NBA Draft Lottery 2011: Phoenix Suns Looking For Depth

The Phoenix Suns remain in a weird spot, with a most valuable player in his mid-30s (Steve Nash) and an otherwise young roster in serious need of star power. That the Suns continue to pick in the middle of the first round instead of the top three isn't helping; Phoenix was in the playoff race until late in the regular season, which means that having finished with the league's 13th-worst record, the Suns have just a 0.6 percent chance of leaping to the top spot in the 2011 NBA Draft.

TEAM NEEDS

Everything But Point Guard, But Actually Point Guard Too. The Suns have two players right now whose Wikipedia page will ever have the word "All-Star" on it -- Grant Hill and Nash. These guys are a combined 75 years old. That's not an exaggeration. Nash is 37, Hill is 38. (Note that I'm considering Vince Carter a sure-bet waiver wire entry.)

As such, no position is out-of-bounds. Marcin Gortat looked nice toward the end of the season, so penciling him into the future rotation might lead Phoenix away from a defensive-minded big man. Also, being the Phoenix Suns might lead Phoenix away from a defensive-minded big man. Look for wing scoring to be a big draw wherever the Suns land. Carter was disappointing after replacing Jason Richardson, and Alvin Gentry has the opposite of faith in Josh Childress.

IF THEY WIN

The Suns know the value of an elite point guard better than most teams, so you'd have to expect Phoenix to take Kyrie Irving if they improbably land the No. 1 pick against all odds. Nash could groom Irving quickly before being dealt or leaving in free agency. If the Suns should be so lucky to land at No. 2 or 3, they'd count their blessings and register whoever they felt the best player available was; Derrick Williams from Arizona would be a natural fit, a much-better (much much much) Channing Frye.

PREVIOUS LUCK

Since the creation of the lottery, the Suns have picked in the top three once: Armen Gilliam at No. 2 in 1987. Phoenix got that spot despite having the seventh-worst record in the NBA. Since then? No leaping, no luck.

For more on the Suns, visit Bright Side of the Sun and SB Nation Arizona.

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