Could Terrence Ross be exactly what the Phoenix Suns are looking for?

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A week ago today Suns GM Lance Blanks stood in front of the Phoenix media and spoke about the team’s need to inject youth into an aging perimeter.

Blanks described the Suns’ ideal solution: a guard who can create and make shots, get out in transition, and defend the perimeter. Of all the players expected to be available at No. 13, few prospects fit that bill better than former Washington guard Terrence Ross.

The 21-year-old 6-foot-7, 197-pound swingman gets after it on defense, can shoot it from distance and create his own shot off the dribble while thriving in an up-tempo style — Washington plays at a Suns-like pace.

He’s exactly what Blanks and the Suns are looking for on the perimeter and given his current stock he might be one of the most likely candidates to end up in purple and orange next season.

Since stepping foot in Seattle to play for head coach Lorenzo Romar as a four-star recruit who spurned Kansas and Kentucky for Washington, Ross has been electric. He only played 17.4 minutes per game as a freshman but showed flashes of superstar potential with his sweet shooting stroke and athletic ability.

After averaging 8.0 points per game as a freshman Ross turned the corner as a sophomore, grabbing hold of the role as UW’s No. 1 option to eventually turn in what Romar described as a “Player of the Year in conference type of year — an All-American type season.”

Ross finished the year averaging 16.4 points per game, good for fourth in the Pac-12, and also established himself as one of the better rebounding guards in the conference with 6.4 caroms per contest. In two short seasons at Washington the Portland, Ore., native developed into one of the most productive swingmen in the country.

“Terrence grew a lot from his freshman to sophomore year,” Romar said. “He became a much better defender, he was better with his shot selection. He took games over at times as a freshman but he did it more so as a sophomore.”

Ross is the prototypical NBA shooting guard at 6-foot-7 and has a skill-set that projects extremely well at the next level. He doesn’t get to the line or finish all that well at the hoop, but Ross has a really solid mid-range game, does a great job creating space off the dribble, and can catch fire from three. Add in that he’s an explosive athlete and it’s hard to imagine him struggling to score down the road in the NBA.

“Terrence’s athleticism and his ability to get his own shot is a unique skill that he has,” Romar said. “He also has a great release. It’s just a smooth, feathery touch. He’s always on balance when he shoots it.”

While the Suns could very well snatch up a point guard depending on who’s available, they’ve expressed their interest in an athletic, scoring wing, and given Ross’s proven success in a high-paced system, he makes a lot of sense for Phoenix.

“We play up-tempo here,” Romar said. “We recruited him because he was an up-tempo type player. I think he could play in any system but an up-tempo system is something he’d love to play in.”

Tags: Draft Terrence Ross

  • phx suns fan in la

    I like him but he needs to gain some Muscle …upgrade over Warrick?

  • Scott

    What is the difference between Ross and Shannon Brown?

    They sound very much alike to me, except that Brown already has a NBA body, and Ross might defend a little better.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Okay first of all, shannon brown is BAD.

    To break it down further. anybody the suns pick at 13 is going to be a lot cheaper over 3 or 4 years. Also, Shannon Brown is already who he is going to be as an NBA player. A guy like Ross can be that now and has the years in front of him to improve if he puts in the work.

    Again, Brown is BAD.

  • Kevin

    What are you thoughts on the rumors that Suns have possibly made promise to Dion Waiters?

  • Matt

    I think the Suns’ would be foolish to pass on a guy like Austin Rivers at this point. As far as the Waiters’ situation it wouldn’t exactly be a awful decision to draft him but the superstar potential of Rivers at the 13th pick would be idiotic to pass on, not to mention he comes from a great bloodline, his playing making ability, his clutchness(Yet to be seen at the NBA level but if anyone has it it’s him), his attitude and swagger on the court rivals that of guys like Kobe Bryant. Austin Rivers is exactly what we need because of what he’s proven he’s able to do, I’m sure within three season is a 20-25 PPG guy with some good assist and rebound numbers thrown in there too.

