With the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft the Phoenix Suns select Kelly Oubre Jr. Forward, Kansas.


He of the "dreamy eyes" (according to Denver Stiffs observers). Oubre is in several current mocks slated to go higher, so this could very well be a consolation prize for the Suns, as other mocks had players such as Devin Booker, Myles Turner, and Frank Kaminsky here. Allowing a two way talent with some of the highest upside of the remaining players to fall to them at a level of the draft with which they are all too familiar (more on that later). Oubre's 6' 7" frame along with a 7' 3" wingspan, which was tops for anyone at the combine not a C or PF, in addition to the 6th best overall in vertical leap make him among the most athletic in this draft as well. In one season at Kansas, Kelly developed into a solid defender (3.3 steal percentage) and rebounder as one of best in the Big 12 at his position. Also, after a slow start to the year in shooting, he improved a great deal overall which bodes well for his future development in the NBA, although seen in league circles as a raw prospect right now.

The Phoenix Suns are an interesting case study as well as cautionary tale for our Denver Nuggets . What was once seen as a franchise on the rise a couple years ago; winning 48 games but falling short of the playoffs after three tough losses at the end of that season, this past season was an even more disappointing 39 win campaign, leaving them for the fifth year in a row out of the postseason.

GM Ryan McDonough has his work cut out for him this offseason for sure, and now with the news of Fred Hoiberg leaving Iowa State for the Chicago Bulls, who have a strange affinity for Cyclones head coaches (remember Tim Floyd replacing Phil Jackson?…lol), the rumor mill tying former Iowa State Alum Jeff Hornacek to be Hoiberg’s replacement in Ames is now in full operation. However, Hornacek’s ties to the Suns and the Phoenix community area are strong enough to not make it a slam dunk for Jeff to make the move back to Iowa. Although, he may be able to make as much or money with greater job security at Iowa State, being he is among the lower paid NBA coaches in the $2 million dollar club and entering into the final year of his deal.

The Suns roster is the poster child for young mid level talent that is either mismatched or redundant. They currently have 8 roster spots dedicated to guys 26 years old or less, draft picks (their own and via trade) ranging between 13-29, and only two in Alex Len at no. 5 and Brandon Knight at no. 8 drafted in the top 10. Knight is a Restricted Free Agent likely to be re-signed. While Center/PF Brandan Wright, as well as guards Marcus Thornton, and Gerald Green are their most notable Unrestricted Free Agents, none of whom look like a certainty to be re-signed.

I spent some time at our fellow SB Nation site Bright Side of the Sun for most of my research into the Suns and they are totally ready for the 13th selection in this draft, as for the 3rd time in 5 seasons they have been in the same position. I also found this link which showed the players being linked to be drafted by the Suns from various mock drafts from a variety of online sources. Phoenix Suns 2015 NBA Mock Draft Tracker. Based on our current Denver Stiffs Mock Draft, there was slim pickins left to say the least with several on the most common projections for the Suns being taken earlier, making no. 13 an unlucky one, and if it were true to form on draft night, may make GM Ryan McDonough run for the hills to trade out of this draft.

The Suns needs are in need of shooting as well as front-line depth, but best-player-available to upgrade talent seems to be on McDonough's mind as well, and it doesn't appear he would hesitate to move an existing player at a similar position to make room. Also, there is the looming criminal case pending against the Morris twins which could put in question their availability going into the next season, however in my opinion given the nature of the case, with a good legal team it may not be a major issue that could affect their draft considerations. Sam Dekker, a smalll forward, out of Wisconsin was another consideration here, but more so if the Suns decided to trade down if someone below them wanted to make a play for Oubre.

The Suns are the definition of "mired in mediocrity" right now it seems, leaving a lot of questions and hard decisions for their front office to make this summer to do anything to end the five year playoff drought this once proud and attractive franchise is stuck in currently.

As a Denver Nuggets fan, I want no part of the Suns approach or pattern, and if our front office doesn't make the right moves over the next two offseasons, I fear the same fate awaits them as well.

*Did it just get hotter in Phoenix? Well it might have with dreamy eyes Oubre*

Here is a breakdown of the draft so far:

Pick Team GM Player taken
1 T-wolves Russscot Karl Anthony Towns
2 Lakers Rocky Mountain Way D’Angelo Russel
3 76ers Fishbowlin Emmanuel Mudiay
4 Knicks CombatChuk Justise Winslow
5 Magic moondoggie12 Kristaps Porzingis
6 Kings Mr_RyMo Jahlil Okafor
7 Nuggets Agaliarept Mario Hezonja
8 Pistons TheMozgovCocktail Stanley Johnson
9 Hornets It’s the LAW SON Devin Booker
10 Heat teenasty Willie Cauley Stein
11 Pacers cubobofett56 Myles Turner
12 Jazz Zachm19 Frank Kaminsky
13 Suns LuckyStiff Kelly Oubre

Salticus and the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the clock.