Phoenix Suns 2011 NBA Draft: Tale of the tape

With less than three weeks until the 2011 NBA Draft, it’s crunch time for the Phoenix Suns. Workouts and interviews remain on the horizon as the Suns attempt to rid the demons of past draft day struggles by landing a stud with the 13th pick.

It’s no secret the Suns have a history of botched lottery picks, especially after the recent regression of Robin Lopez (15th pick) along with the failed Earl Clark (14th pick) experiment.

But with the Suns teetering between a fringe playoff team and possible non-factor in the Western Conference, Phoenix needs to land a young stud in the worst way. Age isn’t on the Suns’ side and a young cornerstone could go a long way in rebuilding this team’s seemingly bleak future.

So what players on the draft board are capable of doing exactly that? The Suns obviously aren’t going to land Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams or even Brandon Knight, but there are a handful of players available at No. 13 that could rejuvenate the future of this declining organization.

We’ll take a close look at a handful of prospects in the coming days, but for now, here’s a breakdown of some possible Suns suitors at the 13th pick:

PF – Tristan Thompson

Age: 20

School: University of Texas

2010-11 stats: 13.1 pts, 7.8 rebs, 2.4 blk, 54.6 FG%, 30.9 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’9/7’1/227

Vertical: 35″

ESPN top 100 ranking: 9

Chad Ford mock prediction: 10th to Milwaukee

ESPN player card strengths: “Long, athletic forward, excellent motor, versatile scorer, awesome on the offensive boards, has a good handle for a big man, good shot-blocker.”

ESPN player card Weaknesses: “Not dominant at any one thing, undersize, still developing his perimeter game.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

SF/PF – Marcus Morris

Age: 21

School: Kansas

2010-11 stats: 17.2 pts, 7.6 rebs, 57 FG%, 28.3 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’9/6’10/230

Vertical: 33″

ESPN ranking: 14

Chad Ford mock prediction: 11th to Golden State

ESPN player card strengths: “Versatile scoring forward, excellent motor, good rebounder, impressive perimeter shooter, can handle the ball and attack the basket.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Lacks ideal size for his position, not an explosive athlete, a bit of a tweener.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

SG – Klay Thompson

Age: 21

School: Washington State

2010-11 stats: 21.6 pts, 5.2 rebs, 3.7 asst, 1.2 stl, 43.6 FG%, 34.7 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’7/6’9/206

Vertical: 31.5″

ESPN ranking: 15

Chad Ford mock prediction: 18th to Washington

ESPN player card strengths: “One of the best shooters in the game, deep range on his jumper, high basketball IQ, can handle the ball, excellent passer, terrific free throw shooter.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Lacks elite explosive athleticism, needs to add strength, needs to improve ball handling, struggles in conference play.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

PF – Markieff Morris

Age: 21

School: Kansas

2010-11 stats: 13.6 pts, 8.3 rebs, 1.1 blk, 58.9 FG%, 24.4 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’10/6’11/240

Vertical: 31.5″

ESPN ranking: 22

Chad Ford mock prediction: 16th to Philadelphia

ESPN player card strengths: “Long, athletic big man, good leaper, good finisher around the rim, very good defender, good rebounder and shot-blocker, emerging offensive player with range on his jumper.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Still developing a go-to offensive game, turnover prone, not quite as skilled as his brother Marcus.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

SG – Alec Burks

Age: 19

School: Colorado

2010-11 stats: 20.5 pts, 6.5 rebs, 2.9 asst, 1.1 stl, 46.9 FG%, 31.4 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’6/6’10/193

Vertical: 36″

ESPN ranking: 12

Chad Ford mock prediction: 13th to Phoenix

ESPN player card strengths: “Long, athletic 2 guard, great scoring instincts, can kill you in multiple ways, excellent slasher, explosive leaper and finisher around the basket.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Needs to add strength/weight, streaky perimeter shooter, lacks range on the three ball, gets caught standing around when he doesn’t have the ball.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

SF – Chris Singleton

Age: 21

School: Florida State

2010-11 stats: 13.1 pts, 6.8 rebs, 2.0 stl, 1.5 blk, 46.6 FG%, 29.1 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’9/7’1/230

Vertical: 37.5″

ESPN ranking: 10

Chad Ford mock prediction: 12th to Utah

ESPN player card strengths: “Amazing, lock down defender, very long and athletic, really gets up and down the floor, a terrific finisher in transition, good midrange jump shot, 3-point shooting range, though streaky.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Has been criticized for a lack of fire in his game, despite his size, doesn’t do much scoring in the paint, streaky shooter, especially from long range, didn’t really produce his first two years.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

SG – Jordan Hamilton

Age: 20

School: University of Texas

2010-11 stats: 18.6 pts, 7.7 rebs, 2.1 asst, 44.0 FG%, 32.2 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’8/6’10/228

Vertical: 32″

ESPN ranking: 13

Chad Ford mock prediction: 14th to Houston

ESPN player card strengths: “Polished scorer, excellent shooter with deep range, excellent running the floor, good handle, improving passer, good rebounder, not afraid to do the dirty work.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Lacks lateral quickness, can get a little selfish, shot selection is questionable.”

Combine stats

PG – Jimmer Fredette

Age: 22

School: BYU

2010-11 stats: 28.9 pts, 3.4 rebs, 4.3 asst, 1.3 stl, 45.2 FG%, 35.8 min

Height/wingspan/weight: 6’2/6’5/196

Vertical: 33″

ESPN ranking: 17

Chad Ford mock prediction: 15th to Indiana

ESPN player card strengths: “Amazing scorer, very high basketball IQ, tough, strong player, can score from anywhere on the floor, deep, deep range on his jumper, great at creating space, sick crossover, fearless, terrific leader on and off the court, good passer, ball handler.”

ESPN player card weaknesses: “Not an explosive athlete, indifferent defender, lacks great lateral quickness, can he guard his position in the pros?, more scorer than distributor … undersized if he’s a two.”

Combine stats

Combine interview

Tags: Alec Burks Chris Singleton Draft Jimmer Fredette Jordan Hamilton Klay Thompson Marcus Morris Markieff Morris Tristan Thompson

  • Cam

    If we go with best player available in my opinion it would be:
    1. Burks, 2. Singleton, 3. Hamilton, 4. Marcus Morris, 5. Tristan Thompson, 6. Markieff Morris, 7. Jimmer, 8. Klay Thompson.
    I think Markieff might have a higher ceiling than his brother but at this time I think Marcus is a better player. I like Singleton’s defensive aggresiveness and I think Hamilton has got a nose for scoring and rebounding and I like his length at the SG and SF positions. Go Suns.

  • darrius

    If we go with best player available in my opinion it would be:
    Hamilton, Burks, Singleton, Tristan Thompson ,Markieff Morris,Marcus Morris, Jimmer , Klay Thompson.
    im hoping suns get trade up and snag williams, hed be perfect. it also be nice if they could trade for another pick and get the morris bros. this point though we need a pure scorer like kev durant. then he can play alongside a great unselfish pg in nash and grow. what do u think about phx trying to get a higher pick

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Alec, Jordan, Jimmer for top 3 choices. Tristan the long 4th option, in my opinion.

    To be honest, by the time we draft, there won’t be a go-to scorer straight out of college on the board simply because they’re aren’t many, (if any), in this draft class in the top 15, at least coming out of school.

    I don’t want to draft any small forward, (Jordan would play 2 even at 6’8), and there really isn’t a drop-dead 4 out there that we could snatch at 13.

    I think it’s more likely that the Suns chase a 4 in the off season once the CBA is worked out so now we’re back to a 2 position or even the future point, (Jimmer).

    Alec, Jimmer, and Jordan can score. They can put the ball in the basket and they all have offensive advantages that would fit right in with the system we run even while being a bit weaker on the defensive side of the ball.

    If 13 rolls around, and all three of these guys are available, I’ll take the 6’8 scoring threat with range and a good handle.

    If he’s gone, and Alec and Jimmer are still there, I’m going to pray to god that I have a job in 2 years and take Jimmer because, (HOPEFULLY), he can run the bench mob and solar flare the other team’s bench.

    He isn’t Aaron Brooks, because he can shoot from DEEP and his handle is far superior as a floor general.

    I like Alec too, but a 1 – 2 combination of him and Nash, as interesting as that could be on the offensive side of the ball would get us obliterated on the defensive side of the ball simply because Alec is just so tiny and isn’t going to offer much support in helping to hide Nash.

    Also, lets not forget about Lawal, (if he remains).

    There are a lot of so-so 4 guys floating around in this draft. Any of them that would be available at 13, (or after), that much better than Lawal who would basically be a rookie with a full year of our system who should be fully recovered from injury? I doubt it.

    Personally, I’m pulling for Jordan to be on the board at 13.

    We are driven by a PnR system designed for maximum spacing.
    Having him in the system gives Nash two PnR partners with Gortat being the other with both being on the court at the same time and normally operating on opposite sides, (meaning they would never be in each other’s way).

    This is deadly, because it keeps G Hill doing his thing in the corners, keeps Frye, (at this time), holding his man high, keeps Gortat in one-on-one situations down low, and Nash has tons of room to work on Gortat’s opposite block and / or Hamilton has tons of room to attack on that side if they try to trap Nash on that PnR.

    Opposite PnR partner? If the 2 remains with Jordan, he’s 6’8 with those arms, he’s going to score.

    Jimmer would lead the bench and blaze the B-teams of the opposition, and possibly be the guy to take over for Nash, but that pick leaves 2 holes in the starting rotation instead of 1.

    Still, I’m all over him like a big rump on a Kardashian if Jordan isn’t there. I guess my top 2 picks, (out of 4 listed), are clear..

  • Cam

    I have been quietly rooting for Jordan Hamilton to be available when we come around at 13. Like I posted earlier I am more of a fan of Burks but I don’t think he will be there. I like the fact that Jordan has great length but plays SG and can play SF if necessary. I like that he shows good numbers on the boards. I think if we can get him at 13 he would be a steal. He reminds me of a Durant lite with the length he possess’s. Go Suns.

  • Mel.

    It’s odd to see a guy with Alec’s hops bringing back the Larry Legend “rigormortis flick” three-ball shot. I haven’t seen an outside J that wonderfully stiff since the days of Detlef and Danny Ferry.