Suns Overall Team Grade
With no first-rounders and a pair of second-round picks, Phoenix did a nice job with what it had. As expected, the Suns added some depth at the four with Amare Stoudemire likely leaving via free agency. Lawal is nice selection at No. 46 while Collins is a solid Mr. Irrelevant. My only concern is that Lawal and Collins do not have the ideal games for a run-and-gun style of offense, but you can only do so much in the second round. (Grade: B)
46. Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
A great value at No. 46 and also fits a major need with Amare liking leaving Phoenix. You can't ask anything better although I'm not sure Lawal fits in an up-tempo offense though. (Pick Grade: Make Sense)
60. Dwayne Collins, PF, Miami
I was never that high on Collins but the Suns add another power forward to prepare for life post-Amare. I would have preferred seeing them rolling the dice on a more dynamic player with upside like Charles Garcia. (Pick Grade: Meh)
2009-10 Season Summary:
Rejuvenated, revitalized, reinvigorated. All three words are excellent at describing the 2009-10 Phoenix Suns. Amid trade rumors all season, the team was an extremely cohesive unit and surprised a ton of people in and outside Phoenix with their success.
Finishing second in the Pacific Division and third overall in the Western Conference was a big step forward for the Suns who missed the playoffs the year before, and that was without any meaningful contributions from lottery pick Earl Clark. Instead, the team bought into head coach Alvin Gentry's style and reaped the benefits. The Suns were one of the few teams that really employed two units on the floor and the method worked to maintain fresh legs for both groups. Though they came up short in the Western Conference Finals, the future for Suns basketball is once again bright... well, depending on what Amare Stoudemire does.
Suns acquire G/F Josh Childress from Hawks for 2012 2nd round pick
Suns acquire F Hedo Turkoglu from Raptors for SG Leando Barbosa
Suns re-sign F/C Channing Frye to 5-year, $30 million deal
Suns sign F Hakim Warrick to 4-year, $18 million deal
Suns F Grant Hill chooses not to exercise player option and remains on team
Suns PF Amar'e Stoudemire opts out of contract
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Prayer- After getting back to the Western Conference Finals, the Suns are on the brink of being decimated by the loss of Amare Stoudemire. If Amare does in fact leave it will give the Suns some cap room, but it's unlikely any free agent acquisition would be close to the talent of Stoudemire. If Amare stays with Phoenix (and Frye to an extent) the team could be in shape to do something that is quite rare these days - play two full seasons with the same top nine players.
2. Big Improvement from Clark- After a very disappointing rookie season from Earl Clark and the pending departure of two guys ahead of him on the depth chart, Clark will have to get markedly better if the Suns have any hope of staying among the top four teams in the West. Phoenix drafted him because of versatility and athleticism. If that potential is reached, he could flourish in the up-tempo Phoenix style of ball.
3. A Front Office Rebuild- Even with the exceeded expectations this past season, general manager Steve Kerr decided to hit the road and was then followed by the team's VP of Basketball Ops David Griffin. Whoever replaces the duo will have to get on the same page quickly so that the team can maintain the winning ways whether it's with or without Stoudemire.
I have no problems with your mock draft for the Raiders. I'm sure you're aware of the need at MLB, but doubling up on defensive tackles would make as much sense given the lack of pass rush outside of Mack.
@jsemmens I've been to the Big Board in the past, but it's still an inefficient way of going about a mock. Not to mention, reports and the people writing them change, no? I come to Walt's site because I used to like his insight on every player. Now, it's simply team needs and a very limited amount of actual analysis. You definitely need SOME amount of explanation behind a pick with regards to team need, but you need much more of the player evaluation angle. Any dummy can write why a particular team "needs" a specific position; it takes a pretty good eye to understand what player needs to fill it. Again, just my 2 cents.
Here's my mock based on team need, prospect value and prevailing opinion as well as some ideas of my own. Please let me know about the team(s) that you follow more closely, and any picks that you agree or disagree with. Please comment, and feel free to rate.