From BSotS: Well my mock friends, this turned out to be a much more difficult choice then I anticipated. How often does a #14 pick really matter? What is the difference between James Johnson and Austin Daye? Why do GM's get paid so much? That one, I have an answer for. These are tough calls even for a draft mocking nobody like me.
Faced with a difficult choice I did what I normally do. Asked the Internets. In this case the great folks over at Bright Side of the Sun, many of whom actually watch college basketball, and we posted a poll.
The options were:
Austin Daye - Anthony Randolph or Alexis Ajinca? Either way the guy is too thin and no driven enough
James Johnson - Power Forward? Small Forward? Doesn't matter since he lacks focus and doesn't make quick decisions defensively. We have that guy (unless we traded him today)
BJ Mullins - Anyone named Mullins would be a bad fit in Phoenix. This is just not a Mullins kind of town (For the record, it's Mullens, but I agree nonetheless - Scott)
Terrence Williams - I did have a soft spot for TWill but that is just because he replied to my tweet. In the end we don't need a mediocre shooting guard even if he can play defense
So that left us with Earl Clark and Ty Lawson.
Clark has been described as the next Boris Diaw which you would think might send me running but I am actually a fan of the Frenchman and his point forward skills. If Clark gets to that level he will be doing very well for himself. In other words he has ridiculous upside and plays a position that the Suns could stand to add some depth. Athletic. Intriguing. Takes games off. Nice but I just feel like we've been down that road. Several times. It hasn't ended well yet.
Lawson put up some very impressive numbers at North Carolina and was ranked very highly in all sorts of complicated statistical evaluations over at Draft Express. In something called the "Pure Point Guard" rating he scored an 8.19 which is almost double what the next guy, senor Rubio, scored. I have no idea what that means but it's impressive. It is the "pure" point guard rating after all and we like our point guards pure. On the other hand, Lawson is short.
The voting showed the people wanted Earl Clark by about a 10% margin, then 2%, and then tied! It was close, and I am a dictator at heart, and so I am pulling an Iran and nullifying the will of the voters. Suck it voters.
The Phoenix Suns mock pick Ty Lawson with the 14th pick.
It was a tough call between Clark's athleticism and (ridiculous) upside and the full point guard package of Ty Lawson and not because I had any qualms about ignoring the vote. Democracy is highly over rated. What pushed me over the edge for Lawson was looking into the eyes of each young man (via YouTube of course) and seeing the poise and leadership in Lawson while Clark had more of a Marion-like laid back ease. He might even watch cartoons.
Maybe comparing someone to Shawn Marion isn't the best reason for not drafting him? Anyway, I was impressed with Lawson.
The kid is strong, 14 reps on the bench at the combine, he's quick, he gets to the line and has the highest true shooting percentage of all PG's in the draft and the best assist to turnover ratio. As for his size, that never stopped Steve Nash and Aaron Brooks and TJ Ford (other then that busted neck thing). Those guys showed how effective smaller guards can be in the new wimpy NBA where touching point guards is a flagrant-worthy offense. Oh, and he sports a 37 inch max vertical which is pretty damn impressive.
Yes, the Suns just drafted Goran Dragic and he had a few good weeks where he looked like he might actually be an NBA player and Nash is also still on the roster last time I checked. But like beer, you just can't ever have too many point guards, especially since Nash is asking for ridiculous sums of money for the honor of playing two extra years in Phoenix.
I say draft Lawson and see what the kid has. Worst case you come to reasonable terms with Nash and you've got a log jam between Lawson and Dragic.That's what we call a good problem to have.
The 2009 SB Nation Mock Draft thus far: