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Suns hit it out of the park and other winners from 2018 NBA Draft

2018 draft prospects pose for a picture before the NBA basketball draft in New York, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

Phoenix Suns

I know there are some who want to attack Suns general manager Ryan McDonough for using the unprotected 2021 first-round pick to move up and get Villanova’s Mikal Bridges. I’m not one of those people. Yes, there were plenty of intriguing prospects for the Suns at No. 16, but McDonough used one of his often-talked-about assets to acquire a player the franchise coveted. Be critical if you must, but there’s only one team in the NBA that exited Thursday night’s proceedings with two of the top 10 players in the draft.

Puma

Kudos to the 70-year-old German shoe and apparel company for pulling a Nuke LaLoosh and “announcing their presence with authority.” Not only is Puma getting back into the basketball game for the first time since the late 90s, it is doing so boldly with the signings of Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton, Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley III, Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. and Philadelphia’s Zhaire Smith. They also inked former Knicks legend Clyde Frazier, who rocked the brand in the early 70s, to a lifetime deal earlier this week. With Jay-Z serving as president some sort of big wig (OK, creative director) with the brand, Puma figures to be a player for years to come.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Roget’s Thesaurus

The ESPN reporter had a field day with synonyms in an effort to circumvent NBA rules about media tipping picks on social media. Yes, there was an agreement in place not to do so, but after others violated said pact, Wojnarowski consistently broke the news on picks by using language that identified a loophole.

Examples:

…and my favorite

The Ringer’s Craig Gaines actually ranked Woj’s arsenal of synonyms in a piece Friday morning.

Well done, Woj!

Denver Nuggets

“I wouldn’t touch Michael Porter with a 10-foot pole … because if I did, he might get hurt and miss six-to-eight weeks.” — Vince Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Yes, those words came out of my mouth, but in the context of Porter being a top-five pick in Thursday’s draft and a possibility for the Phoenix Suns to draft with the top selection.

But, if a player rated by many to be the most talented player in this year’s crop falls to 14th, you snap him up, just as the Nuggets did.

There are rumblings that Porter, who played in only three games at Mizzou in his lone collegiate season, could treat 2018-19 as a redshirt season as he attempts to fully recover from hip and back injuries. Even if that scenario unfolds, the Nuggets could treat Porter’s eventual arrival as a “bonus” lottery pick next summer. If the forward turns out to be an injury casualty who never realizes his full potential, at least GM Artūras Karnišovas only spent a late lottery selection on him.

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