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New look Suns to rise again?


New look Suns to rise again?

With the face of the franchise in point guard Steve Nash gone, the Phoenix Suns take on a whole new look in the 2012-13 campaign. Not only is Nash gone but the team said goodbye to forward Grant Hill, center Robin Lopez, forward Hakim Warrick and forward Josh Childress. One of the most active teams this off-season, the Suns welcome guard Goran Dragic, forward Michael Beasley, swingman Wesley Johnson and center Luis Scola to the roster.

After missing the playoffs last season with a 33-33 record, the retooled Suns -- on paper -- have a good shot to get back to the post-season this year.

The big move of the summer for Phoenix was shipping the 38-year old Nash to the Lakers for two future first-round picks. The Suns wasted little time in signing Nash's replacement with his old backup in free-agent Goran Dragic. The Suns were familiar with Dragic and they invested a lot of money in him, inking the Yugoslavian to a four-year, 30-million deal.

The Suns actually had Dragic on the team two seasons ago before they traded him away to the Rockets, and last year the 26-yearold had his best season as a pro, averaging 11 points and 5assistsforHouston. Dragic is obviously penciled in as the opening game starter at point guard. Dragichas big shoes to fill in Phoenix but he is talented enough to be a more than an adequate replacement for theperennial all-star Nash.

Phoenix also used its first-round draft pick to take point guard Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina. Marshall likely will serve as Dragic's backup, and what Marshall lacks inathleticismhe makes up for in his smart decision-making and ability to run an offense. In hissophomoreseason at UNC, Marshall averaged 10 assists to go along with 8 points.

The Suns brought back shooting guard Shannon Brown, signing him to a two-year contract. Brown started 19 games lastseasonfor Phoenix, averaging 11 points. The 6'-4" Brown is a strong, athletic scorer who can also play solid defense. Brown will battle Wesley Johnson for the starting two-guard position.

Johnson was Minnesota's 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft but so far has not lived up to the selection. Last year, Johnson averaged only 6 points for the Timberwolves who traded him to the Suns this off-season.

Johnson's teammate in Minnesota, Michael Beasley, joins Phoenix viathefree-agent route, signing a three-year, 18-million deal. Beasley has had his off-court issues but when he is focused he is a legitimate scorer. Beasley's average last season dipped to 11 points from 19 points the year before with the Timberwolves. If the 6'-10" power forward can find his game, this could be a great steal for the Suns.

The Suns have the always solid Martin Gortat back at center and he will get up front with the addition of power forward Luis Scola. Before being amnestied by Houston, Scola averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds for the Rockets. Phoenix also signed veteran Jermaine O'Neal to a one-year deal to back up Gortat.

This is a completely different looking Phoenix team but it will still play its up-tempo brand of basketball even without Nash. Alvin Gentry loves to push the ball and that will be no different with Dragic now running the show. Win or lose, the Suns should atleastbe entertaining to watch this season.

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2019 NBA Draft: Lakers take De'Andre Hunter with No. 4, will reportedly trade him to Hawks

2019 NBA Draft: Lakers take De'Andre Hunter with No. 4, will reportedly trade him to Hawks

De'Andre Hunter is a Los Angeles Laker...for now.

The Virginia star and reigning ACC Defensive of the Year was selected by the Lakers with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Thursday night. However, the Lakers will send that pick to the Pelicans in the agreed-to trade for Anthony Davis, New Orleans in turn reportedly trading it to the Hawks. Thus, Hunter likely ends up in Atlanta. 

If the trade goes through, Hunter will join a talented young Hawks core which already includes Trae Young and John Collins. He would bring a championship pedigree to the team, having just won an NCAA title with UVA this past season.

"Coming off a national championship, there's no better way to try to go into the NBA," Hunter told NBC Sports Washington during an interview for the I Am The Prospect series


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2019 NBA Draft Results: round-by-round picks, updates, live tracker

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2019 NBA Draft Results: round-by-round picks, updates, live tracker

Here are the results from the 2019 NBA Draft, with live updates and analysis on every first and second-round draft pick.

2019 NBA Draft First Round Results

PICK (1): New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke, Profile.

PICK (2): Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State, Profile.

PICK (3): New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke, Profile.

PICK (4): Atlanta Hawks (via NO): DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia, Profile. 

PICK (5): Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt, Profile.

PICK (6): Minnesota Timberwolves (via PHX): Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech, Profile.

PICK (7): Chicago Bulls: Coby White, G, North Carolina, Profile.

PICK (8): New Orleans Pelicans (via ATL): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas, Profile.

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