Phoenix Suns select Terrence Ross in 2012 TrueHoop Network mock draft

With the 13th pick in the 2012 TrueHoop Network mock draft, the Phoenix Suns select ….. Terrence Ross, shooting guard out of Washington.

As the point man of the selection, I felt like a general manager forced to make a call amid a split war room. Kevin Zimmerman and I favored Ross, and Mike Schmitz and Ryan Weisert wanted Austin Rivers. When Andrew Lynch did not text back while we were still on the clock, I used my chief blogger powers to break the stalemate in favor of Ross.

It’s a good thing our head scout Schmitz was voting by proxy after heading off to Europe having completed videos on seemingly every prospect eligible for the draft. Anybody who watched our draft preview show already knows the debate that would have taken place in our theoretical war room, as Schmitz is high on Rivers for the Suns and I’m not.

Tensions ran high as the clocked ticked down on our self-imposed deadline to turn in the pick, but as VotS general manager I could not overlook Rivers’ abysmal advanced stats and thus opted for the shooting prowess, athleticism and defensive ability of Ross with players like Dion Waiters, Jeremy Lamb, Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall already off the board.

Although I’m sure Schmitz is bummed we didn’t go for Rivers, he could not be too disappointed after writing the following in Ross’ feature for this site:

“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.”

And 1

Last season we selected Tristan Thompson in the TrueHoop mock at the same No. 13 spot. Ross might be pleased to know he ended up going fourth in the real draft.

Do you agree with our pick or would you have selected Rivers? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Austin Rivers Terrence Ross

  • John Devance

    The perfect choice.Ross is a solid pick and the safest out of anyone in the draft.He may turn into a all star one day or at the very least be a role player.

  • GoSuns

    Please get Terrence haha, I really his size and overall ability

  • Scott

    T Ross is an okay pick, a quality role player at SG. As a talent, he’s basically in-between Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley.

    Ross stands 6′ 6″, and he pulls down 6 rpg and defends well in both isolation and on team defense. He’s athletic and can get to the hoop if the route is clear, but otherwise will shoot a 3 (36%) or a midrange jumper. He drives left and right with equal skill.

    Like Dudley, he can shoot the midrange shot off the dribble, he can catch and shoot, and he has learned to shoot off screens. (Dudley developed some of those abilities while with the Suns, so it’s nice that Ross comes with those talents already baked in.)

    Ross has average length, an average b-ball IQ, and he needs to work on his ball handling and passing. As with Brown, if the ball goes to him, don’t expect it to leave his hands except as a shot.

    Ross shoots fairly well from the FT line – 76% – but he rarely gets there, so in this he’s more like Brown than Dudley.

    He fits the Suns’ system. He shoots, he defends, and I see no questions about his motor. In his combine interview, he insists he can get to the basket better than people think. However, he’s fairly light at this point, so I don’t know how durable he’d be with taking fouls and trying for continuation.

    In the interview, he sounds more quiet and humble than loud and egotistical, but he also sounds like he wants to prove himself. I don’t see him as being a leader, or being vocal, at least not for several years.

    If the Suns were to make this pick, it’s a quality pick. T Ross would still be a decent role player even if his game never improves. However, he appears to lack star quality and the ability to make his teammates better, and may already be close to his potential.

  • Scott

    If it came down to Ross or Harkless, while Ross is a safe pick at a position of need (like Markieff Morris) I would be tempted to pick Harkless, because I see more potential there.

    Harkless, who would play at SF, presently needs to work on ball handling and shooting. But he’s young and has a good work ethic, so it’s reasonable to believe those skills would come before long.

    Harkless is 6′ 9″ with a 7′ wingspan. He’s 19, one of the youngest players in the draft. He’s athletic and energetic, and a good passer. He sounds intelligent and has a good demeanor. He reminds me of Dudley, but with greater athleticism, and he could have some star potential.

  • sun-arc

    I like the pick of Ross over Rivers.

