Victor Oladipo: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile

Posted by on May 25th, 8:36 am

Strengths

Oladipo has two qualities which may be the best in the draft: his motor and his defense.

Victor plays at a much faster pace than every player he shares the court with. On both ends of the floor, he is constantly in motion, and in the open court, he’s an absolute blur. Oladipo gets the better of most of his competitors simply by outworking them. He would be a first-round pick solely on the basis of effort even if he had no other elite skills..

Defensively, he looks like a sure thing. His defensive talent isn’t just a product of his motor and tenacity – he is incredibly smart as well. He’s always in the right position and plays with a great deal of discipline. He averaged more than two steals per game, but he doesn’t get them by gambling. Like Ice Man in Top Gun, Oladipo forces turnovers by remaining disciplined and forcing his opponent to make a mistake. Oladipo should be able to defend both points guards and shooting guards in the NBA.

Offensively, the first thing that stands out about Victor is his efficiency. For the season, he shot 60% from the field and 44% from three while averaging 13.6 points per game. He maintains that efficiency with great shot selection. Most of his attempts inside the three-point line come at the rim. When he does shoot a jumper, it’s typically from around the free throw line. He very rarely settles for a bad jump shot. For the year, he shot 50% off the catch and 60% off the dribble. His quickness and athleticism allow him to find open space and shoot over defenders. He’s a total nightmare for defenses because he is so dangerous from the weak side. He can nail a shot from downtown off ball reversal or a skip pass, or he can cut from the back side to the hoop and put his 42” vertical leap to good use.

He also gets a lot of points in transition, but those are generated from turnovers and not him leaking out when the shot goes up. Getting back to the discipline I talked about earlier, Oladipo rebounds extremely well (6.3 per game) for his size. A guard who doesn’t have to be taught to rebound is a huge asset in the NBA, where so many ball handlers prefer to let their bigs do the work on the boards.

Question marks

For all the great qualities that have made him a Top 5 lock, Oladipo is not a perfect player. His biggest flaw is that he doesn’t have a great left hand. He almost always goes right when penetrating to the hoop. This can make his offense predictable and give defenders a way to mitigate his speed and freakish athleticism. Because his handle is not elite, he is slightly turnover prone as well. He averaged 2.3 per game, and as the video above will tell you, he turns the ball over a great deal in isolation situations.

The reality of Oladipo’s game is that right now, he’s not a primary scoring option. He is not elite when it come to creating his own offense. He is a great secondary option who can do a variety of things to put the ball in the bucket. But he is not the sort of player who can catch the ball with five seconds on the shot clock and get a bucket consistently.

The area of concern with his offense is whether or not he can keep up his shooting efficiency, especially from downtown. His incredible three-point percentage came on a very small sample size (68 attempts.) Remember when Derrick Williams hit nearly 60% of his threes his last year at Arizona? Well he only took 72 shots from downtown that season. In his two years in the NBA Williams has shot 33% and 27% from beyond the arc. It’s unclear how Victor will adjust to the NBA distance.

One thing that shocked me about Oladipo was his minutes per game. While other guards at the top of the draft like Ben McLemore, Trey Burke, and Michael Carter-Williams averaged at lest 32 minutes a night, Oladipo played only 28. He’s plays at such a breakneck pace that it makes total sense for him to get rest. But will he be able to play with the same motor that’s making him a Top 5 pick for 30-35 minutes per night in the NBA?

The other thing that stood out is his size. Oladipo measured out at 6’3” without shoes at the combine. That’s two inches shorter than his ESPN player profile lists him. Is he tall enough to guard lanky shooting guards like Klay Thompson and Kobe? The answer is probably yes, but it is still something to consider.

X-factor

The thing that has raised and will continue to raise Oladipo’s draft stock is the lack of question marks surrounding him. Of all the guys in the Top 10, he is the most known commodity. Teams know exactly what they’re going to get from him. He may not have the upside of Noel, McLemore, or Porter, but he doesn’t have near the downside of those players because of the qualities he brings to the court. Worst case scenario, Oladipo is a taller Avery Bradley with the ability to knock down an open shot and throw down a Sportscenter-worthy dunk. There is very little doubt he will be a useful starter in the NBA. Oladipo could end up off the board by the time the Suns’ pick rolls around simply because the rest of this draft worries NBA GM’s too much and they’d rather take the safer player.

How would he fit with the Suns?