  • Scott

    I hope the Suns haven’t made a promise to Waiters. At this point, I’m not real happy with most of the players in the range where the Suns are picking. Probably the draft order will continue to change, though.

    If someone drops from the top ten to the Suns during the draft, that would be much better than the Suns taking Waiters.

    Last year, it was expected that Kawhi Leonard would go as high as 6, when he fell past the Suns to be taken at 15. I would have been happy with either Markieff Morris or Kawhi Leonard, but I realized that the Suns had such a big hole to fill at PF they ought to go for Morris.

    It would have been nice to have Leonard, though.

  • Scott

    Moe Harkless is a bit further down the list than the Suns are picking, but he reminds me of an athletic version of Jared Dudley. He’s intelligent, hardworking, young, coachable, and his game is going to improve.

    Dudley was picked 22 out of the first round in 2007.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    If Rivers is there at 13, and some of the other projected Suns picks are gone then I wouldn’t mind him.

    He isn’t my favorite pick though. He has to be a 2 and for all of his flash, he plays below the rim when he attacks and he’s not going to overpower anybody. He also seems to need the ball in his hands A LOT to be effective and in Gentry’s system where the point dictates I’m not sure how that’d go.

    I like Ross over Rivers in terms of “team fit.” I also like Waiters a bit more than Rivers because he’s getting to the foul line and he’s going to be able to go heads up against anybody at the rim with that body of his.

    I know Schwartz isn’t sold on Waiters. Not sure about Schmitz though.

    Had a visit to Draft Express yesterday and saw that PJ3 has slipped all the way to Dallas at 17. If Drummond / Sullinger / Marshal / Lillard are all gone and he’s sitting there with the likes of Waiters Ross and Rivers, I might still take Jones if it were up to me.

    If he’s going to play the [small] 4 in Gentry’s system, he could be absolute murder offensively especially if he can set a half decent screen. If he plays the 3 in the same system he’d be given the Grant Hill role offensively and I think he’d be far superior at it.

    I think he’s being bashed a bit because he underwhelmed in college but some guys just don’t produce like they should especially on a team where everybody knows that’s where the ball will be.

  • Scott

    @Rich -

    I’m sure we’ll continue to see players move up and down as we go. Still a lot of time left on the clock, as they say. ;)

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    I truely believe that PJ3 has fallen out of favor though. Which is fine by me. He fills two needs in Gentry’s system at either the scoring (space managing) 4 or the more aggressive 3 who can attack when it’s there.

    Lillard and Marshal are skyrocketing forward so, I doubt either of them will be there at 13 which means we’ll probably be chasing Dragon or Williams or ‘Reke or Lowry, (if Houston keeps Dragon and shops KLOE).

  • sun-arc

    Since Beal and Lamb are likely to be gone by the 13th, I’d go in this order:

    I know there are some people that think Rivers is going to be great, but I’m not sold yet. And he doesn’t play defense very well.

    Ross is the most rounded, best rebounder, has the best size of the three, and still has good shooting ability.

    And- in terms of a comparison to Brown… well, it remains to be seen what Ross will do in the NBA, but he’s 3 inches taller than brown, and a better rebounder thus far. No way he can leap like Brown- but Ross probably has a higher ceiling.

    Mike- these videos are really helpful. Great work.

  • Matt

    Believe it or not Rivers is actually the big sleeper in this draft and he will definitely be on all rookie 1st team by the end of next season here’s why:

    - Rivers has great body for a shooting guard and he’s bigger than most people thought he was(He’s 210 LBs and measures 6’5 and some change in shoes)
    - He’s extremely confident in his abilities which over time can turn him into a deadly closer.
    - He has some great moves to that basket kind of a like a mix between Rose and Wade but obviously it’d take him a couple of years to get that NBA strength to finish tough drives to the basket.
    - Rivers is a great jump shooter off the dribble or off screens.
    - Rivers is a underrated play maker, and if Nash returns Rivers’ play making ability will improve under the influence of Nash but even if Nash doesn’t return Rivers will still be the best play maker we’ve had(aside from Nash) since Goran Dragic.
    - Rivers also come from a great blood line(Doc) and with the influence of Doc Rivers he’s going to be a good player in the league for a long time.