    Ross vs Harkless is a tough choice. Not sure who I’d choose there. A crap shoot at that point.

    The suns need to get at least one other pick- and I hope they get Marshall or one of the excellent bigs that will be there late in the teens. I’m hoping they pick up one from Houston or Boston- the latter being more likely.

  • HankS

    T-Ross has a bit of Markieff Morris feel to me, I’d be neither terribly excited, nor particularly disappointed. All of the guards expected to go in the top 20 or so have their attractions, and in the end I don’t think one can really know which of them will be the best. It’ll come down to luck.

    What irks me, though, is the fact that Minnesota’s No. 18 pick was available, and the Suns didn’t get it. Witch this pick the Suns could have taken a great talent like Moultrie, Marshall, PJ3 or Royce White. The Suns management, as far as we can guess right now, seems pretty passive.

  • Scott

    @HankS -

    If the Suns were to get multiple picks, it would help justify taking gambles on players like Harkless, Sullinger, PJ3, or Royce White, or even solid second rounders, like Crowder, O’Quinn, and possibly Machado. They could also possibly move up and take Tom Robinson with the Bobcats’ pick (or trade Morris and a pick to move up).

    If the Suns were fairly certain Nash was coming back, then a safe pick like T Ross is reasonable. If you take Ross and subtract Brown, and give the team a full pre-season to practice, then right there the Suns seem better than last year.

    However, not having any sense of progress on the Suns nabbing a star, and with the news of cap exceptions being granted to some of the Knicks players, I’m getting a STRONG feeling that Nash may go to NYC.

    In which case, the Suns are in full-on rebuild mode, and they ought to be snagging as many draft picks as possible, because with the new CBA and the way the league looks right now, they’re highly unlikely to rebuild with free agents. They’re going to have to play the draft game and swing for the stars. Unless they have a good plan to get a star and retain Nash, they need to get as many quality picks as possible this year, and then do the same next year.

    (I can already hear Gortat exclaiming, “When I came here two years ago I was a young man, and Steve and Grant were the old men on the team. Now I am the old man!”)

    If Sarver could blow $20m or whatever on buying out Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic, maybe he can consider spending some choice dollars here to buy picks, as it could shorten the rebuild time by a season or two.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    The Suns didn’t get that 18th pick because they didn’t have Chase Buddinger to trade. He’s not a bad player by any means and fits pretty nicely with what the Wolves are trying to do.

    The Suns don’t have guys to dangle for picks in a 1-off situation like that. Maybe if Frye was healthy and available for this – (NOBODY is touching Frye)

    Nash is the only real chip that the Suns have. The more this draft is hype the more the tea leaves show that centers like Gortat probably aren’t that desired when there are so many bigs in this draft.

    Being that Nash is a true free agent, the Suns can’t even use him in a trade before the draft like HOU / MIN or DET / CHA have done in recent days.

    If they have a deal in place for Nash via sign and trade, whatever team involved with said trade will have to “draft for PHX” and then execute the trade come July 1.

    So, for us, it’s looking more and more like one pick on draft night anything else will have to come a few days later.

  • HankS

    @ Scott -

    I don’t think top-10 picks are available just for cash, not this year. And the Suns have precious little else to offer.

    I don’t think last year’s team plus Ross minus Brown plus pre-season is the kind of improvement Nash wants to resign with the Suns. In fact, I’m not entirely sure it’s an improvement at all.

    But whether Nash stays or goes, No. 18 would have been a significant asset. If the Suns’ brass stays put and only takes someone like Ross with No. 13, we’d better get ready for years of mediocrity or worse.

  • Scott

    Hmm. Am I missing something? A new ESPN article conveys the idea that even with Lin and Novak (it doesn’t mention Fields, but count him) getting Bird exceptions, there’s still only a $3m midlevel exception to give, and – they say – that’s not enough to sign Nash.

