NBA Draft 2013: Phoenix Suns eye impact player at No. 5


The Suns will have plenty of appealing options with the No. 5 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Phoenix Suns essentially tanked away the 2012-13 season, but they'll begin a rebuilding process with the 2013 draft. The prior offseason was hardly a demolition of the roster after the Steve Nash era and, instead, it was more of a failed attempt to keep the squad competitive.

New general manager Ryan McDonough has the flexibility to make as many moves as he can in his attempt to rebuild the roster, but it won't be easy. The players left on the Suns roster will be hard to trade -- see Beasley, Michael -- so the most optimistic approach for the front office begins with the draft.

Many questions have amassed regarding where players will go in the lottery, but Phoenix should have the ability to land a player of quality talent relative to the rest of the draft. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the Suns can score big with their two other picks or capitalize on the willingness to trade nearly anyone on the current roster.

Draft picks

The Suns hold the Nos. 5, 30 and 57 overall draft picks and have a slew of additional selections over the next few years that could be used to move up in the 2013 draft. The Suns could make some deals if they think grabbing another pick or moving up in the order proves beneficial.

Depth chart

Point guard -- Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall, Diante Garrett (restricted free agent)

Shooting guard -- Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown (non-guaranteed contract), Wesley Johnson (free agent)

Small forward -- P.J. Tucker (non-guaranteed contract), Michael Beasley, Marcus Morris

Power forward -- Luis Scola (not trade eligible until July 1), Markieff Morris, Channing Frye (sat out 2012-13 with heart ailment)

Center -- Marcin Gortat, Hamed Haddadi (non-guaranteed contract), Jermaine O'Neal (free agent)

Biggest need(s)

McDonough has maintained that he'll take the best player on the board, but the Suns would would probably like to go in the direction of finding a scorer who can create his own shot. Phoenix often found itself too reliant on Dragic to create for his teammates or score himself last season so taking the pressure off him could help his efficiency next year.

That isn't meant to say Phoenix doesn't need help elsewhere, though. The wing position is deep right now, but there is no player at the small forward or shooting guard slots that could be considered reliable go-to options. The power forward spot is likewise crowded -- especially if Frye returns from a heart ailment that kept him out of last season -- but the Suns could still use help there.

The Suns will likely look to get younger outside of the draft as well so having insurance to fill in at any position if a veteran is moved this summer or during the season would be ideal. Even if there's a talented point guard at the No. 5 pick, Phoenix should select him to compete with Dragic and Marshall if they believe he's the best available player on the board.

Basically, there is no overkill at any position and there simply must be a talent upgrade.

Potential targets

Victor Oladipo (scouting report) is commonly popping up on mock drafts for Phoenix and it makes sense. The Suns need a shooting guard and, although he doesn't quite fit the mold of a ball handler and go-to scorer, the team could use a player with his character traits -- including a strong work ethic and a defensive mindset.

If Oladipo rises above the No. 5 pick on draft day, though, that would likely mean Ben McLemore (scouting report) dropped, giving Phoenix a scorer to insert at shooting guard.

The Suns could go bigger or smaller, though. If that's the case, big men Alex Len (scouting report) and Rudy Gobert (scouting report) would be options along with a point guard like Trey Burke (scouting report).

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