With the sixth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select…
Blue Route is bringing you draft coverage leading up to the NBA draft on June 20th, 2019. The Philadelphia 76ers are slated to select 24th pick in the draft. The NBA draft often sees movement, trades and drama, so to prepare you for various potential outcomes, the Blue Route will be giving you draft profiles for the all of the likely top picks, as well as our very own mock draft.
2019 NBA Mock Draft Results
- New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson
- Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant
- New York Knicks – RJ Barrett
- Los Angeles Lakers – Jarrett Culver
- Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Hunter
Current State of the Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns have been rebuilding for several years now, and the goal in any rebuild is to latch on to franchise pieces. So far, the Suns have cornerstones in Devin Booker, signed through 2022-23, and soon-to-be sophomore Deandre Ayton.
Josh Jackson, TJ Warren, and Mikal Bridges round out Phoenix’s young core, and that is definitely something for fans in Arizona to look forward to. Their team payroll isn’t in a terrible spot, so they may be able to make some noise in free agency, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the slow cook continue.
Former 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams was named the head coach of the Phoenix Suns this month, and he’ll have some fun pieces to work with over the next few years thanks to quality draft selections via repetitive tanking. Someone call Jerry Colangelo. I mean, he’s right up the road!
Looking ahead into 2019 Free Agency
As of right now, the Suns have a guaranteed payroll of $61,677,104, and Tyler Johnson is staring at a $19,245,370 player option. The team lacks a true point guard, but they may not need to spend big money on one in free agency (foreshadowing).
What should the Suns target in free agency? Although (as I just stated) they shouldn’t spend big money on the point guard position, one guy that makes a ton of sense for the Suns and Monty Williams is TJ McConnell, someone who is very familiar with Arizona; and someone Monty Williams is familiar with from his one year in Philadelphia as the head assistant to Brett Brown.
McConnell would give the Suns some stability at the point guard position, and he’d serve as a great mentor for the Suns’ selection at six. How much would it take to sign McConnell? My guess is around $8 million, which is great for a guy who didn’t make that much money over his four years in Philadelphia.
The Selection – Coby White
Alright, so I did enough foreshadowing. It just seems like a perfect fit for the Suns. I can already see a starting lineup of Coby White at point guard, Devin Booker at shooting guard, Mikal Bridges at small forward, Josh Jackson at power forward, and Deandre Ayton at center.
White is an absolute burner in transition. It looks like he’s running downhill while handling the ball. He has the best hair in the nation, and I see a ton of De’Aaron Fox (not just because of the hair) and Collin Sexton (not just because of the hair) when I watch him.
He is a great finisher at the rim and also possesses a sick step-back jumper. His ability to hit that shot, mixed with his driving ability, will be a fun thing to watch. He and Devin Booker would be absolutely electric, not to mention the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Ayton.
The one-year, 6’5″ University of North Carolina standout averaged 16.1 points per game along with 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in the 2018-19 season. He shot 42.3 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three. He has a great stroke, but the two things he’ll need to work on the most will be his shot selection and his turnovers.
I get the feeling he’ll adjust nicely to the next level. He showed a ton of skill passing the ball with the Tar Heels, but he was definitely asked to score more than distribute. White shot 80 percent from the free throw stripe, which shows he has good touch. Don’t be fooled by his low-ish shooting percentages.
Selfishly, I would like to see Coby White start from day one with the Phoenix Suns. If the team does end up signing a free agent like TJ McConnell, for example, there’s a chance we’ll see him come off the bench; kind of a go-earn-it tactic from coach Williams.
But, let’s just say he starts from day one. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will most likely see the bulk of the touches on offense. As the ball handler, though, White will get his. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score 12 points and tally 6 assists, which is 1.9 more than he put up in 28.5 minutes per game in college.
Why will his assist numbers jump? He will start to showcase that aforementioned passing potential. The Suns have the pieces around him to amplify his upside, and the addition of Coby White could make Phoenix a dark horse for NBA League Pass team of the year.