    But I look at the Knicks roster and I count $53m in total contracts at present. From what I’ve read, the salary cap for 2012 is projected to be around $60-$61m. If they give Nash the rest of the cap space – $7m – they can still sign Lin, Novak, Fields, and their draft pick, plus a veteran on the $3m exception. And that fills out their roster with 14 players.

    If they do a sign and trade with Phoenix for Nash, then the Knicks can dump the injured Shumpert on the Suns and add another $1m to Nash’s contract, bringing it to $8m. That’s a couple million less than what Nash was making in Phoenix, but he can probably make that up (and more) in endorsements.

    If the Suns want to do the Knicks an even bigger favor, they could also take bench warmer Toney Douglas, and that would enable the Knicks to give Nash $9m.

    If the Suns want NY draft picks in exchange for these considerations, either they’ll have to accept 2nd rounders or get in line. The Knicks have already traded away their 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 first rounders, and probably would have traded the 2015 too, except I think league rules prohibit it.

    If I was the Suns GM tasked with negotiating this, I guess I’d say to Dolan … okay, we’ll help you sign Nash to a nice contract, since we didn’t get a star and that’s where he wants to go. Just give us some cushy cash considerations to make up for having to take on Shumpert and Douglas, so we can buy them out if we want (or pay off any bought 2012 draft picks).

    • Michael Schwartz

      @Scott Without really looking into the nitty gritty of the Knicks’ cap situation, the Knicks could not do that because when you own a player’s rights there’s a cap hold on your books. So for example, according to ShamSports, the Suns have a $17.5 million cap hold for Nash and a $9.75 mil cap hold for Hill (150 percent of their salary). This prevents a team with a bunch of free agents from doing what the Heat did while still retaining the Bird rights to their own free agents. If the Suns were to make any FA moves they would renounce Hill’s rights (thus losing his Bird rights) and could then play with their cap money. What that means is the only way Nash gets to NY without a sign-and-trade is by the cap exception.

  • Scott

    (I have some rounding in there. It’s possible the Knicks could offer Nash as much as $10m, after giving the Suns Douglas and Shumpert, and still be able to finish out the roster. Push comes to shove, they could buy the last pick or two of the draft, so as to get one or two players – like Henry Sims and Tu Holloway – that would fill roster spots and qualify for cap exceptions.)

  • Scott

    @HankS -

    I agree you can’t buy a top pick. However, the players I mentioned are all expected to go south of the lottery, where teams are traditionally more willing to sell their picks.

    I also agree that a team with Ross instead of Brown is not enough to draw Nash back to the Suns. That’s why I said it makes sense “if Nash was coming back” to draft a safe pick like Ross. However, if Nash is not coming back, it might be better to make a riskier pick.

    I also agree with Rich that it’s not so much that Minnesota was willing to deal the #18, it’s that they got a proven commodity in Chase Budinger over the relatively shaky picks available in their range. (The Wolves also got the rights to Lior Eliyahu, an Israeli PF playing in the Euroleague.)

    Houston probably feels they can bring in Marcus Morris next year, and was ready to trade Budinger to get a pick that would hopefully lead them to Dwight Howard.

    If Houston doesn’t get the #2 pick from the Bobcats, I’ve suggested the Suns might get it by offering Markieff Morris and the #13 pick, as the Cats are said to be looking for a PF who spreads the floor.

    The Suns also want a PF who spreads the floor, but I’d say that Tom Robinson is probably a franchise talent, and if the Cats are willing to trade, then it’s probably best to take them up on it.

  • B. Cray Z.

    Well it looks like we made a very good pick.

    AB, if we keep him, can be our go to scorer at the 2 because he will be good at that.

    That will take the pressure off of Nash, if he stays here. Will also be a good compliment to Kendall, our new pick. Let’s hope his shooting coach will be Nash. This, if we still have Nash, will make for a perfect transition of leadership for the team. Move AB to a more natural 2 spot and it will be kind of like pairing them (Nash and Marshall) with the Brazilian Blur. Free agents will include Barbosa, Louis & Gogi.

    MUST reunite that killer bench unit. Let’s go SUNS!!!!