Since the NBA Draft is less than a week away and I'm looking to follow up on my hit series about the best and worst 13th picks in NBA Draft history I am going to discuss more NBA Draft. Who doesn't love the NBA Draft?
I'd mulled going best and worst style for the Suns but I really didn't want to cheat anyone so instead I'm providing an annotated history of every Suns draft pick over the last 20 years. You'll see some names that will make you laugh, cry, and shake your head.
If the Suns acquired a player in a draft day trade that doesn't count - they had to be the ones announcing the pick. So though Luol Deng only wore a Suns hat for about 5 minutes - he's on the list.
Gani Lawal (2010 - 2nd round, 46th overall, Georgia Tech) - He's built up quite a following on Bright Side of the Sun despite missing all but 2 games in his rookie season and tearing his ACL. Wait until people figure out there was a reason he was picked in the middle of the second round.
Dwayne Collins (2010 - 2nd round, 60th overall, Miami) - When the Suns made this guy Mr. Irrelevant last year we knew basically one thing about him - he had really large hands. A year later we think he may be dead, but he probably still has large hands.
Earl Clark (2009 - 1st round, 14th overall, Louisville) - One time he hit a three pointer against Dallas and I'm pretty sure he banked it. The king of Twitter gibberish spent a season and change with the Suns before being dealt in the Gortat/J-Rich deal.
Taylor Griffin (2009 - 2nd round, 48th overall, Oklahoma) - I didn't understand this pick the day it happened and I still don't today. Perhaps he was listed as "best available balding 22 year-old" on the Suns draft board.
Emir Preldzic (2009 - 2nd round, 57th overall, Turkey) - The Suns dealt this guy to Cleveland on draft day for the highly touted "Cash Considerations." I look forward to the contribution the 80 dollars the Suns got for him provides.
Robin Lopez (2008 - 1st round, 15th overall, Stanford) - The grunting big man was once seen as the key to a Suns championship run, a year later he is seen as trade fodder for a litany of average power forwards. Oh what a difference a back makes.
Malik Hairston (2008 - 2nd round, 48th overall, Oregon) - This pick and the Suns 2009 2nd rounder were dealt to the Spurs for Goran Dragic's draft rights. That 2009 2nd rounder turned out to be DeJuan Blair. Ouch.
Ed Note: And Dragic PLUS the 23rd pick turned into Aaron Brooks. Double ouch.
Rudy Fernandez (2007 - 1st round, 24th pick, Spain) - Another guy dealt on draft day, this one with James Jones to Portland for cash. However it was clear cash outperformed him in the 2010 playoff series between the Suns/Blazers.
Alando Tucker (2007 - 1st round, 29th pick, Wisconsin) - You know how when a female friend is trying to set you up with one of her friends she says that her friend is really funny but you know that means she's ugly? Alando Tucker's NBA career can best be described as really funny.
D.J. Strawberry (2007 - 2nd round, 59th pick, Maryland) - Bar none the best spawn of a 1986 New York Met to wear a Suns uniform. If Tim Teufel has a son he's got his work cut out for him.
Rajon Rondo (2006 - 1st round, 21st pick, Kentucky) - Two-time All-Star and All-Defensive 1st Team? What a great draft pick. Wait, he was traded on draft day for Boston's 2007 1st round pick which turned out to be Rudy Fernandez? Well crap.
Sergio Rodriguez (2006 - 1st round, 27th pick, Spain) - If there's one thing the Suns love, it's trading Spanish guards on draft day to the Blazers for cash. Fortunately this one has pretty much sucked in the NBA.
Nate Robinson (2005 - 1st round, 21st pick, Washington) - Dealt on draft day but not for cash. The wee fella was traded along with Mr. Moesha to the Knicks for Kurt Thomas and Dijon Thompson. At least that one was productive.
Ed Note: Until it cost two first round picks (one of them turned into Serge Ibaka) to dump Kurt Thomas' salary two years later.
Marcin Gortat (2005 - 2nd round, 57th pick, Poland) - Basketball reference says he was traded by the Suns to the Magic for "future." I don't know what that means but I can only hope it's intent is that the Suns somehow wind up with Dwight Howard. Oh, that Gortat guy now plays for Phoenix.
Loul Deng (2004 - 1st round, 7th overall, Duke) - A nice piece wasted as the Suns dealt him to Chicago for the immortal Jackson Vroman and the first round pick that turned out to be Nate Robinson. So to recap: Deng à Robinson à Kurt Thomas. Got it?
Zarko Cabarkapa (2003 - 1st round, 17th overall, Serbia) - He actually started 4 games for the Suns as a rookie and was dealt for a pair of 2nd rounders the next season. Also his name is Zarko - which coincidentally will be the name of my first child whether it be male, female or other.
Amar'e Stoudemire (2002 - 1st round, 9th overall, High School) - I can honestly say I've never heard of this guy. Not sure if he ever made it onto the Suns roster.
Casey Jacobsen (2002 - 1st round, 22nd overall, Stanford) - He was never really able to replicate his sweet college shooting in the NBA and was dealt for Jimmy Jackson in 2005. But he did at least keep his tips frosted regularly (picture).
