27. Phoenix Suns

With the best record in the NBA this year, the Phoenix Suns have
the last pick in the first round.  They are represented by:

   Jason M Shachat .

They select as the last first rounder:

   James Robinson, SG, 6-2, Alabama

Team Summary
   The Phoenix Suns are enjoying one the greatest years in franchise
history. After what Jerry Coangelo(sp?) has done the last couple of
years, I really have big shoes to fill here.  The most obvious move
that this team made was trading Hornacek, Lang, and Perry for Barkley.
This trade may go down as almost lopsided as the Herschel Walker
trade. Barkley has been nothing short of spectacular in his first
season with the Suns; winning the league MVP award and leading the
Suns to 62 vitories.

   Besides this obvious great move the Suns have also made several other
astute player personel moves. First three years ago they drafted both
Ceballos and Knight in the second round. The next season they draft
Richard Dumas in the second round. And this year they sign free agent
Danny Ainge and draft Oliver Miller at the end of the first round. Not
bad, even including X-man for Mustaf trade. So with the moves the last
three years, the Suns have set themselves up with two young
outstanding small forwards, a promising backup point gaurd, the league
MVP at power forward, veteran leadership at off guard and an extremely
promising young frontcourt force. WOW!!!!

These moves added with the already solid talent base have given Suns a
real window for the next couple of years in which they can seriously
contend for the league title.

Here is a by position analysis

Point Guard
The stater here is KJ. I was not a KJ fan when I first came to
Arizona, but now I am a believer. When this guy is healthy, and
that is a big when, he is the fastest most explosive point guard
in the game (sorry Hardaway and Isiah fans). This guy is an
All-Star at what may be the most important position on the court.
Unfortunately, KJ has a lot of injury problems and the back-ups
are nothing to write home about. When KJ is hurt, Negele Knight
usually starts. Knight had a very promising rookie season two 
years ago, but has been dissapointing ever since. The good news
is his assist to turnover ratio is good the bad news here is that
his shot is awful. The jury is still out here. When KJ is healthy
for some reason veteran Frank Johnson usually is the back-up.
Johnson gives you what young players don't, no bone head plays. 
He stays within his game and usually makes good decisions on
the court. However, Johnson doesn't really posses the ability
to give a team a lift coming off the bench.

Shooting Guard
Dan Majerle is the starter and is all star quality. He posseses great
range on his shot and lead the league in 3pt attempts.  Along with
that great shot he has good one on one skills, can take it to the hole
strong and can really fill the lanes on the break. Marjele also is a
defensive standout. Often he assigned to the other teams best
offensive player and usually can shut them down. Danny Ainge is the
back-up here and can also back-up at the point. Ainge is a fierce
competitor who has provided good veteran leadership on this team. Also
he sets a good example for some of the other players by sacrificing
his own minutes for the benefit of the team. Offensively Ainge has an
excellent shot and is willing to take the big J with game on the line.
Defensively he is not as good as Majerle but does put in a solid

Small Forward
Dumas and Ceballos both started in stretches of the season.  Dumas is
the one that appears likely for stardom. After serving a one year
suspension for a violation of the league drug policy, Dumas came out
of nowhere and took over the staring role. He has just awesome
offensive ability; a good shot and an unbelievable jumping ablity and
incredible slashing moves to the basket. A definite offensive star in
the making. On the other side of the court, he defense is pretty slack
and hopefully he will work on this in the offseason, but with the Suns
coaching staff who knows. Ceballos' game is almost the same as Dumas',
but just a bit weaker. He proved to be an adequate starter and a great
spark off the bench. With these two guys Tim Perry is just a fading

Power Forward
Charles is the MAN!!! This guy is one the three or four best players
on the planet and has proved to be the missing piece for the Suns. Boy
the sixers really must have been bad to not win with this guy. Barkley
has become the spiritual force of this talented team and they will go
as far as he takes him, enough said. Behind, Barkley is Chambers, who
appears to be in the fall of his career. Although not providing much
defensive presence, like he ever did, he still has stretches here he
can fill it up with the best of them. Behind Chambers is Jerod Mustaf
who hasn't shown much except an uncanny knack of finding his way into
the trainers office. He is young, but he better start showing
something or else it will be off to the NBL for this guy :).

Mark West is the steady but undersized incumbent here. Offense is not
a part of his game, but that is OK for a team with this much
firepower. His job is to do the dirty work; set picks, rebound, and
play the low post defense. He is adequate but this is the weak spot in
the starting line-up. When opposing teams have an elite big man or
sizable front courts the Suns have trouble.  The eventual starter will
probably be Oliver Miller. This is an interesting player, never have I
seen such basketball skills in such a body since a young Wes Unseld.
The big O is a little short for the middle but has a huge wing span.
Thus despite his thick middle he had 100 blocks, averaged almost 5 rpg
and was the Suns' best outlet passer. A very strange mix of finesse
and physical presence indeed. Offensivily he is an excellent passer in
the post, has some nifty moves around the hoop and is an adept on the
offensive boards. But just don't expect him to fill the lanes on the
break. Pardon the pun, but I think we can expect big things from
Miller in the future.

