When the Phoenix Suns draftedwith the 46th overall pick in the second round they knew they were getting a big, physical, athletic power forward who can run the floor and rebound but has a limited offensive game.
I scoured the Internet to get a sense of how the national media feels about how the Suns did with the selection, and the first-take opinions are overwhelmingly positive.
So while it will still take a few years before we know if Lawal becomes a rotation player in Phoenix, here’s what they are saying about Lawal across the web in the aftermath of the draft:
ESPN’s Chad Ford: “Lawal is a value pick. He is tough and a good rebounder, and he could make the rotation down the road. Nice pick for Suns owner Robert Sarver — who knew he was also an NBA scout?”
ESPN’s Andy Katz: “This is actually one of those cases where the player may have been better served leaving early last year. He was a borderline first-round pick a year ago. He’s more mature and maybe more ready to handle the NBA now, but the middle of the second round has to be a major disappointment. His best hope is that free agent Amare Stoudemire hits the road and frees up a little room at power forward.”
CBSSports.com (No. 31 overall prospect): “Lawal is a bit of an enigma. He has all the physical tools you look for in a power forward, but while his defensive and rebounding ability have matured, his ball-handling and shot-selection skills aren’t NBA quality.”
FoxSports.com: “Both power forwards (Lawal and Dwayne Collins) were great value picks with no risk as second-rounders. Either one of these ACC products could crack the Suns’ rotation this season potentially, and both will help on the boards, which fills a big need. No one should have any complaints, seeing as this team doesn’t even have a general manager right now.”
Yahoo! Sports‘ Jeff Eisenberg: “This energetic power forward would have gotten more scoring opportunities had he not been playing alongside Derrick Favors last season.”
NBADraft.net’s Nick Prevenas: “At 46, the Phoenix Suns get a ready-to-contribute NBA power forward in Gani Lawal. Had he not played on a team with terrible guards and a top-3 talent in his position, Lawal would’ve been drafted in the top 25. He’s not the most polished offensive player, but he thrives in an up-tempo offense (hello, Phoenix!) and can pull down a rebound in traffic (unlike a certain someone who is demanding a max contract). Outstanding pick, but who made it?”
DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony: “Good pick by Phoenix taking Gani Lawal. Could be the next Lou Amundson for them. 21, rebounds well. Solid athlete. Nice one Griff.”
NBA.com: “Great motor and rebounder willing to do the dirty work.”
AOL FanHouse’s Tom Ziller: “The Suns grabbed Georgia Tech’s Gani Lawal in the second round, and he should be a rotation player if Louis Amundson and/or move on. Lawal might be the best second-round pick of all.”
SBNation’s Matt O’Brien: “Lawal is pretty good at a lot of things, but doesn’t really stand out with one elite skill. Still, he’s big, decently athletic with a good motor. He has a chance to contribute in the desert. Not bad work.”
Overall Grade: B+ The Suns clearly got great value with this pick as most of the pundits expected him to be selected in the 30s and some thought he would be a late first-rounder if he didn’t spend last year playing next to Derrick Favors. The Suns essentially have found a cheaper solution to Lou Amundson (making this a need pick as well) after selecting the kind of dirt worker who always seems to make it in the second round.