Oladipo would fit the Suns like a glove. Though he might not start right away, in the long run I can’t think of a better backcourt partner for Goran Dragic. The two complement each other very well. Dragic has a better handle and likes to have the ball in his hands. Oladipo is much better off the ball and creates space in the lane because defenses have to be aware of his spotting up or cutting to the hoop. Both guys play at the same breakneck pace and with the same ferocity. Oladipo should be able to defend the West’s elite guards which would free up Dragic to hide on a lesser backcourt player and save his energy. Unless some very talented GM works his magic and signs Eric Bledsoe and Iman Shumpert away from the Clippers and Knicks respectively, I can’t think of a single NBA backcourt which would be able to match an Oladipo-Dragic pairing in terms of toughness, speed in transition, and effort. The Suns’ fast break points would surely double if those two played significant minutes together.

Aside from not being a go-to scorer, Oladipo fills a ton of holes for the Suns. Effort, defense, and athleticism were all areas the Suns were lacking in last season, and Victor would be a marked improvement in all of them. The issue for the Suns is will he still be there at #5? Oladipo isn’t likely to be selected before Noel which rules out the Cavs. The Wizards already have Bradley Beal, so they may not want to spend a Top 3 pick on another shooting guard. Thus the issue comes down to Orlando and Charlotte. Both teams could use a shooting guard, especially Charlotte who spent the season trotting out Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson. One of those two will take Ben McLemore. If it’s Orlando, then Charlotte might snatch Oladipo at #4. If however, Orlando opts to take a point guard like Trey Burke, then the Suns should be able to take Oladipo at #5.

A lot can happen between now and the draft, but from my perspective, Oladipo is the best-case scenario for Phoenix.

And 1 … A second-rounder to consider

Deshaun Thomas from Ohio State. Though it was LaQuinton Ross who broke the Arizona Wildcats’ hearts in this year’s sweet 16, it was Thomas who kept the Buckeyes in that game and led them in scoring all season long. Thomas ended the season ranked 21st in the nation in scoring, and he was tops in the Big 10. Thomas is projected to slip to the second round because he contributes very little outside of the scoring column. He is an adequate rebounder, but he’s not much of a defender.

Thomas has the potential to be an instant offense, off the bench scorer. He reminds me of a taller MarShon Brooks. If he can translate his game to the league, Thomas could easily carve out a niche for himself in the vain of Jamal Crawford or J.R. Smith. Or he could be a total bust. We’re talking about a second round pick, many of whom don’t make the roster of the team that picked them. Thomas may only have one skill, but scoring is a universal need for every team in the NBA, and he’s someone the Suns should definitely consider.

Ryan Weisert

Ryan Weisert is a staff writer for ValleyoftheSuns. You can also find him at his sports and pop culture blog Spectavius.com.

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Tags: Draft · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Oladipo has lateral quickness, leaping ability, a 6′ 9″ wingspan, and a love for the game. All that’s nice to have, but there’s nothing else there.

    Is his draft price (#5 spot) too high? Should the Suns take a less safe pick instead?

    The Suns need complete players, and they’re not realistically aiming to contend next year.

    They would be wise to take this time in their evolution to pick project players who have a higher ceiling.

  • 2 Dustin // May 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I like oladipo. In a world with “potential” players such as Beasley and to a lesser extent Wesley Johnson. It’s nice to have someone that will be the same player every game. That is the players I want for the suns. The ones who will show up every night. If I had to gamble I would take Bennett who is a big who can impose his will on the offensive side of the ball

  • 3 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

    @ Scott from previous article

    Adams played a year of prep ball in Massachusetts….he was good enough to be considered a 5 star and consensus top 10 recruit….so maybe I was expecting a little too much when I saw him play & came away somewhat disappointed.
    I’d rather the Suns sign Gortat to an extension…he’s not that old (29) & considering all the time he rode the pine in Orlando, should still have a lot of life left in his legs.

  • 4 foreveris2long // May 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I like but do not love Oladipo. With the number 5 pick I would rather someone with a more significant upside but I recognize there are not many who fit that description in this draft. Len, Burke and maybe McCullom seem to have more potential as they can get their own shot and not bad defenders, though not as good defensively as Oladipo. What intrigues me about len is if he continues to develop he could have the ability to draw double teams from the low post.

    I have never seen Adams play a game so I have to hold off any thoughts on him. I will say Hawki that the Suns already tried to extend Gortat and he told them no It doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind but I seriously doubt it. Personally I would rather go in a different direction because he plays too soft for my blood. I am more concerned with his heart than his legs. I don’t know if I have ever seen him give a hard foul on someone. Other than him possibly being related to MC Hammer, I have no idea where the Polish Hammer nickname came from.

  • 5 foreveris2long // May 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Yeah Scott I agree with you in that at #5 I hope we can get someone with a high ceiling.

  • 6 Ty-Sun // May 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Defensively, I’d love to see Dragic, Oladipo and Tucker playing the 1-3 spots. Learning to go left for a right handed player isn’t really that difficult to learn. I did it myself. It took a few months but all it really takes is determination and I think Oladipo has that.

    The Suns have plenty of needs but I would be very happy with Oladipo. He gives you 100% every second he’s on the court and plays smart. Great defender, great athlete, very good rebounder, good scorer, high IQ.

    The only complete player I can think of in this draft is Porter (who I also wouldn’t be disappointed with if the Suns drafted him), Scott.

    The Suns could also draft big this year, either by trying to move up and grab Noel or maybe moving down and drafting another big that is more of a project. Noel could probably start when healthy just because of his motor and defense but offensively he’s also a project. Len would also be an interesting choice with the Suns’ 5th pick. He’s already bigger than Gortat both in height and weight (Gortat – 240, Len – 255). If the Suns could get a mid-level 1st round pick for Gortat in a trade then I would pick Len with the #5 pick and hopefully pick up Jamaal Franklin with the later pick.

  • 7 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Here’s what I’d like to see the Suns do in the draft (latest edition) to set themselves up for 2014 and the future:

    The Pistons would probably like to have Oladipo, as SG is their weakest spot. The Suns could pick him for the Pistons and trade for the #8 pick plus the #37 pick.

    At #8 the Suns take Zeller. At #37 they take Snell or Jean-Charles.

    The Suns trade Gortat to Dallas for their #13 pick. With #13 they take Adams.

    The Suns trade Dudley to Atlanta for the #17 pick, with which they pick Dieng.

    The Spurs take Goodwin at #28, but the Suns trade them the #30 pick plus some cash for him.

    The Suns draft Brazilian PG Raul Neto with their #57 and leave him overseas.

    So the Suns lose Gortat and Dudley, and Scola would be traded later in the summer for either a young player or a future pick. That clears out all the tradeable veterans.

    It leaves the Suns with the following roster, with starters first and bench players after:

    C – Haddadi, Dieng, Adams
    PF – Frye (?), Beasley, Markieff, Zeller
    SF – Tucker, Marcus, Jean-Charles
    SG – Brown, Goodwin
    PG – Dragic, Marshall, Neto (stashed overseas)

    That leaves a final spot to be filled by either a player coming back in trade from Scola, Wes Johnson on a small contract, or a Summer League player like combo guard Seth Curry.

    This roster is composed with the idea that A) centers need time to mature, so put some in incubation now, B) Frye may have to take medical retirement as a consequence of testing either before or during the season, so stock up at PF because there’s probably no real future for Beasley or Markieff, C) it’s essential to play Beasley and Brown in the final year of their contracts in order to have a suitably bad season, and afterward both will be replaced with the two 2014 first round picks, D) unless they drastically improve, the twins will wash out and be replaced by the two 2015 first round picks.

    By midseason, Haddadi and Tucker might be available for trade to contenders as small expiring contracts on decent veteran bench players.

    If the Suns can get the #5 pick in 2014, on DX it currently projects to be Jabari Parker.

    So the 2014-2015 roster might look like:

    C – Dieng, Adams
    PF – Frye (?), Zeller, Markieff
    SF – Marcus, Jean-Charles, pick (Parker?)
    SG – Goodwin, pick (??)
    PG – Dragic, Marshall, (Neto)

    With 3 more spots to fill, and Markieff and Marcus likely to roll off at the end of the year and Dragic having to decide if he wants to stick around for 2015.

    In 2015, if Marshall has washed out or if Dragic decides to leave or is traded, the Suns can call in their spare PG from the 2013 draft, Raul Neto (#57).

  • 8 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I like Oladipo a lot & maybe he has more upside than we think.
    His improvement from sophomore to junior year was near phenomenal…maybe the trend continues. His toughness & determination would be a welcome addition to the Suns who definitely lacked those traits (except for Dragic) this last year.

    Oladipo was the only guy that showed up in Indiana’s sweet 16 loss to Syracuse.
    I like Oladipo more than Len.

    I like McCollum but he is smaller than Dragic.

    I’d love to know what the Suns brain trust is thinking….especially trade & free-agent options.

  • 9 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Good stuff Scott…..Azbballfan has to be jealous he didn’t come up with that scenario. :)

  • 10 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    The ding on Porter from scouts is that he has poor lateral quickness. My preference is to always get players with excellent lateral quickness, which for me would put Oladipo ahead of Porter (since they both have length and motor).

    I would like the Suns to have Oladipo’s defense too, but in a Dragic, Oladipo, Tucker lineup, who would score points? Teams would target Dragic and beat him up, and since neither Oladipo or Tucker have guard skills, the tactic would likely work.

    Might as well start clubbing Dragic now. ;)

  • 11 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    @hawki -

    That’s what I was thinking. Most likely he’ll come back with something even better! :)

  • 12 Ty-Sun // May 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    @Scott – 1st, Dallas won’t trade their #13 pick for Gortat because Cuban is going to make a big play to sign Dwight Howard as a free agent AFTER the draft. He’s already said that DH is his #1 FA target and trading the Mavs draft pick for Gortat would only cut into his cap space.

    2nd, why would Atlanta – or any other team – give up the 17th pick in the draft for Dudley? I really like Dudley but I can’t see why any GM in his right mind would give up a mid-level 1st round draft pick for a 27 year old marginal starter/backup SF with another 3 years on his present contract.

    All those plans might work IF everything works out as planned but it just won’t. Too complex, too many dominoes need to fall just right. Nice pipe dream though.

  • 13 Ty-Sun // May 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    @Scott – Did you somehow fail to READ what I actually said about a Dragic/Oladipo/Tucker lineup? I started out by saying, “Defensively, I’d love to see Dragic, Oladipo and Tucker playing the 1-3 spots.”

    DEFENSIVELY.

    Do you not understand that word? It was the very first word in my post but somehow you seemed to have either missed it or just ignored it.

    As for Porter, he IS a more complete player than Oladipo because he doesn’t have any real holes in his game. There are things that Oladipo does better than Porter but Porter does everything well although he doesn’t have any great strength.

  • 14 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    Yeah, I was throwing stuff out there along the lines of what I was looking for. I want picks in the 10-18 range and not being a GM I have no idea what teams would be willing to take Gortat and Dudley for picks. So imagine the trades with whoever will give the highest picks for Gortat and Dudley, out of Portland, OKC, Dallas, Utah, Milwaukee, Boston, and Atlanta.

    I realize Cuban is probably looking for a better center and would be looking in free agency for one, in which case he probably wouldn’t be trading his #12 for a center. I’ve said as much in several other posts for months now.

    And yet … Cuban must realize he could get burned again, if Howard doesn’t sign and he can’t get Al Jefferson, either. He can’t sacrifice another year, so he might take Gortat as insurance that he’s got C covered.

    It would be funny if Cuban brought in Gortat with the pick and then signed Howard to start, returning Gortat to the backup role he so loved in Orlando. ;) (Brandan Wright, if re-signed, could be backup PF.)

    As for Atlanta … well, I don’t know which team would take Dudley and for what. So I have to use my imagination. Atlanta is the lowest team in my range and is faced with a certain degree of rebuilding this summer. Three of their four SFs are up for new contracts. The remaining SF has a PER of 8. So depending on their plans, they might prefer to take Dudley, a savvy veteran on a reasonable contract, and this leaves them more free to make decisions regarding Josh Smith and Kyle Korver.

    FWIW, it works just as well to send Gortat and Dudley to Atlanta for both their picks, so long as Adams and Dieng are still on the board.

  • 15 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    Not sure why you’re being so grouchy, though of course you are free to be whatever you wish.

    If you re-read my post you may see that I noted the reference to defense, not that I needed to in order to make a comment.

    In my first post on Porter, possibly as early as February last year, I described him as being a taller, longer, more athletic Dudley. If the Suns get Porter, it would be an upgrade at SF.

  • 16 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    BTW, Marshall wants us to know he’s still working to develop his game …

    https://vine.co/v/bVge2VtpB53

  • 17 Ty-Sun // May 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    @Scott – I have to hand it to you on one very important point. Some of my responses sound offensive even to me as I re-read them and I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had fired back at me… but you didn’t. I may not agree with all of your opinions but you are a class guy and I very much respect that.

    Cuban might actually trade for Gortat eventually if he can’t get DH but that would be after this year’s draft… which might actually be best for the Suns if if they can get Dallas’ 2014 1st round pick as part of the deal. I doubt it would be a strait up swap but I can’t think of many players on the Suns present roster that I wouldn’t include with Gortat in a trade with Dallas for their 1st round pick next year.

    Cuban was hoping to land either DH or CP3 (and hopefully both) as free agents this offseason but I think from what I’ve read that he has almost given up on CP3. Since the rumors are swirling that DH isn’t happy with D’Antoni, I’m certain that Cuban is going to swing for the fence to try and bring DH to Dallas which is why I don’t think he would be interested in Gortat. Even Dirk has said that he’s willing to take a pay cut next season to bring in “better players”. Ya gotta love a guy like Dirk. Last time he signed a contract extension, he took less than the max so that the team could have more cash to bring in better players (which ultimately resulted in a Championship for Dallas). Now he’s willing to give up even more in the hope to get back to that championship level.

    BTW, Gortat and Dudley to Atlanta for both their picks this year sounds reasonable although I’m not sure if the numbers work out or not.

  • 18 Ty-Sun // May 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    @Scott – I’m not going to comment on your last post. I admitted that some of what I said in previous posts could be interpreted as offensive. I actually complemented you in my last post. I refuse to get into a war of words with you. But I do admire you for just calling me “grouchy” in your last post. You could have said much worse.

    Peace. I wish you well.

  • 19 Forever is2long // May 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Scott, I could be wrong but I seriously doubt McD would trade the #5 pick in the lottery to move down to #8 and 37. Normally when teams move down from a top 5 or 6 spots in the draft they secure two 1st round picks. I think that would be a very questionable move. The number 37 pick in a weak draft?

    Hawk it appears Minnesota’s new GM might agree with ya on Oladipo’s upside if the rumor is true he wants to move into the #4 spot to grab your boy. I could definitely live with Oladipo as he brings athleticism to the table and defense, 2 things we badly need. I guess what I am saying is I hated the draft of Marshall and still do whereas I would not feel that way with Oladipo.

  • 20 Rich Anthony // May 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Simple fact is, coming out of college and going by that alone, OLADIPO is by far the best fit in PHX at 5. Everybody has their favorites and Victor is mine, but he fills multiple needs its unquestioned.

    All of these other names can be drafted at 30 or in the 2nd round. OLADIPO is a stud, pure and simple. I don’t want to hear about ceiling comparisons or potential. Victor crushes all comparable prospects in terms of what PHX needs because unlike most of them, he can grow offensively and is already a lethal defender and excellent rebounder for his position.

  • 21 Scott // May 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    No problem, and thanks. :)

    @Forever -

    I started off looking for 2 first rounders, but then I began to think that maybe *because* the draft is weak, and Detroit’s only 2 spots down, maybe moving up wasn’t so valuable. But yeah, getting 2 first rounders is the better situation, if a team would agree to it.

    If Minnesota’s GM wants Oladipo, and is intent on moving from #9 to #5, that’s a better scenario. Zeller is the top PF prospect in this draft, but he’d still be available at #9. So if I was McD, I’d take the #9 and #26 from Minnie if they want to give them.

    The #26 pick might simplify choices later, making it easier to get Goodwin if he’s still there, or Hardaway or Snell if he isn’t.

    Also, if the Suns missed out on trading for Adams or Dieng, they could use the #30 pick to take Jaiteh, so at least they could have one C incubating. At this point Jaiteh looks like a stiff, but he’s only 18, and he’s already got NBA size and length.

  • 22 DBreezy // May 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    WoJo article saying Horny is in the leaf for the Suns job and Gambo just tweeted that they’ve begun contract negotiations. Minimum of 3 years and announcement as early as Tuesday I assume bc of the holiday.

  • 23 DBreezy // May 25, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I won’t freak out if the Suns draft Oladipo, but I can’t say I’d be overly excited either. That’s in a vacuum of course and irrespective of any other potential moves they may make around that time.

