The Phoenix Suns have been here before.
Alvin Gentry’s team finds themselves in a familiar position selecting 13th overall with the NBA draft just two weeks away. The Suns, who have not publicly commented on any of the players they have brought in for workouts, have several needs to address after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Stuck in the back half of a loaded Western Conference, Phoenix could be in the market for a point guard with Steve Nash’s future in the Valley uncertain as he prepares to hit free-agency next month.
They may also use the pick on a post player, even after selecting Kansas power forward Markieff Morris at number 11 last year.
Some experts have linked a number of scoring guards to the Suns and the 13th pick so at this point, it’s really anybody’s guess what General Manager Lance Blanks and the scouting department is thinking.
Well-respected Sporting News college basketball insider Mike DeCourcy joined Brad Cesmat Wednesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports’ to share his thoughts on a number of players who could be available when the Suns are on the clock at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Fab Melo (center/Syracuse): “[Number 13] seems a little high because he seems like a guy you can trade down and still get and that might be what they have in mind. Melo has some potential and some ability, but you’ve drafted that kind of player before in Robin Lopez.”
Kendall Marshall (point guard/North Carolina): “Kendall Marshall is a back-up point guard. If he’s you’re starting point guard you’ve got problems, I believe. He made a few shots toward the end of the year, but I’m not a believer. He might be the best back-up point guard in the league, but if he’s your starter I don’t think you’re a very good team.”
Austin Rivers (shooting guard/Duke): “If he falls to [number 13], I think you’re really lucky. I think Austin is a high-level shot creator. I like him. If he fell to me, I’d feel really blessed.”
Terrence Ross (small forward/Washington): “I like Terrance Ross. He’s a piece. He’s not a team-changer. If you have somebody to set him up or draw attention away from the post, Terrence Ross may be that guy. He didn’t have a great team to play on [at Washington] so that’s a little bit of a problem.”
Dion Waiters (shooting guard/Syracuse): “Dion Waiters to me is a point guard. If Dion Waiters is on the board when the Suns pick, they’re the luckiest team in this draft. I think he’s easily the best point guard in this draft. I think he is a really good prospect.”
DeCourcy said he hopes the Suns will be a little more daring with the pick if there’s a player who may not be “slotted” that high, but the organization believes fits the system and can make an impact at the next level. He believes it’s imperative to take the best player in that slot, regardless of what position they play.
Besides Morris, Phoenix recently drafted Stanford center Robin Lopez (#15) in 2008 and Louisville forward Earl Clark (#14) a year later in the middle of the first round.