, as they would presumably steal minutes from Bol, but the former Orlando Magic stud should be at the top of the list at the current moment.

O'Neale is a guy the Suns really have no choice but to bring back, and he is a quality player that should be brought back, hands tied or not.

Q: Was Mike Budenholzer your preferred choice as a coach? How can he make up for the deficiencies on the roster?

A: Budenholzer was certainly the most accomplished coach that was available on the market - and the Suns governor Mat Ishbia did a fantastic job of reeling in coach Budenholzer before other franchises could become seriously involved.

Frank Vogel unfortunately didn't work out, but Budenholzer has been renowned for bringing a different level of intensity as a head coach - along with the frequent accountability he holds.

Coach Budenholzer's offensive concepts also appear to be a stronger fit for the roster that is in place - and he also could be in line to target/acquire stronger fits in free agency.

Suns fans should stay tuned over the next three weeks!


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Kevin Hicks

KEVIN HICKS