Suns, other Pacific Division teams try to grab immediate impact role players at NBA Draft

Thanks to their recent success, the five teams in the NBA’s Pacific Division weren’t necessarily trying to draft one of the next generation’s hardwood superstars Thursday night.

Instead, finding a good role player or two would be just fine.

The five teams in the Pacific — the Lakers, Warriors, Suns, Kings and Clippers — all made the playoffs and finished above .500 last season, meaning their draft slots weren’t particularly high. The Lakers were the first on the clock, taking Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino with the No. 17 selection.

2023 NBA Draft

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Golden State was active Thursday even before taking Santa Clara guard Brandin Podziemski with the No. 19 selection, agreeing to add 12-time All-Star Chris Paul in a trade that sends Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards. Podziemski’s arrival should give the Warriors another 3-point threat alongside All-Stars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

The Clippers had the No. 30 overall selection, which was the final selection of the first round, and used it to take Missouri forward Kobe Brown.

The Suns — who didn’t have a first-round pick because they dealt it to Brooklyn — were part of arguably the biggest trade in the week leading up to the draft, landing three-time All-Star Bradley Beal as part of a deal that sent Paul and Landry Shamet back to the Wizards.

Phoenix now has a stellar core of Beal, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton, but not much help around them. The franchise used the No. 52 overall pick to add Dayton forward Toumani Camara.

The Kings traded forward Richaun Holmes and the No. 24 overall pick to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night, who used the pick to draft Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

Here’s a look at how the Pacific Division teams fared in the draft:

Golden State Warriors

— Team needs: This is the first draft by new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., promoted earlier this week to replace Bob Myers after Myers announced he would leave the organization once his contract is up at the end of June. Dunleavy said he is committed to improving the roster with a mix of young players to complement the veterans – and the hope is to keep veteran forward Draymond Green despite his intentions to opt out of a $27.5 million player contract option for next season to seek a long-term deal.

— Draft picks: The 6-foot-5 Podziemski, a guard out of nearby Santa Clara who previously spent one season at Illinois before entering the transfer portal. He was one of three players in NCAA Division I to finish with at least 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. They also drafted Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis with the 57th pick they acquired from Washington for cash considerations.

— Whose game does Podziemski’s most compare to? When Podziemski held a pre-draft workout for the Warriors at Chase Center on May 31, he said he considers himself a combination of Golden State’s Donte DiVincenzo and Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson.

Los Angeles Clippers

— Team needs: A point guard, health and stability, and someone who can contribute immediately.

— Draft pick: Forward Kobe Brown from Missouri at No. 30, followed by Miami forward Jordan Miller at No. 48.

— Whose game does Brown’s most compare to? Draymond Green. Brown’s versatility allows him to pass, knock down open shots, and play physical. He’s similar to Green’s build. At 23, Brown is the oldest player in this year’s draft.

Los Angeles Lakers

— Team needs: Three-and-D wings and someone who can handle the ball.

— Draft picks: Hood-Schifino and No. 40 pick forward Maxwell Lewis from Pepperdine.

— Whose game does Hood-Schifino’s most compare to? Hood-Schifino reminds some of Spencer Dinwiddie or Malcolm Brogdon as a two-way guard who excels at handling the ball, shoots well from midrange and delivers consistency and work ethic.

Phoenix Suns

— Team needs: Thanks to their top-heavy roster construction, the Suns were hunting for basically anyone who could be a useful backup in their first season. The top of the wish list was a point guard or defensive-minded center.

— Draft pick: Dayton forward Toumani Camara with the No. 52 pick.

— Whose game does Camara’s most compare to? Camara could fill a similar role to veteran Torrey Craig, who has been a valuable defender for the Suns and other teams throughout his career.

Sacramento Kings

— Team needs: After trading Holmes to Dallas, coupled with an uncertain future for forward Harrison Barnes, the Kings were looking for size in the frontcourt.

— Draft picks: Sacramento traded out of the first round then acquired Xavier guard Colby Jones, who was the No. 34 pick. They also took Slawson — a forward — at No. 54.

— Whose game do the draft picks most compare to? Many experts liken Jones to Miami’s Caleb Martin and Cleveland’s Cedi Osman because of his versatility. Slawson has been called a more athletic Kyle Anderson because of his ability to play guard and forward.

AP Sports Writers Beth Harris, Greg Beacham, Janie McCauley and freelancer Michael Wagaman contributed to this report.