What should the Phoenix Suns expect with their first-round picks?
Historically, the No. 14 pick hasn't produced many all-stars, but good players can still be found.
Shooting guard Peja Stojakovic (1996, Sacramento) was the last all-star taken from that slot. His 1,760 career made three-pointers ranks ninth all-time. Locally, the Suns' Marcus Morris (2011) was taken by the Houston Rockets. Power forward Kris Humphries (2004, Utah) averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his career, but had a two-year stretch in New Jersey when he averaged a double-double. Troy Murphy (2001, Golden State) had 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 12 seasons, with five double-double campaigns.
Recently, players taken at No. 18 pick fared better than at No. 14.
Point guards Eric Bledsoe (2010, draft day trade to LA Clippers) and Ty Lawson (2009, draft day trade to Denver) had career-best seasons last year, with Bledsoe averaging 17.7 points and 5.5 assists and Lawson 17.6/8.8. Power forward David West (2003, New Orleans) is a two-time all-star who has averaged 15.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in his 11 NBA seasons. The Suns' Gerald Green (2005, Boston) had his best season in the NBA in 2013-14, starting 48 games and averaging 15.8 points. Over in New York, J.R. Smith (2004, New Orleans) won NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2012-13. In 10 seasons, he has averaged 13.4 points playing primarily off the bench.
At No. 27, it's slightly more difficult to find players than can contribute.
Power forward Dennis Rodman (1986, Detroit) was the last all-star taken at that spot. He won five NBA championships. More recently, Orlando Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo (2007, Detroit) led the team in scoring last season with 18.2 points. Forward DeMarre Carroll (2009, Memphis) and centers Kendrick Perkins (2003, draft day trade to Boston) and Samuel Dalembert (2001, Philadelphia) all started for playoff teams last season, granted none by the team that actually drafted them.
So, what kind of player can the Suns expect to find at their draft positions? Below is the career win shares for players drafted from 1981-2000, according to basketball-reference. This statistic is explained here.
For the 14th pick, the average is 29.6, 18th is 28.2 and 27th is 13.7. For comparison, the career numbers for Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw and Channing Frye are 129.7, 71.3, 43.1 and 28.6 respectively.
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