    He may indeed be the best option, but it’s somewhat unsettling to use such a high pick on someone who’s universal best trait according to pundits is energy/hard play. I read all of these mocks/reports on how they should take him because of what he will do for the culture here and I kind of cringe. Not because I don’t like what VO is about, I love it actually, but because that’s a lot to heap on any rookie let alone one who isn’t a dominant talent. MKG a similar style player, wasn’t up to that in Charlotte last season. Corey Brewer, similar as well especially in experience couldn’t in Minny. I also remember the Blazers heaping that kind of weight on Martell Webster’s shoulders as the way out of the Jailblazers era. To me Webster’s notable as he had the most NBA ready definable skill coming in as the man could definitely shoot. Obviously the jury is still out on MKG, but it seems like a lot of guys picked high in this situation crumble a bit with their first teams under the expectations relative to their draft status and their ability.

  • 24 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    The worst possible scenario for the Suns would be to have the 1st 4 picks go (in no particular order)
    Noel….McLemore…..Otto Porter & Oladipo.

    That leaves the Suns options at
    A) Anthony Bennett….lots of potential & just as many question marks.
    B) Trey Burke…the “Best Player Available” at this point but drafting him means you are basically putting Dragic on the trading block…..or
    C) Len….who, imo, does not warrant a top 5 pick.

    I’m sure McDonough & the boys are staying up late pondering all the possible scenarios.

  • 25 hawki // May 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    @ DBreezy

    Thought maybe they would wait for Budenholzer…..ya think they Like Horny that much or are starting to panic ?

  • 26 DBreezy // May 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    @Hawki,

    Hard to tell as I’m not really sure we truly knew who was and wasn’t a candidate for several of the jobs out here. Just guessing here, but I tend to think that a lot of these guys like Budenholzer, Shaw, etc have allowed their agents to tell teams whether or not they’re interested in particular positions even if they didn’t officially have permission to interview yet.

    In fact, I’ll bet if the position was important enough to the candidate, they’d find a way to make the interview happen between series or on an off day. I tend to think that most of these guys see better opportunities in places like LAC, ATL and BKN with MEM and LAL possibly opening up as well. Not only do they feel they have a shot there, but if the interviewed guys are any indication a lot of the available coaches have put other situations in front of this one.

    If that’s the case with so many open positions, things could get ugly if they wait too long and Horny’s probably a guy who wanted to be here. Obviously it doesn’t hurt PR wise as well. It will be interesting to see who he chooses for his staff and his vision for the team.

  • 27 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I’ve been noticing a bit of a coalescence in the media around Hornacek for the Suns. I find the rumor very believable.

    ATM, I’m thinking the best development in the draft would be the Suns making a tentative deal with the Wolves for their 2 first round picks, and then to try to take Zeller with the #9.

    I was just watching the DX video on Zeller, which was made before the Combine, and it’s a little misleading. It lists Zeller’s wingspan as 6′ 8″, which is very unappealing in a 7 footer. But the Combine showed that his wingspan is really the same as his height w/o shoes: about 6′ 11″. Then consider that a lot of the criticism against him relates to playing the center spot, not PF, and he looks even better. Then look at Bennett and consider that Zeller has a higher standing reach and probably runs faster and jumps higher, shoots his FTs better, and also never takes a defensive possession off. It looks to me like Zeller is most likely the top man at PF in this draft. He just needs some finishing work from Hornacek on shooting and from Chambers on playing around the rim.

    FWIW, Cuban has publicly stated they are looking to trade or stash their pick. The Suns could offer Tucker for the #13. He’d be hard to beat on value per dollar, and it sounds like Cuban wants to pinch every penny.

    For that matter, if Cuban is thinking of cutting Cunningham and Crowder, the Suns could offer to take them, giving the Mavs a modest trade exception.

  • 28 Keith // May 26, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Wohoooo! Yes! I want Oladipo so bad, more badly than I have ever wanted anyone in the draft. We have to make it happen. Just get him! He’s the perfect fit and gives us everything we need. He’ll be like Paul George and come in and play both sides of the court.

