It is a very busy time for the Phoenix Suns front office as they are prepping for both the NBA Draft on the 28th as well at free agency which starts three days later on July 1.
With so many questions regarding the future of the Suns roster and who will be arriving and departing the team via free agency, Suns General Manager Lance Blanks explained what the future holds for the team as it pertains to free agency will not affect who the Suns will take with the 13th pick in the draft.
“We are focused on the pool of talent we have in front of us for the draft,” Blanks explained on Monday. “If we are looking back to last year or looking even two or three days ahead of us, we have got to be careful with that. If we don’t make the right decision on Thursday, it could negatively effect our season going forward.”
If the team feels Steve Nash has played his final game in a Suns uniform, the team won’t necessarily draft a point guard just because of it. Blanks made it clear that it does not matter if the team is set at a particular position, they will take the top player on their draft board regardless of what position it is.
“It is important, the first and free agency and we know that,” Blanks expressed. “We are focused on this body of players that we have had a chance to evaluate.”
Both Blanks and team President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby expressed that youth and scoring must be “ingested” into the team’s roster at the wing position. But by the time the Suns pick, some of the top wings Dion Waitors, Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers could be gone. So Blanks mentioned it is not the right move for the franchise if they draft one position no matter what.
“What if a player available is the best player and is a duplication of what you have and the position of need is a player you feel might not make it in the NBA?” expressed Blanks. “That wouldn’t be the best decision for the organization. Having a duplication of players at one position is not a bad thing.”
The most important factor of the draft no matter what the player or position is the fact that it gives the franchise the opportunity to add youth. In adding youth, they have the opportunity to develop a player long term, and not necessarily adding a person who will come in on day one and make an impact. Blanks explained that if you look up and down the rosters of elite teams, it is rare you find a rookie who makes most of the contributions. So when addressing the draft it’s a long term focus where as the free agency is addressing more of the immediate future.
“This is another opportunity to acquire talent and an opportunity to add youth to the team which is something we desperately need,” said Blanks. “These are long term situations where players need to be developed and put into the right environment.”
The draft begins at 4:30pm local time on the 28th and the Suns are estimated to make their pick around 5:30.
For more Suns draft coverage, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.