Josh Jackson brings athleticism and defense and Haller and Bordow talk fit and excitement from Talking Stick Arena.
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The Phoenix Suns selected Kansas SF Josh Jackson with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft.
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azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Mark Faller discuss the mental readiness of young athletes stepping into the NBA and an underrated player in Thursday’s NBA draft.
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Suns GM Ryan McDonough addresses trade rumors surrounding his team and the No. 4 NBA draft pick.
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Sarah McLellan and Dan Bickley talk Lakers and potential trades with the Suns involving Lonzo Ball, and which golfers to watch at the U.S. Open.
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Zach Collins, from Gonzaga, discusses his performance in the Suns’ pre-draft workout, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Phoenix Suns Assistant GM Pat Connelly describes Zach Collins’ pre-draft workout, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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The Cleveland Cavaliers needed an all-time performance to beat the Golden State Warriors and force a Game 5.
USA TODAY Sports
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Oregon’s Jordan Bell talks about his pre-draft workout with the Phoenix Suns, June 9, 2017. Andrew Vailliencourt/azcentral sports
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Phoenix Suns Assistant GM Pat Connelly talks about his impressions of Jordan Bell from the pre-draft workouts, June 9, 2017. Andrew Vailliencourt/azcentral sports
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Phoenix Suns prospects do a three-minute run during a pre-NBA draft workout, with Oregon’s Jordan Bell leading the way, June 9, 2017. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Tim Kempton Jr., from Lehigh University, talks about his Phoenix Suns pre-draft workout, June 9, 2017. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Andrew White III talks about his pre-draft workout with the Suns, June 9, 2017. Andrew Vailliencourt/azcentral sports
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Suns Assistant GM Pat Connelly discusses Tim Kempton Jr. and Andrew White III during a pre-draft workout, June 9, 2017. Andrew Vailliencourt/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Scott Bordow discuss the upcoming NBA draft and the drama surrounding the Lakers’ pick. Could they pass on Lonzo Ball?
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James and the shaky status of Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin.
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Oregon’s Dillon Brooks discusses working out for the Phoenix Suns on June 7, 2017.
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Former Paradise Valley star Paul Watson talks about working out for the Phoenix Suns on June 7, 2017.
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Pat Connelly discusses the Phoenix Suns’ workout on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
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Kentucky’s Malik Monk discusses his fit with the Suns after his workout on June 6, 2017.
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Pat Connelly discusses Malik Monk’s shooting performance at the Kentucky guard’s workout on June 6, 2017.
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Watch Kentucky’s Malik Monk runs the -3 minute drill at the end of his workout with the Suns on June 6, 2017.
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Semi Ojeleye discusses the Phoenix Suns pre-draft workout on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Luke Kornet discusses the Phoenix Suns’ workout on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Kennedy Meeks discusses the Phoenix Suns’ workout on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Kobi Simmons, a guard from Arizona, talks during the Phoenix Suns pre-draft workout on Monday, May 29, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Josh Hart, a guard from Villanova, talks about being part of the Phoenix Suns pre-draft workout on Monday, May 29, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller discuss Lonzo Ball skipping a Celtics workout and a dark-horse pick for the Suns at No. 4.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and JJ Hensley discuss the Suns draft as well as ‘The Bartender,’ the key reliever for the Diamondbacks.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller discuss the NBA lottery and the ASU football quarterback situation.
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azcentral sports’ Doug Haller and Dan Bickley discuss Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, in which the Suns fell to the No. 4 overall pick, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports
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Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough discusses the Suns earning the No. 4 overall selection in next month’s draft at the team’s NBA draft lottery party at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday. David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley talk NBA lottery picks and a team that might be eyeing the Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke.
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With a top-five pick and five players with star potential, the Suns are in a good place. But how has each selection shown success?
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Suns star guard Devin Booker went to Navarrete Elementary School to surprise student Noah Smith with a trip to the NBA draft lottery in New York City on Friday. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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LaVar Ball won’t affect whether the Lakers select his son Lonzo in the upcoming NBA draft, Lakers president Magic Johnson told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
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Lonzo Ball’s signature shoes garnered a lot of attention when they were first released. But the sales numbers suggest the sneakers aren’t selling as well as the Big Baller Brand would like.
USA TODAY Sports
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As the Suns look to rebuild through the NBA draft, they are looking to Golden State and Oklahoma City as examples of how to do it right.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller discuss how Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas has become one of the best players in the NBA and who the Suns want in the NBA draft.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley talk about the possibility of the NBA draft lottery is rigged and an updated on Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington on Friday. Diana Payan/azcentral
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Rockets’ explosion against the Spurs and a possible pitching implosion for the Diamondbacks.
