The Phoenix Suns performed some magic in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to look up multiple mock drafts (a cool person like me), chances are you noticed the “experts” had Phoenix selecting young Croatian big man Dragan Bender or forward Marquese Chriss with their No. 4 selection.
Despite rumors that Phoenix wanted to go with Chriss, Bender’s raw talent, skill set and size were too much for them to ignore at No. 4. The seven-footer is perhaps the biggest “gamble” of the draft because of his youth and inexperience. But like New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, he has the potential to be something special.
But how much of a gamble is it really if the Suns were still able to get Chriss?
With the second-highest number of draft picks heading into Thursday, they somehow pulled off an incredible deal with the Sacramento Kings to acquire the big man out of Washington with the No. 8 pick.
In this Kings-Suns deal, Phoenix will get Marquese Chriss while giving Sac No. 13, No. 28, rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic & 2020 2nd rounder
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 24, 2016
That’s called having your cake and eating it too.
Could this be the greatest big man duo drafted at the same time since Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish?
Assuming Bender works his way into the starting lineup (that’s a huge assumption by the way), their starting five will likely be Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, T.J. Warren, Bender and Chriss.
Not too shabby. Give it a couple of years.