I added this because feel this is the Suns shortcoming. Too often this
season the Suns would just stop playing defense and experienced too
many lapses in half court executions. With guys like Barkely, KJ,
Majerle, Dumas and Ainge why does this team struggle so often in the
half court set? These are questions I would like Westphal to answer.
Some how I don't think these would be problems if Cotton was on the
bench. I wonder if Cotton is sorry that he didn't get to lead this

The Draft Selection:
James "Hollywood" Robinson, guard, University of Alabama

As my pick came up, I decided that I would be true to my draft board
and take the BPA,#20, although the Suns' needs are depth at the point
and size up front. Robinson came out a year early and if this mock
draft is any indication he made a mistake. If he had stayed for his
senior season he possibly could have been a lottery pick next year. A
very athletic and talented offensive player who is a bit of a tweener.
Fortunately, his SG skills are for real and ha has the quickness and
strength to play the two guard. I am hopeful that his athleticism can
be directed to playing some good defense but I don't know with this
guy's scoring mentality. I think he would have a good shot to make
this team and develop into a good third guard off the bench once Ainge
is gone.

Basically I took the player who I felt had the best chance
to be productive player in the NBA 5 years from now.

Others considered at the guard position; Lucious Harris, who I think
could be a player, Nick Van Exel, who I feel will struggle, and a very
intruiging prospect in Parrish Casebier.  Up front I considered, Tony
"Slam" Dunkin, Josh Grant and Evers Burns. But I just couldn't resist
a Tide player considering how many have done well in the NBA after
playing on underacheiving Tide teams.

Draft Summary:
1.  Orlando
    GM:   Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Chris Webber, PF, 6-10.  University of Michigan
2.  Philadelphia
    GM:   Dave Meeks 
    Pick: Shawn Bradley, C, 7-7. BYU
3.  Golden State
    GM's: Mike Moore 
          Terry Wong 
    Pick: Jamal Mashburn, SF, 6-8. Kentucky
4.  Dallas
    GM:   Curtis Hill  
    Pick: Anfernee Hardaway, SG, 6-7, Memphis State
5.  Minnesota
    GM's: Kevin Hansen 
          Toni Morgan 
    Pick: Calbert Cheaney, SF, 6-7. Indiana
6.  Washington
    GM's: The Crossjammer 
          Jim Nagle   
    Pick: J.R. Rider, SG, 6-5, UNLV
7.  Sacramento
    Pick: Rodney Rogers, PF, 6-7, Wake Forest
8.  Milwaukee       
    GM's: Brian Saunders 
          Morgan Edwards 
    Pick: Malcolm Mackey, PF, 6-11, Georgia Tech
9.  Denver
    GM's: John Exby 
          Rick Grubin 
    Pick: Ervin Johnson, PF, 6-11, New Orleans
10. Detroit (from Miami in John Sally trade)
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Alan Houston, SG, 6-6, Tennessee
11. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Acie Earl, C, 6-10, Iowa
12. L.A. Lakers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 
    Pick: Bobby Hurley, PG, 6-0, Duke
13. L.A. Clippers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 
    Pick: Vin Baker, SF, 6-10, Hartford
14. Indiana
    GM:   Doug Mraz 
    Pick: Scott Burrell, SG, 6-7, UCONN
15. Atlanta
    GM:   Kevin Metz 
    Pick: Terry Dehere, SG, 6-4, Seton Hall
16. New Jersey
    GM:   A. Borges Sugiyama 
    Pick: Douglas Edwards, PF, 6-9, Florida State
17. Charlotte
    GM:   Bren Bailey 
    Pick: Chris Mills, SF, 6-6, Arizona
18. Utah
    GM:   Michael Wendt  
    Pick: George Lynch, SF, 6-7, North Carolina
19. Boston
    GM:   Orin Day 
    Pick: Greg Graham, SG, 6-4, Indiana
20. Charlotte (from San Antonio for J.R. Reid)
    GM:   Bren Bailey 
    Pick: Lindsey Hunter, PG, 6-2, Jackson State
21. Portland
    GM:   Mike Northam 
    Pick: Luther Wright, C, 7-2, Seton Hall 
22. Cleveland
    GM's: W. Scott Klingensmith 
          Brian Young 
    Pick: Joe Harvell, SF, 6-7, Mississippi
23. Seattle
    GM:   Christopher Beck 
    Pick: Rodney Dobard, PF, 6-9, Florida State
24. Houston
    GM:   Brian West  
    Pick: Thomas Hill, SG, 6-5, Duke
25. Chicago
    GM:   Christopher Gattuso  
    Pick: Rex Walters, SG, 6-3, Kansas
26. Orlando (from NY in Mark Jackson, Stanley Roberts trade)
    GM    Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Sam Cassel, SG, 6-3, Florida State
27. Phoenix
    GM:   Jason M Shachat 
    Pick: James Robinson, SG, 6-2, Alabama

Next Up:
28. Miami
    GM:   Rob Clough  

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner