Allen Crabbe: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile

Posted by on May 24th, 9:00 am

Strengths

One of the best pure shooters in the 2013 draft class, California Golden Bears guard Allen Crabbe played three years of efficient ball for well-respected head coach Mike Montgomery. At 6-foot-6 in shoes and with a near 7-foot wingspan, Crabbe could remind Suns fans of Wes Johnson, take away an inch in height and all the expectations that came with Johnson being a fourth overall pick. As a shooter, though, he has the same attributes with an arguably sweeter stroke.

Deadly in catch-and-shoot situations, Crabbe can pour it in even with a hand in his face. As the focal point in Cal’s offense, his shooting percentage of 45.9 was impressive. Though his three-point stroke dipped to 34.8 percent during his final season, it likely was due to adjusted defenses, and he will be in a better position as a spot-up shooter a la J.J. Redick in the NBA.

Considering his slim frame, Crabbe was also a very good rebounder, grabbing more than six per game. The length of Crabbe projects him as a solid NBA defender from a physical standpoint as well.

Question marks

As good as Crabbe might be as a scorer, his ball handling leaves much to be desired. Because of it, Crabbe rarely gets to the free throw line. His lack of explosiveness – though his combine numbers aren’t bad at all – also hurts his ability to break down defenders off the dribble, and his slight frame will keep him from finishing through contact in the paint. Again, the similarities to Johnson are there.

Crabbe’s focus is another issue. He’s known to float through games on both ends, and proving to NBA teams that he’ll be able to dial in could be his biggest challenge of the next few weeks.

Simply put, Crabbe has a skillset that’s obviously coveted – you can never have too many shooters, as they say – but in a way not only has one dimension (scoring) but one dimension in which he’s one-dimensional (shooting). Add that to his mental makeup and you have a first-round talent who could slip.

X-factor

A brief understanding of what could hurt or help Crabbe both in the draft and in the longterm outlook of his NBA career was a controversial exchange during a Pac-12 game against USC this year. Early in the second half, Montgomery shoved Crabbe after a called timeout, and the guard sulked his way to the tunnel before returning and immediately checking back into the game. He reacted quite well despite the blowup, scoring 10 points in the final five minutes to help the Golden Bears win. Overall, the exchange was a sign his maturity could hurt him, but there is indeed a fire burning erratically within.

How would he fit with the Suns?

One of the best shooters at the combine, Crabbe would give one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA a boost in that regard as a catch-and-shoot type that spreads the floor and comes off screens. He would immediately fill a need if the Suns don’t re-sign Johnson.

Crabbe could go just after the lottery or fall to the second round because of his question marks. We assume research done before the draft will alert the Suns to whether his personality is really that big of a concern, and if they feel comfortable with him from this standpoint, they could get a steal.

In what could be another brutal season, Phoenix could give him the time to quickly develop the mental toughness-slash-confidence to shoot himself out of slumps and into hot streaks. The Suns can also give him a good amount of time to prove he can play consistently hard. And in that way, his development could be quite quick.

And 1 … A second-rounder to consider

James Ennis, an athletic 6-foot-7 small forward out of Long Beach State, is raw having playing just a few years of high-level college basketball, but he might be someone the Suns could take a swing at. He’s a freak athlete with a sound shooting stroke and the tools to become a defensive stopper – the key to his ceiling is keeping him focused and developing his smarts around his physical abilities.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // May 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Isn’t Ennis more likely to be found undrafted and in the Summer League pool?

    And isn’t Snell a better prospect than Crabbe? Physically, they’re nearly identical. On roughly the same number of 3 pt attempts, Snell has a higher percentage. While Crabbe is a much better rebounder, Snell is a better handler and passer and a more dedicated defender, all of which are typically more important for a SG.

    Personality-wise, whereas Crabbe may be a bit of a hothead, Snell occasionally disappears in games. It’s probably fair to say that both players lack killer instinct and mental toughness, but it’s only been a subject of conversation regarding Crabbe.

  • 2 THEDRAGON!!!!! // May 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I would rather trade Kendal Marshal, and draft Seth Curry, with our second pick. Kendal Marshal is not good, let’s face it. Curry could be a great back up for Goran, and could be the sixth man of the suns for a while intel Dragic comes out of his prime. Curry could play shooting gaurd while coming in with Dragic. If curry is anything like his brother, I will take him. His brother is one of the best shooters in NBA history.

  • 3 Scott // May 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Rightly or wrongly, Snell blames his college system for his apparent lack of aggression and poor rebounding.

    If that’s true, than by what rationale would anyone pick Crabbe above Snell?

  • 4 G Dot // May 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I think Phoenix should consider taking Carrick Felix out of Arizona State. Felix is freakishly athletic and I think he would fit perfectly on the Suns.

  • 5 Ty-Sun // May 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’m really more interested in learning the direction the Suns are at hoping to move toward in the future. If they want to become a stronger defensive team then there are very few players on the roster now that will be around long. Even a defensive team needs scorers but not at the expense of compromising the team defense.

    But back to my original point, the direction of the team determines who should be drafted, traded, traded for and picked up as FAs. There really are only a few players that are so talented that they would be great on any team. There are many more players that can play great in the right system.

  • 6 hawki // May 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    @ Azbballfan from previous article

    No, I don’t think Len & Dieng would fit together in the same frontcourt.

    As for Crabbe, he definitely has a sweet stroke but I’ll trust in McD’s new draft team. Personally, I think the Suns should be able to get a better player with the 30th pick.

  • 7 foreveris2long // May 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I attended conference playoffs for Long Beach State this year and saw Ennis play. It seems every year Long Beach State has an overrated player. I would not use anything higher than the 57th pick on him.

  • 8 bill.thomas // May 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Is Seth Curry even eligible to be drafted this year? Some regular here who knows what he’s talking about, please answer.

  • 9 foreveris2long // May 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Yeah Bill seth is eligible as I think he is as senior at Duke. However he is relatively small to play the 2 guard without excellent hops or blazing quickness. He is a 2nd round pick at best but I doubt he gets drafted.

  • 10 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:05 am

    @bill. -

    Seth Curry is a senior and thus available. Presumably we haven’t seen him in any workouts because of recent shin surgery, but he did interview at the Combine.

    Basically, he’s a smallish SG. He’s 6′ 2″ with a wingspan of 6′ 4″, 179 lbs, and a 3 pt % of 44%. It is believed he lacks the lateral quickness, size, and length to guard in the NBA. Like Goodwin and Austin Rivers, he’s played a bit of PG, but he’s got a scorer’s mentality and at least at this point he’s not really suited for PG.

    Reportedly he gets a lot of elevation on his jumper, and he’s mainly a crafty player, not an athlete. He can catch and shoot, shoot off the dribble, shoot when guarded or unguarded, and without rhythm. He can create his own shot, but he’s not explosive and his foot speed isn’t exceptional. So he’s more of an Andre Miller type. If he had eyes in the back of his head, he could be more of a Nash type, but if he did, maybe his teams never saw it because he was a top scoring option.

    He’d be a decent combo 3rd guard at worst, and on offense an upgrade over Garrett. If he plays PG on a team with more scoring power … well, who knows what he might show?

    I could see him get drafted in the late 2nd round and potentially be a steal. Or a Fredette. DX has him ranked #71, which is 11 spots after the end of the draft, and if that’s a common view of scouts he could go undrafted and be available in Summer League.

    I don’t have a problem with the Suns going for him, though I’d prefer they recruit him for Summer League.

    You know the Suns like lesser brothers … :)

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Seth-Curry-5499/

  • 11 foreveris2long // May 25, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Anyone notice that 3 out of the 4 teams in the finals have legitimate centers? While Splitter is not much offensively he is a good defensive player. Having a good 7 footer seems to give teams a way of covering other flaws on the team. Memphis has numerous flaws offensively but their defense has them being a championship contender. Indiana is giving Miami fits despite a volatile backcourt. Duncan and Splitter are causing ZBo fits. I think we are watching the return of the big man.

  • 12 THEDRAGON!!!!! // May 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

    If Seth Curry is anything like his brother than I would like him in a Suns uniform. He would be so much better than Kendal Marshal.

  • 13 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Re: big men … that’s one reason I emphasize drafting bigs. You need talent at all positions, but good big men are harder to find and they often take longer to mature. However, they don’t necessarily go high, and their value is not always immediately perceived by scouts.

    Marc Gasol went #48, despite having a famous brother. His PER is 19.52.

    Roy Hibbert went #17, and in his first few years drew criticism. His PER is 17.32.

    Splitter was drafted #28. His PER is 18.72.

    Robin Lopez was #15, and his PER is 18.98. He’s only 25 and was not used much by his previous team, and he lost time with injuries, so while his defense isn’t stellar yet he may develop more defensively as he continues to play.

    As you know, I advocate the Suns taking Adams and Dieng out of the big men, if they can get the picks. (I don’t know about Len yet.)

  • 14 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I’m kind of a Pitt fan when it comes to the Big East but was disappointed with Adams every time I saw Pitt play.
    I realize he is young & developing & all that….but still.
    I’m more inclined to agree with DBreezy that Adams’ combine numbers have somewhat inflated his value.

    @ Forever….thanks for info on Ennis….I was more focused on Keala King whenever I saw Long Beach play….I guess because he is ex-ASU….btw, King is still mediocre…a PF trapped in a SG’s body.

  • 15 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 9:25 am

    @hawki -

    If I have this right (and if I don’t, someone correct me) Adams left for the draft after a freshman year that was essentially his first year playing American basketball against quality competition. As he explains in his Combine interview, his previous experience was against short, stocky rugby players in New Zealand, where he didn’t need an offensive game as he could just put the ball in over them. So he’s raw, but he’s got IQ, size, length, and potential, and he’s only 19.

    If he wasn’t raw, he’d be going high enough he’d be out of reach, like Duncan and Robinson (who went #1). Even Bogut and Bargnani went #1.

    So realistically speaking, if the Suns want a top quality big, they’re going to have to draft one on potential. And then they’re going to have to be patient and not trade him away for a sack of potatoes.

    And if the Suns acquire too many quality big men, well, you can always trade quality big for quality small.

  • 16 BCrayZ // May 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Does anyone know the health status of Channing Frye?

  • 17 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    @BCrayZ -

    Frye’s last reported status is “hopeful,” but still yet to be determined.

    It will probably be an ongoing process of testing and either being cleared or shut down.

    He’d first be cleared to work on conditioning and weight training this summer, then after a period of that he’d be retested. If good, then he’d be cleared to practice for a while. If tests after that show he’s okay, then he’d go to training camp. The Suns might want him tested at the end of pre-season, just to ensure he’s good to go, and then probably he’d get tested again around Jan 1.

    I don’t know if they’d have to go any further than that. Possibly if everything checks out good right along, then afterward he might only do annual check-ups.

  • 18 Rich Anthony // May 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t like Dieng.

    He’s an athlete but not a freak. He jumps with both feet and takes a LONG TIME to go through his jumping motion. Positioning is awesome within him, so that helps with his rebounding. Offensively though, I don’t see much promise there. Takes him too long to get to the point scoring wise. That will get him crushed on the next level offensively speaking, IMO.

    The way the draft is going now with our current picking order, I wouldn’t expect a pure center to be drafted. @ 5 it’s going to be OLADIPO, BenMC, or Bennett. One of them will fall to 5 with Burke and Otto in the mix.

    All of the other talked about 5s will be gone by 30. I’d still like to see the Suns swing for the fences with young super athletic prospects regardless of position with the 2 late picks.

    I really like Giannis if he falls, (he’s moving up draft boards), and the BPA with the last pick.

  • 19 bill.thomas // May 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Sounds like Dieng is Faried 2.0…I’ll take it with a mid-to-late 1st round pick !!!!!

  • 20 bill.thomas // May 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Is BCraZ really Mike B????

  • 21 WES // Jun 9, 2013 at 1:30 am

    James Ennis may have risen his stock to late first round.

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