- Here’s a list of the best Phoenix Suns draft picks in franchise history.
- Steve Nash leads the list of players Phoenix selected through the draft.
- Other notable players the Suns picked were Amar’e Stoudemire and Devin Booker.
The Phoenix Suns have been in the league since 1968, and although they are one of the NBA teams that never won a championship yet, the team reached the NBA Finals three times throughout its tenure in the league in 1976, 1993, and 2021. Part of this sustained competitiveness is drafting young players to boost their NBA championship odds.
Names like Shawn Marion, Larry Nance, and Dan Majerle have helped the franchise become consistently relevant in the league and maintain status as a top contender to win the coveted Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. However, the team selected three other players during the draft that significantly made an impact. See the list below.
Phoenix selected Steve Nash as their 15th overall pick during the 1996 NBA Draft. However, he became the backup point guard to Jason Kidd during his first two years with the team. This initial relationship with the team resulted in Nash being traded away to Dallas in 1998. Six seasons after he departed from Phoenix, the 6 feet 3 inches tall point guard returned home in 2004.
On this day 24 years ago, our franchise changed forever.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) June 26, 2020
Nash’s second stint with the Suns saw him win back-to-back MVPs in 2005 and 2006. He led the team to five playoff campaigns, including three Conference Finals stints in 2005, 2006, and 2010. In those five postseason stints, the Canadian upped his average to 19.4 points, 10.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in 67 games.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to win a title. Nash finished his career with Phoenix with averages of 14.4 points, 9.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 744 games across 10 seasons. Before retiring in 2015, the former two-time league MVP played for two more seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Another key player for Phoenix in the 2000s was Amar’e Stoudemire, who was drafted as the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. The 6 feet 10 inches tall power forward became a strong force inside and immediately made his presence felt in his first season. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2003 with averages of 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks.
The Suns are retiring Amare Stoudemire’s number (32) 🔥
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) August 9, 2023
The former Cypress Creek High School star also complemented the run-and-gun offense of coach Mike D’Antoni that Nash orchestrated as Stoudemire established himself as the top scorer on the team during his eight-year stay with the Suns, where he racked up an incredible number of 21.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. He was also selected in five NBA All-Star Games for the Suns.
The team went on a complete rebuild since the end of the run-and-gun offense of Phoenix in 2011. In 2015, they drafted Devin Booker out of Kentucky as their 13th overall pick. The 6 feet 5 inches tall guard was given the keys to the franchise, and he instantly became the team’s main man, which he gladly accepted by leading them in the offensive end.
The Phoenix Suns will select Devin Booker with the No. 13 pick in the NBA Draft, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2015
Booker’s numbers steadily increased season-by-season as he displayed his all-around scoring arsenal. He was also vital in ending the team’s 10-year playoff drought since 2010. In 2021, Booker and the Suns went to the NBA Finals but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. In 2022, he became a member of the All-NBA 1st team with averages of 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
“DBook” has since become the team’s cornerstone and main superstar. In his first eight seasons, he produced an average of 23.8 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds with three All-Star selections. Booker hopes to bring a title to The Valley alongside Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal.
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