Governments have risen and fallen. The war in Iraq was declared a success. Hurricanes have battered the southeast United States. Much has happened since the Suns drafted — and kept, for a while — Zarko Cabarkapa in 2003 with the No. 17 overall pick.
Since then, the Suns have been the league’s non-player in the draft. Here’s a chronology:
• 2004: The Suns traded the No. 7 pick in the draft to Chicago for a future first-rounder. The Suns actually drafted Luol Deng for the Bulls.
By sitting out the draft, the Suns passed up Deng, Andre Igoudala (No. 9 to Philadelphia) and Andris Biedrins (No. 11 to Golden State), any of whom could have cracked the rotation and would have been paid at the inexpensive rookie scale.
The Suns also traded away the No. 36 pick, a second-rounder, to Orlando. He turned out to be Antonio Burks.
• 2005: The Suns were slated to pick No. 21 with that pick traded away the previous year to the Bulls. But they traded the pick to New York; the Suns picked Nate Robinson for the Knicks.
The Suns also traded their second Round 1 pick — No. 30 overall — to New York. The Knicks picked David Lee, who turned out to be one of last season’s best rookies.
In addition to Robinson, the Suns could have picked Luther Head, Jason Maxiell, Linas Kleiza, Lee, Salim Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf, Monta Ellis and Ryan Gomes, all of whom get regular playing time.
• 2006: The Suns had picks at Nos. 21 and 27 in the first round but traded both of them. They ended up as Rajon Rondo, who went to Boston, and Sergio Rodriguez, who settled in Portland.
By opting out of the draft, they missed a chance to add a point guard such as Jordan Farmar or Rodriguez or a combo guard such as Daniel Gibson.
• 2007: The Suns trade the No. 24 pick to Portland for cash; the pick turned out to be Spain’s Rudy Fernandez. With the No. 29 pick, they took Alando Tucker of Wisconsin. In the second round, the Suns picked Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry.
As for the 7-foot Cabarkapa, he turned out to be a disappointment. He had quickness and ball-handling skill for a big man, but struggled to put the ball in the basket. The Suns traded him to Golden State. His NBA future is murky.