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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Combine interview

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

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