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Suns GM: 2018 NBA Draft class has multiple players with star potential

(AP photos)
LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns' General Manager

The 2018 NBA Draft class is shaping up to be one of the best the process has seen in the past decade, and that makes it a good time for the Phoenix Suns to be slotted at No. 2 overall in draft position prior to the start of Wednesday night’s action.

That has to do with the names at the top and Suns general manager Ryan McDonough sees the group’s potential.

“I can’t remember many drafts when you had so many talented players that were at least 6-foot-9… who are very versatile, who can step out and shoot threes, who can score inside, impressive physically and have pretty well-rounded games (that) all seem to fit the modern NBA,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Wednesday.

On ESPN’s latest big board, six of the top seven players meet that height and skill requirement.

Those names are Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, Duke’s Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr., Texas’ Mohamed Bamba, Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. and Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr.

“For me, it’s a combination of the talent of the bigs combined with the depth,” McDonough said of the talented class.

“I think there are multiple players at the top of this draft who have a chance to be NBA All-Stars or those kinds of players for years to come,” he said.

“I think there are a few guys who have that potential. I don’t think it’s just one guy, I think there are a few guys who have the potential to be that, based on their body of work, their production through high school, college, Europe.”

It’s also a notable draft for the Suns because they could potentially have three first-round picks, a scenario that would unfold if the standings after Tuesday night’s games were to hold.

With the possibility of having three additional second-round picks with a crowded roster as it is, McDonough said it’s difficult to see the Suns bringing in more than two or three players they draft.

“I’d say probably two or three, tops,” he said.

As for that conundrum leading to a trade, McDonough is open to the different possibilities of trading draft picks, such as trading first-round picks outside of their own for a player that can help more immediately.

“I think we’re more open in the past than we have been in the past to trading one or both of those picks for an established player,” he said.


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