The ping pong balls have spoken, and they’ve said the Phoenix Suns will have the fifth selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Phoenix, which had the fourth-worst record in the league at 25-57 last season, moved down one spot due to the Washington Wizards moving up from number nine.
“We obviously would have liked to had good luck on our side, but the probability was we’d be in the number five slot,” general manager Ryan McDonough said at a press conference Tuesday. “We’re excited about it. We’re going to get a good player. There’s at least five players, I think there are more than five good players in the draft.”
This will be the Suns’ third-straight year selecting in the lottery and their highest pick since 1987, when they selected Armon Gilliam second overall. Phoenix has only had the No. 5 pick once in franchise history (1977). That year the Suns took six-time All-Star Walter Davis.
When asked where he’ll look with this year’s No. 5 selection, McDonough said he’s inclined to take the best player available more so than the prospect that fills a team need.
“My general draft philosophy is to draft the best player available regardless of position,” said McDonough. “Ideally you’d have a pretty complete player, who combines the athleticism with the skill, the work ethic with the character. That’s what we’re looking for.”
The Suns have only selected fifth one other time, when they took Walter Davis in 1977. Recent number five picks include Jeff Green in 2007, Kevin Love in 2008, Ricky Rubio in 2009, DeMarcus Cousins in 2010, Jonas Valaciunas in 2011 and Thomas Robinson in 2012.
The rest of the lottery looks like this:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Orlando Magic
3. Washington Wizards
4. New Orleans Pelicans
5. Phoenix Suns
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Minnesota Timber Wolves
10. Portland Trail Blazers
11. Philadelphia 76ers
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. Utah Jazz