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The overlooked incentive for Suns wanting to defeat the Heat in Miami

The Suns have their own first-round draft pick, and a Miami protected one also.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Goran Dragic trade gives the Phoenix Suns a great reason for wanting the Miami Heat to not-quite tank this season.

While Phoenix take loses against the other 28 NBA teams in stride, the Heat presents them with a unique situation, as Bright Side of the Sun notes.

Their recent tailspin takes on a special significance to the Suns, who have control of Miami’s first round pick as long as it doesn’t fall in the top seven spots in the draft. That pick once appeared as if it might fall in the low 20’s, but currently it would be 15th.

The 15th pick can not only net a better player than the 20th... but also allows for a lot more maneuverability in trades. Both Phoenix’s position and Miami’s position in the draft order this summer will be important pieces in the Suns future development.

Although the Suns might lose all the rest of their games after tonight, a win in Miami would give Phoenix a better draft pick, which the Heat gave them from the Dragic trade.

Success in the race to the bottom depends on ping-pong balls, but every loss for the Heat gives the Suns a higher additional first-round draft pick, courtesy of Miami, this summer, provided the Heat finishes among the top 22 teams.

The Suns have an excellent motivation to run the Heat off the court tonight, since their previous 13th draft pick in 2015, Devin Booker, turned out pretty well.