2021 NBA Draft Profiles: Phoenix Suns

2021 NBA Draft Profiles: Phoenix Suns

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The 2021 NBA Draft will take place on July 29. With the draft coming up, The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. NBA squads will be analyzed, team needs will be addressed and potential targets will be discussed.

Today, the Phoenix Suns’ 2021 NBA Draft Profile will be presented.

Summary

Under Monty Williams, the Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a remarkable season. After acquiring Chris Paul, Phoenix has elevated to a playoff contender. The 2020-21 season has been the perfect storm for the Suns. Devin Booker continued his scoring production, this season was his fourth-straight season scoring 24.9 points or more. As usual, Paul has been productive averaging 16.4 points with 8.9 assists. Several players like Deandre Ayton, Cameron Payne, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson have all improved for Phoenix.

Phoenix of course is battling the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals right now. The Suns already had a successful season, but winning a championship would make their season historical in their franchise’s history. Even with Phoenix’s success, they will likely have some needs this offseason. Who could the Suns draft to bolster their roster?

Picks

The Phoenix Suns have one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

First Round: Pick No. 29

Team Needs

Point Guard Depth- Currently, the Suns are set at point guard with Paul and Payne. However, this may not be the case after NBA free agency. Payne will be an unrestricted free agent this summer with his two year contract worth roughly $2 million expiring. Without a doubt, Payne’s playoff play has earned him a larger contract this offseason. Payne is averaging 9.45 points per game in the playoffs with several monster performances. In game two versus the Los Angeles Clippers, Payne erupted for 29 points while shooting 50%. Payne will surely command a bigger contract this offseason, and Phoenix may let him walk. Considering this, the Suns could look to draft a point guard in the 2021 NBA Draft to potentially replace Payne’s backup point guard duties.

Frontcourt Help- Outside of Ayton, Phoenix’s frontcourt situation is intriguing. The Suns do not really play another true center outside of Ayton. This could be by design, or Phoenix could look to add another true center. In addition, Dario Saric is the only player off the bench that gets any real time at power forward. Also, with Saric’s recent ACL tear the Suns could have a hole in their frontcourt depth next season. Phoenix did draft the frontcourt prospect Jalen Smith out of Maryland in the 2020 NBA Draft. However, Smith dealt with injuries this season and only appeared in 27 games with 5.8 minutes per game. Between Saric’s injury and having no true center behind Ayton, Phoenix could look to add some frontcourt depth this draft.

Projected Targets

Round 1, Pick 29: Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, PG/SG (VCU)

Payne has been a big contributor off the bench for the Suns this season. Potentially losing Payne would be a big blow to Phoenix’s bench production. The Suns will need another scorer off their bench without Payne. Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland has a skillset capable of replacing some of Payne’s production.

Hyland is a 6-foot-3 guard capable of playing either point guard or shooting guard. He averaged 19.5 points while shooting 44.7% and 37.1% from three at VCU. Hyland has the ball handling ability to run point guard. In addition, Hyland is a very talented scorer. He is capable of creating his own shot off dribble, is a good driver and possess a good jump shot.

Hyland did have some inconsistencies in his scoring ability at VCU. On the other hand, he is quite young at 20 and could become more consistent as a scorer. More than likely, Hyland will not produce at the same level of Payne immediately, but he has a lot of potential as a scorer. He made so many tough contest shots at VCU and was very good in transition. Long term, Hyland can become a great scoring guard off the bench for Phoenix.

All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and Sports-Reference. 

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