Talk of the 2013 NBA Draft as being weak and short on talent is falling on deaf ears among those in the Suns’ basketball operations department.
After hosting nine potential lottery draft prospects over a 48-hour period Wednesday and Thursday, the Suns see the No. 5 overall pick as holding greater value than perhaps even they expected.
“It’s a good problem to have,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “The issue for me might be too many good choices rather than not enough at five.”
The solution: Acquiring an additional selection in the first round.
The Suns’ first-year general manager has explored the possibility.
“We’ve talked to a few teams about getting in the draft at different ranges,” McDonough said following a non-lottery prospect pre-draft workout Friday. “We have good assets, I think, to do that. We have to evaluate all these guys, figure out where they are going to go; and then if we can get in at a particular range, where we think a guy is undervalued, we’ll try to get in and get him there.
“As usual, there’s a lot of discussion right now with different teams around the league, but nobody really wants to make a deal until we get closer to the draft and you figure out where guys are going to go.”
Currently, the Suns own two first round picks. Besides No. 5, they have the final pick of the opening round, the 30th overall selection, acquired in the trade that sent Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Having more doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually use them all, but you have some flexibility,” McDonough said. “I’d always like to have more. If I get one in the middle of the first round too, I’d have the beginning, the middle and the end and I’d feel like I’d have it covered and could get anybody.”
With six first round picks over the next three years, it’s not a matter of if the Suns could make a move, but whether or not McDonough is willing to pull the trigger on a deal.
“We could get in,” he said, “I think, at almost any range except for maybe the very, very top; (picks) one, two, three would be a little bit tougher to get up there.”
Of course more draft picks, if acquired and used, mean more rookies on a team that struggled to win 25 games last season.
“Like we said, Ryan is looking for the best guys out there. It doesn’t matter what position,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “If they come in as a rookie and show that they can outplay one of the veteran guys, then they’ll play. If the veteran guys prove it, then they’ll play. It’s as simple as that.”