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The reason behind the Suns not picking Kawhi Leonard


It was close for a while there. The Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Suns,- all worthy candidates for NBA's most absurd franchise.

The Kings gave GM Vlade Divac a few years to learn about the CBA while on the job. Make trades and not know he has to phone them into the League Office. Draft a player in the first round and waive him the following year. There are stories.

The Knicks just have two words for their pitch. James Dolan. Banning fans for doing anything he doesn't like, kicking out legends of the team and putting out press releases insinuating they were an alcoholic.

The Lakers bringing Magic and Kobe's agent back, them having a separate draft room, telling stories about Heath Ledger and announcing resignations to the media before letting the organization know.

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All worthy candidates, but the Suns decided they need to win at something, and they are making a push for the finish line. We found out about the goats' feces in the offices. Robert Sarver got owned by a senior citizen in a public council meeting. James Jones gifted Tyson Chandler to the Lakers (LeBron) for literally NOTHING. But these are recent stories, Suns' history is filled with similar ones in the Sarver era.

The lucked into the D'Antoni - Nash era so it masked the organizational mess. It's not that they make mistakes, it's the reasoning behind those mistakes that makes it unbelievable. Here's one of those (via AZcentral, by Paul Coro):

This is when it would be convenient to say the Suns did not pick Leonard because of an overabundance of rotation small forwards on the roster — Grant Hill, Jared Dudley, and Josh Childress.

This is when the story could say that the Suns made the "safe" choice with Morris, although they were aware of the twins being linked to a 2009 fight between the Kansas football and basketball teams and Marcus' misdemeanor battery charge in 2012 (the Suns traded for Marcus in 2013).

This is when Markieff's improving career track that now includes his starting power forward position could justify a tight call between the two.

But with a front office conducting its first draft in Phoenix, then-General Manager Lance Blanks' staff did not have Leonard in the discussion. Part of the Suns' knock on Leonard, beyond his perimeter shot, was how nervously he acted in a draft combine interview when he sweated through his suit.

The Suns just can't get out of their way. It continued in this year's draft when heir draft-day trades and moves had everyone scratching their heads. You can change coaches and GM's, but if the final call is yours, there won't be much improvement.

Sorry Suns fans, stary strong.

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