Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft: Phoenix’s Best Options

By: 02.20.13
Phoenix Suns

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…

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All season they have been lumped in the middle of the lottery, but it is pretty clear that the Phoenix Suns are going to be drafting in the Top 5 this year. They have a lot of needs after voiding their roster of any credible scoring and general NBA talent. Thus, here’s the NBA Draft Fast Five, all about the Suns.

ONE: What Do We Know About The Phoenix Suns?
In the process of rebuilding teams need to do three things.

First, they need to clean house of the past to move forward 100 percent into the future of the team. Over the past year the Suns did just that by trading Steve Nash, letting Grant Hill go, and firing Alvin Gentry.

Second, add role players. The team has those in spades with pretty good defenders, situational shooters and players comfortable with not being the “guy.” Heading into the 2014-2015 season the team will have Goran Dragic, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley, Michael Beasley, Markieff Morris, Luis Scola, and Kendall Marshall under contract. That group, without Frye for health reasons, would be exceptional around a superstar. Speaking of that…

Third, find your superstar. That takes time, or assets, or high positioning in the NBA Draft. That is the goal for the team in this draft and future drafts to come. The Suns are built with role players, have little direction with their front office, and are in denial about the fact that they are at the bottom of the NBA standings because of poor team management.

TWO: What Do They Need?
In a word, talent.

There is not a specific position of need because they could plug in a Top-5 pick into the starting lineup at any position or at worst near the very top of the bench rotation. Getting a franchise center would make a lot of sense with Marcin Gortat‘s contract up after next season, but talent in general has to be the goal. In the last two drafts the team selected Morris and Marshall at No. 13, neither of have made a significant impact on the team.

THREE: Stock Rising
Some role players emerge out of the shadows of their star counterparts, or show their value next to NBA talent, much like what Baylor’s Cory Jefferson has done this year. He is not a lottery pick or a guy that will get you 18-20 points nightly at the next level, but he is a hard worker that does all the dirty work for his team.

Jefferson is a good rebounding compliment at the four that will find a place in the NBA regardless of his actual draft position, which could be anywhere in the second half of the second round today.

FOUR: Stock Falling
As a freshman Dwight Powell came in with a lot of hype as a stretch-four with great athleticism. Since then he has not played up to his potential as a four that drifts out to the perimeter all too much. His best assets are highlighted as a four, but he is sold on the notion of being a three and playing on the perimeter full-time. As I have talked about before, knowing your role and position at the next level are almost as important as having the talent to play at the next level.

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