Alton Ford (2001 - 2nd round, 50th overall, Houston) - Alton Ford could walk into my office, introduce himself as Alton Ford, show me all 64 games he played for the Suns in their entirety - and I might still not believe him.
Jake Tsakalidis (2000 - 1st round, 25th overall, Georgia) - When Big Jake was able to get out of his Euro contract and make his way to the US Suns fans we ecstatic. But after 3 below average seasons I just think of him as Georgian Robin Lopez.
Shawn Marion (1999 - 1st round, 9th overall, UNLV) - There's a better than average chance Marion can't read or write but despite those disabilities he's had a wonderful NBA career. Yet I will always remember him for his Room Store ads instead of his All-Star appearances or recent NBA title with the Mavericks.
Stephen Jackson (1997 - 2nd round, 42nd overall, Butler County Community College) - Phoenix may have drafted him but he didn't last until the regular season. He surfaced in the NBA 3 seasons later and 4 years after that he was attacking fans in Detroit. Meteoric rise.
Steve Nash (1996 - 1st round, 15th overall, Santa Clara) - After a brief hiatus in Dallas he returned to Phoenix in 2004. He's basically the most Sunny Sun to ever Suns. Find a Suns fan that doesn't love him and I'll show you a lying Suns fan.
Russ Millard (1996 - 2nd round, 39th overall, Iowa) - I've seriously got nothing here. He never played an NBA game and appears to be off the internet grid. I hope he's alive.
Ben Davis (1996 - 2nd round, 43rd overall, Arizona) - Just like Steve Nash he had two tours of duty with the Suns, unlike Steve Nash neither tour of duty showcased a proclivity for basketball.
Michael Finley (1995 - 1st round, 21st overall, Wisconsin) - I love Michael Finley so much that I almost dropped the Suns as my favorite team when they traded him for Jason Kidd in 1996.
Mario Bennett (1995 - 1st round, 27th overall, Arizona State) - The summer Bennett had his name in the draft he appeared at the Bill Frieder basketball camp I was at and was asked if he thought he would be picked by the Suns. As you can see from above the Suns had 2 first round picks. Bennett's response? "No way, I'll be gone way before that." 16 years later I still remember that. His NBA career was less than stellar.
Chris Carr (1995 - 2nd round, 56th overall, Southern Illinois) - He played in the NBA long enough to have a picture on his basketball reference page, which is impressive. He started 10 games for the Suns as a rookie before signing with Minnesota.
Wesley Person (1994 - 1st round, 23rd overall, Auburn) - His brother was The Rifleman Chuck Person and he was a career 41% three point shooter including 43.6% as a rookie. He was a big piece of the Suns deal to acquire Antonio McDyess' future broken knees.
Antonio Lang (1994 -2nd round, 29th overall, Duke) - He's probably spent the last 20 years explaining that he and fellow Duke (and owner of this face) aren't the same person. He at least played in the NBA.
Charles Claxton (1994 - 2nd round, 50th overall, Georgia) - Never played a second with the Suns and played only 3 games overall. For purposes of discussion I'll assume he went by "Chaz."
Anthony Goldwire (1994 - 2nd round, 52nd overall, Houston) - He actually played pieces of a bunch of seasons up until 2006 but to the Suns he's some random guy they cut on the eve of the season.
Malcolm Mackey (1993 - 1st round, 27th overall, Georgia Tech) - Gani Lawal before Gani Lawal was Gani Lawal? Except for picked in the first round of course.
Mark Buford (1993 - 2nd round, 49th overall, Mississippi Valley State) - He came from the same school as 49ers great Jerry Rice. Buford and Rice played the same number of games in the NBA.
Byron Wilson (1993 - 2nd round, 54th overall, Utah) - After playing in Argentina until 2008 he apparently became a sports agent. Let's put him in the Ring of Honor.
Oliver Miller (1992 - 1st round, 22nd overall, Arkansas) - Miller was pretty fat most of his NBA career. When he was only sort of fat he was a really effective NBA player. He can basically be credited with the Suns Game 5 win in the 1993 First Round playoff series against the Lakers.
Brian Davis (1992 - 2nd round, 48th overall, Duke) - His NBA career may have lasted just 68 games but he's become quite rich in the business world. I only question his choice of business partner - Christian Laettner.
Ron Ellis (1992 - 2nd round, 49th overall, Louisiana Tech) - The lack of information concerning Ellis leads me to believe that he was never a real person and the Suns just submitted his name to the NBA because they forgot they had a pick after Davis.
Chad Gallagher (1991 - 2nd round, 32nd overall, Creighton) - Just because I know you're not going to check it, I can confirm that his father is 1980's comedian Gallagher who smashed watermelons as a method of comedy.
Richard Dumas (1991 - 2nd round, 46th overall, Oklahoma State) - I can't think of the wasted potential of Dumas without a tear coming to my eye. Take it away Rick James.
Joey Wright (1991 - 2nd round, 50th overall, Texas) - Never played a game in the NBA but was presumably a college teammate of Suns GM Lance Blanks at Texas so don't be surprised to see his 42 year old ass in a Suns uniform soon.