Should Suns Trade Up in Draft?

The NBA Draft is closely approaching - should the Phoenix Suns make a move up the board?
Suns owner Mat Ishbia speaks with the press during a news conference at Footprint Center in Phoenix on May 1, 2024.
Suns owner Mat Ishbia speaks with the press during a news conference at Footprint Center in Phoenix on May 1, 2024. / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY
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The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft is just 13 days away - and the Phoenix Suns have a real shot at improving the roster - even if it is just one player at a time.

The Suns own the 22nd pick in the draft, possessing the ability to either stay at the pick to take a rookie, trade the pick for an "established rotation piece" or the possibility of selecting a third option that could shock people.

Rumors are now swirling that Phoenix could look to dangle the pick and a contract to move up into the lottery of the draft.

They could subsequently take a player that has seen a boost in draft stock - or use the newfound positioning to trade down for a pair of picks.

Indiana's Kel'el Ware and Cal's Jaylon Tyson are two players that have been frequently linked to Phoenix throughout the pre-draft process. They are also two players that could be selected in the late lottery now following reportedly strong showings during the private workout phase.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman commented on the belief that Ware could be selected in the lottery now, and the most recent mock draft can be found here.

An impressive pro day of shooting has had teams buzzing about Kel'el Ware. Sources say he's generating realistic consideration in the late lottery.

The narrative about his underwhelming motor has seemingly been squashed.

Ware figures to look highly enticing in a workout setting that can showcase his athleticism at the rim, mobility and high shotmaking skill level.

Jonathan Wasserman

In a hypothetical world, the Suns could trade up with the Memphis Grizzlies (who own the ninth pick) in a package that revolves around Jusuf Nurkic and picks. In turn, they could find a team that covets that pick that would be willing to move multiple selections in order to move up - potentially the Portland Trail Blazers - who own pick 14 and 40.

In that fashion, the Suns could get a coveted player such as Ware or Tyson, along with acquiring the services of Bronny James at a much more palpable range compared to the mid-late first round.

Could the Suns have more flexibility than the consensus is letting on? It certainly is possible, especially if the league holds the 2031 first-rounder in high regard.

Should the Suns make such a bold move if given the opportunity to do so? It would be very difficult to ignore how much a move like this could change the franchise for the better in the long term.

Kevin Hicks