PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns were awarded the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, their seventh time with a top-four pick in franchise history as the team prepares for its 50th draft, it was determined tonight in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery at the New York Hilton Midtown. The Suns had a 31.9 percent probability to win the fourth pick, the highest probability of any single pick for the team.
Of the nine players in the Suns Ring of Honor to have been drafted, all nine were selected between the fourth and 15th picks of their respective drafts. The highest-drafted players in the Ring of Honor are Alvan Adams, the fourth overall pick in 1975, and Walter Davis and Charles Barkley, the fifth picks in 1977 and 1984, respectively.
With the fourth overall pick, the Suns match last year when they selected forward Dragan Bender with the No. 4 pick for their best draft position in the past 30 years. The Suns have only drafted in the top four on six occasions previously, taking Bender fourth overall in 2016, Armon Gilliam second in 1987, Adams fourth in 1975, John Shumate fourth in 1974, Corky Calhoun fourth in 1972 and Neal Walk second in 1969.
Some of the most legendary players in NBA history have been fourth overall picks, including Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Chris Bosh in recent years, as well as Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Dave Cowens.
The Suns were represented on stage at the lottery by guard Devin Booker, who led the team with 22.1 points per game in 2016-17, including a franchise record 70 points at Boston on March 24. The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker has totaled the fourth-most points by a player before turning 21 years old in NBA history, trailing only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
Booker was joined in New York by Noah Smith, an 11-year-old Special Olympics athlete and Suns fan from Chandler, Arizona, who Booker surprised with an invitation to the Draft Lottery. Noah was born with a hole in his heart, which required surgery at the age of two. He also underwent multiple surgeries to rearrange his forehead plates before he was five. Noah competes in Special Olympics and loves playing basketball, introduced to the game by his older brother, Brad, who has become a mentor for Noah and serves as his volunteer coach in basketball, baseball and soccer.
Brad also introduced his younger brother to the Suns and the two have been brought even closer by their shared passion for the team. Touched by their close sibling relationship and devotion to the Suns, Booker chose to bring Noah and Brad to New York for the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, spending the day touring the Big Apple before the event that landed the Suns the fourth overall pick.
In addition to the fourth overall pick, the Suns possess their own second-round pick (32nd overall) and Toronto’s second-round pick (54th) in this year’s draft. The 2017 NBA Draft will be held on June 22, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and televised on ESPN at 4 p.m. (Phoenix time).