PHOENIX – Taylor Griffin, the Suns’ 48th selection in the 2009 NBA draft, was never even thought of as a serious candidate to be drafted this year. He lived in the shadows of his younger brother during his years at Oklahoma, but the Suns saw past that.
David Griffin, the Suns’ senior VP of basketball operations, seemed to be the guy pushing for Taylor throughout the draft process, as Griffin likes his namesake’s athleticism, aggression, and overlooked size. He measured bigger than most people initially thought, at 6-foot-8, 235 pounds.
He was nowhere near a standout at Oklahoma, averaging only 9.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg his senior season. But it is his hard work and relentless attitude that caught the Suns’ eye.
David Griffin compared Taylor to current Suns Lou Amundson in that he hustles, brings energy and can guard multiple positions.
Steve Kerr described him as, “A winner. Plays hard every possession. Just does a lot of things well. I think he can continue to develop his jump shot. If he gets a smaller guy on him. he’s got a low-post game. He’s a good passer, puts the ball on the floor a little bit. He’s just a basketball player.”
Kerr also said he was surprised that people weren’t higher on him. The Suns apparently have a history of taking the “under-appreciated” brother (Robin Lopez last season).
If Kerr continuously insists that Earl Clark will not crack the rotation next season, than it is safe to say that Taylor may not even make the team. If he does, he can provide a lot of energy and athleticism to the Suns’ depleted front line.
The Suns need all of the bodies that they can get, and Taylor Griffin should be able to come in an provide some minutes off of the bench, if he indeed ends up making the team.
If Taylor Griffin does in fact turn into a Lou Amundson 2.0 or does even half of what baby brother Blake does, I’m sure Suns fans and Alvin Gentry alike would be satisfied.