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The Suns are guaranteed to have a Top 5 NBA draft pick. Here are some players they could take.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Kevin Durant and the Warriors as well as Zack Greinke’s start against the Padres.
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Several former Phoenix Suns players are in the NBA playoffs.
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Take a look at the Suns players that have guaranteed contracts for next season.
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Suns coach Earl Watson takes questions from the press at an end-of-season gathering at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Suns guard Devin Booker discusses the 2016-17 season and how his team can improve throughout the offseason on Wednesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Video by Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Doug Haller sums up interviews with Phoenix Suns management and players at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. || Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Breaking down the top five moments in Suns guard Devin Booker’s season.
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Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley disagree on the NBA MVP and share their thoughts on the D-Backs’ hot start.
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Suns guard Devin Booker discusses his 70-point game against the Boston Celtics.
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Doug Haller and Scott Bordow talk about Suns pick Josh Jackson
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The Suns last season were among the NBA’s worst defensive teams. In Thursday’s NBA draft, they took a significant step toward improvement.
Amid massive trade speculation, the Suns held on to their No. 4 pick and added to their young core, selecting Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, perhaps the best two-way player in the NBA draft.
A 6-8, 207-pound freshman, Jackson brings a defensive edge that is expected to translate immediately, something that could make him a starter from Day 1. General Manager Ryan McDonough said the Suns considered Jackson the draft’s best player, which is something teams often say, but in this case it’s an opinion many share.
“We love his competitiveness,” McDonough said. “We love his fire. We love his toughness. … You talk about winning and impact on a team, we felt like he was the best player in the draft.”
Shortly after getting drafted, Jackson, 20, told reporters in Brooklyn that he loved proving people wrong and that he aimed to make the teams that passed on him regret their decisions.
“I don’t think the other guys in this draft really care as much as I do,” Jackson said. “I don’t think they play as hard as I do – period. I think that’s what really makes me special. I refuse to fail – period.”
The Suns selected Davon Reed of Miami with their second pick, No. 32 overall. A 6-5 guard, Reed last season shot 40 percent from 3-point range and was an ACC All-Defensive team selection, potentially helping the Suns in two areas of need.
With the 54th pick, the Suns selected Valparaiso’s Alec Peters, a 6-9 forward with a nice shooting touch. A four-year starter, he was last season’s Horizon League Player of the Year.
But Phoenix’s plan for this draft was clear:
“As I mentioned at the end of the season, we wanted to upgrade our defense,” McDonough said.
In that sense, McDonough didn’t think there was a better fit for the Suns, who have missed the postseason for a franchise-long seven years. Jackson not only gives the Suns a versatile perimeter defender – something they’ve lacked – he also brings the competitive spirit that coach Earl Watson craves.
“He’s the kind of player that will raise the level in practice and in drills,” McDonough said. “And from what we gather, he’s not afraid to call people out who aren’t that aggressive.”
The Suns picked Kansas forward Josh Jackson with the fourth pick in the NBA draft Thursday night and azcentral’s Doug Haller and Scott Bordow offer some quick thoughts.
In his only college season, Jackson last season averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Offensively, he excelled in the open court and as a passer, but he struggled with his perimeter jump shot. Jackson shot 54.9 percent from 2-point range, 37.8 from 3 and 56.6 from the foul line.
Another issue: Jackson twice was involved in off-court incidents, one stemming from an argument with a women’s basketball player outside a Lawrence, Kan., bar. As part of a diversion agreement, Jackson agreed to take an anger-management course, avoid drugs and alcohol for a year, write a letter of apology to the victim and complete at least 20 hours of community service.
McDonough said the Suns did exhaustive research on Jackson, just as they do with every prospect, and the more they learned about his character, the more comfortable they became.
Jackson admitted to making a mistake.
“I admitted to it from day one when it was brought up,” he said. “I think the whole situation was really blown out of proportion just because of who I am. Reporters want to make a story and get themselves a name. But everyone who was close to the situation and everyone who I’ve talked to about it, they know exactly what happened that day. … It wasn’t as bad as everybody made it out to be.”
Jackson will join guard Devin Booker (20), as well as forwards Marquese Chriss (19) and Dragan Bender (19) as key building blocks in Phoenix’s rebuild. Booker last season showed All-Star flashes, while Chriss and Bender had the rough task of learning on the job as teenagers. Bender also battled injuries.
Jackson looks forward to growing together.
“When I look at Phoenix, that’s one of the things that really excites me is that they’re young,” he said. “I know that I got a lot of things to learn coming into this league. I know they still got some things to learn, but being able to learn those things together, I think down the road that will make our team chemistry just so much better.”