  • Ty-Sun

    The more I read about this guy, the more I like him. I also like the fact that he spent 2 years in college and improved a lot between his 1st and 2nd years. Even one article that was only predicting him to be drafted around 20-22 said they thought his upside was to be the next Jason Richardson. I could live with that.

  • KeZ

    I´m on the Rivers bandwagon as well…….

    That kid is one smooth mutha!

  • Scott

    I’m not a huge fan of the concept of NBA DNA.

    Luke Walton. Patrick Ewing Jr. Damien Wilkins. Not so successful.

    Kevin Love is doing well. Mike Dunleavy Jr. has had a career. Klay Thompson is about average.

  • KeZ

    Kobe has some damn good NBA DNA…….

  • Scott

    @KeZ -

    True. Anyone really stand out in addition to Love and Bryant?

  • GoSuns

    Jalen Rose, Stephen Curry, Wally Szczerbiak, Pete Maravich, Danny Manning, Al Horford, Mike Bibby, Brent Barry, Jim Paxson, I understand your point Scott that not every second generation nba athlete has great careers some of those I have listed might have just been average or just have begun but I will say that good genes can’t hurt and sometimes maybe for the right positions for instance it seems the guards might have an edge austin’s dad was a good guard

  • The Barnes

    @ Mike – interested to know what you or any other fans think about Perry Jones?? I’m really surprised there has been no talk about him potentially going to the suns when many mocks have him dropping around our pick or past us as per the latest mock on ESPN. On talent I would have thought he could of been a steal there and work as a 3 or 4 combo scorer for the Suns? I’m also curious if you’ve heard any rumblings about getting another pick like number 18 or something to pair with pick 13? Again, I’m surprised this hasn’t even been rumoured for the suns. I’d be ecstatic with it, we could potentially pick up Perry Jones and Austin rivers based on the draft projections. Next year’s draft is weak why not look at giving up a first rounder for a say pick 18 and 2nd rounder when most teams think we will have a lottery pick next year? The Twolves aren’t enamoured with drafting another young guy at 18 and could give it up at this point…..I would love to see us get another first round pick. Love to see Nash resign and with vets Gorat, Dudley, Frye and Hill mix in youth with Jones, Rivers and Morris?

  • Josh

    MOE HARKLESS WILL BE A STAR IN A COUPLE YEARS ….. Could guard opps best player i e kobe durant

  • Scott

    @Josh -

    I agree that Harkless looks like one of the more solid picks. The areas he needs work on (mainly shooting, handling, and more muscle) are areas that can quickly improve for a player who works on it, and he seems to be busy putting in the time already. I think he’s this year’s Kawhi Leonard, except he’s a little bigger (6’9″).

    The only problem with picking Harkless if you’re the Suns is … so darn many players at SF. However, since Harkless is unlikely to be ready his first year in the NBA, consider that the Suns’ logjam at SF is likely to be clearing in a year, as this could easily be Hill’s last year and Warrick’s as well, leaving just Childress, Dudley, and possibly Redd as capable of playing at that spot, and Childress coming off in another year.

    So if you’re looking ahead, Harkless is a solid pick for the Suns: good character, hard working, good motor, and he’s only 19.

    As for guarding, I don’t know if Harkless would guard Bryant, but he’d be a logical choice to guard Durant in years to come.

  • KayGee19

    I’d prefer the suns select Jeremy Lamb with the 13th pick but I highly doubt that he will be there when the suns are selecting, Dion Waiters looks like he might be gone to the warriors with the 7th pick, and Austin Rivers looks like he might get snatched up by the Hornets so looking at whats going to be availabe I think drafting Ross makes perfectly good sense! The suns need to start transforming into a defensive team that still plays up tempo now that Turner is there, so If the Suns leave this draft with either Lamb or Ross I think it will be a success for the Suns!!! KG- The BIGGEST SUNS FAN IN LA