The Phoenix Suns may not have formally announced it, but all signs point to Deandre Ayton being the No. 1 pick in the draft. We are breaking down the Suns new lineup, and how it evolves throughout the draft. At a time when big men’s value seem to be on a decline around the league, Suns GM Ryan McDonough explained why he thought this draft had a few players who ran counter to the current trend.
“People look at Golden State and say that but if you look at Anthony Davis and the impact he had with New Orleans, Joel Embiid and what he’s done for the Philadelphia 76ers, Clint Capela and the role he’s playing for Houston … the special ones are valuable,” McDonough explained to AZ Central. “The unique freaks, which Ayton and Bamba and Bagley and some of these guys are, there aren’t too many guys in the world 6-10 to 7-1 with that kind of skill, athleticism and coordination. I get generally that’s the trend but I think there are a few exceptions and I think some of the guys in the draft are going to be those freak players.”
Here’s a look at the updated Suns roster. Players that are free agents are listed in italics. UFA stands for Unrestricted Free Agent, while RFA Restricted Free Agent.
Suns Roster & Projected Starting Lineup for 2018
C- Deandre Ayton, Tyson Chandler, Alex Len (UFA), Alan Williams
PF- T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, Jared Dudley, Alec Peters (RFA)
SF- Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, Danuel House (RFA), Davon Reed, George King
SG- Devin Booker, Troy Daniels, Brandon Knight
PG- Elie Okobo, Elfrid Payton (RFA), Tyler Ulis, Shaquille Harrison
Suns Cap Space: -$10.6 Million
According to Real GM, the Suns are projected to be over the cap by $10,609,109. Phoenix does not have a lot of bad contracts, but do a have a few players making mid-range numbers. Brandon Knight will make $14.6 million, Tyson Chandler makes $13.58 million and T.J. Warren is slated to earn $11.75 million. All this puts them out of the running this summer to be aggressive in free agency.
With two high first round draft picks, along with a high second round pick, the Suns are hopeful they can use the draft to turn the franchise around.