NBA Draft’s Second Round Has Produced Little Value For Suns

NBA Draft’s Second Round Has Produced Little Value For Suns
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Phoenix Suns find themselves in a familiar position as they enter the 2023 NBA Draft later this month.

The Suns are without a first-round pick for the fourth straight draft, thanks to acquiring former Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant in February. It follows the lines of similar deals made for guard Chris Paul (in 2022) and Mikal Bridges (in 2021).

This year, the Suns will have one pick in the two-round event that will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on June 22, with Phoenix selecting 52nd overall.

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The Suns have made 41 second-round picks since 1988, landing several franchise cornerstones, such as guard Marcin Gortat in 2005 and guard Steve Kerr in 1988.

But if Arizona sports betting offered odds on such things, you would be wise not to expect much from the Suns in the second round.

Phoenix has not landed a second-round unicorn like Denver two-time MVP Nikola Jokic (41st pick in 2014) or former San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili (57th pick in 1999). broke down the career win share of each second-round pick since 1988 to see how much value Suns fans can expect from the team’s pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Suns Second-Round Picks Since 2000

Draft Year Player School Career Win Share
2019KZ OkpalaStanford1.0
2018George KingColorado-0.1
2018Elie OkoboFrance1.5
2017Davon ReedMiami1.5
2017Alec PetersFrance1.5
2016Tyler UlisKentucky0.5
2015Andrew HarrisonKentucky3.2
2014Alec BrownWisconsin-Green Bay0.0
2013Alex OriakhiMissouri0.0
2010Gani LawalGeorgia Tech0.0
2010Dwayne CollinsMiami0.0
2009Taylor GriffinOklahoma0.0
2009Emir PreldzicBosnia and Herzegovina0.0
2008Malik HairstonOregon0.8
2007D.J. StrawberryMaryland-0.2
2005Marcin GortatPoland61.3
2001Alton FordHouston0.8

Arizona sports betting apps list Victor Wembanyama as the overwhelming favorite (-50000) to go to San Antonio with the first pick in the draft. Alabama’s Brandon Miller is favored to go with the second pick to Charlotte.

Will 52nd Pick Net Suns A Solid NBA Player?

Based on the team’s recent track record, there’s little reason to expect a franchise player to fall to the Suns with the 52nd pick.

The Suns’ last 15 second-round picks have netted career win share totals of 10.0 or less, with the last impact player being Gortat in 2005.

Still, thanks in large part to the career longevity of older second-round selections, like Kerr (47.2 career win share), Cedric Ceballos (40.4 career win share) and Stephen Jackson (36.1 career win share), the Suns’ second -round picks have averaged 11.2 win share between them since 1988.  

The team’s best second-round draft class was in 1988, when Kerr was joined by former Arkansas Razorback Andrew Lang (28.6 win share) and Dean Garrett of Indiana (14.1 win share) — with the trio producing a combined total of 89.9 win share among  them during their NBA careers.

Conversely, six Suns second-round draft classes had combined career win share of 0.0, illustrating how fickle it can be to try and predict which late picks will pan out.  

FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona lists Phoenix at +700 to win the 2024 NBA title, the league’s fourth-best odds. Denver is +460 to repeat as champions.

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Christopher Boan is the lead writer at after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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