The Phoenix Suns are in an interesting place. As expected, they landed the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery. They have a budding young star in Devin Booker. They have a few interesting young pieces, like Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson. And they have a new coach—Igor Kokoškov, the first European-born NBA head coach.
It's easy to get excited about the Suns' future, but we have to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves. Phoenix did, after all, finish a miserable 21-61 this season.
The Suns' season likely would've held more promise if Phoenix had another budding star—like, say, Kristaps Porzingis—on the roster. Apparently, Phoenix had an opportunity to pull off a deal for the Unicorn before the 2017 draft, but the Suns didn't want to part ways with their No. 4 pick.
Last year, I thought Phoenix had a chance to get Porzingis if they were willing to put the fourth pick in, which would've been Josh Jackson. Looking back, at the time, I kinda thought I would have done that. If I could get Porzingis to play with, and I didn't have to give up Devin Booker, there was no one in that draft up there that...I would've gotten Porzingis. But I understood they were careful, they still believe in Josh Jackson, and Porzingis wasn't super enthusiastic about Phoenix and what his future would've been there. They wanna be able to re-sign him, so I get showing some restraint there.
Jackson had an up-and-down rookie year but played well down the stretch. He qualified for the second All-Rookie Team.
NBA All-Rookie teams:
First team: Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen.
Second team: Dennis Smith Jr., Lonzo Ball, John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Josh Jackson.