  • 29 Azbballfan // May 26, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I think that at number 5, unless some miracle happens and Oladipo and Noel are there at 5 and we have to choose between them, i have to go Oladipo if he is there

    There are a few scenarios where Noel could slip to 5

    but i dont think Oladipo lasts past Charlotte at number 4

    Yes, Oladipo has weaknesses

    He cant create his own shot, doesnt have a great handle, he is short for a 2 guard at 6’4 in shoes

    however, none of that mtters

    he brings to much else to the table, and any kind of skill related deficiency you can be sure he will be living in a gym to fix it

    ‘There is no reason we cant draft Oladipo and trade for other picks and get the guys we want

    most GMs hate this draft

    i heard a rumor on Hoopshype that the Wizards really like Bennett

    I like the deals Scott mentioned, although i dont agree with some of the players he picked for us to get, i like the vision of dumping veterans and scraping nearly the entire team

    I think Gortat to Dallas for their pick is the most likely one to happen, i remember, Dallas signed Gortat to an offer sheet years ago but he was a restricted FA and Orlando matched it

    Theres another scenario that doesnt get mentioned often, and thats absorbing a contract to get a pick

    The Suns have the 2nd lowest payroll in the NBA last year, and if they cut or trade away certain guys will have even more

    I could see a trade like Knicks trade Marcus Camby and the rights to the #24th pick to the Suns for Jared Dudley

    Knicks get Dudley, get rid of a player that hardly played for them in Camby and the Suns get an extra draft pick to rebuild the team

    If they dont want to do that, Steve Novak would also work

    Suns would pick best player left at #24

    if Jamaal Franklin is there i think you gotta pick him up

    The Suns can do so much in this draft, why not do the best of both worlds and get people that are both long term projects and players than can help your right away?

    the Suns aren’t going anywhere next year, might as well get as many draft picks as possible and see who pans out

    if Gortat goes to Dallas i could see the Suns picking Gobert at number 13

    i mean as long as we get someone that can come in and produce, even if its not this year, thats the goal

    Moving Dudley to NY, moving Gortat to Dallas

    that would give us 4 1st rounders

    number 5, 13,24 and 30

    Atlanta is looking to rebuild through Free Agency, Suns could swap P.J. Tucker for the 18th pick and Lou Williams

    At;anta keeps one pick, sheds 4 Million in Salary and gets a valuable defender in tucker and can pick someone to replace williams on a rookie deal

    Suns absorb a cheap, short deal and get an extra pick

    If Williams pans out, great, if not hey we got that extra pick

    Suns could draft something like this and have both project guys and NBA ready guys

    Something like

    Oladipo at number 5, Gobert at 13, Franklin at #18, Saric at #24 and Jean Charles at #30

    so we would have a lineup like this

    Dragic, Oladipo, Franklin, Morris, Gobert

    Bench guys Williams, Novak/Saric, Morris Jean Charles, FA Center/ Camby

    Saric could be stashed in Europe

    if he wants to come over right away fine

    in this configuration we would be cheap, talented and young

    Cut Beasley and Brown and you gained back almost all the money you took in on Novak and Williams (or Camby and Williams)

    if Frye cant go, he can medically retire and that gives us 7 million extra

    There we just set ourselves up for a exciting next year with alot of talent, did nothing to hurt long term plans

    and we stick Wiggins or Paker or Randle in there at the 3 or 4 and be fine

  • 30 hawki // May 26, 2013 at 1:44 am

    @ Scott
    There is a lot to like about Zeller, particularly (for a big man) his ability to run the floor & finish in transition. He also seems to have a very high basketball IQ.

    on the other hand…..I saw him literally get pushed around by Trevor Mbakwe in a game against Minnesota & in the sweet 16 loss to Syracuse, the Orange Big’s were swatting away his shots as if they were pesky flies at a picnic table.

  • 31 Elviro (Italy) // May 26, 2013 at 3:04 am

    I saw Oladipo and it’s awesome!
    I think he’s just what we need!
    Whereas McLemore will be chosen before, I do not see another guard to the levels of Oladipo!
    I hope that we do not steal this choice! … as long as the Suns do this choice …

  • 32 foreveris2long // May 26, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Hawk, I agree with ya about Zeller as he seemd to have a tough time against physical athletic teams like Michigan State and Minnesota. While I agree with Scott his better position in the NBA will be power forward, I do not think I would use a number 9 pick on him. I think Dieng could be a power forward as well as Zeller could. Scott yeah the deal to Minnesota for 9 and 26 picks is much more attractive.

    For those of you who like Oladipo because of need remember McD has already said they will be drafting based on the best player not need. Need is what got us Marshall remember. Hawki, while I definitely agree with ya that Burke has the most upside, I do not think we would have to trade Dragic as more and more teams are playing two points guards together. Dragic is probably the same size as Oladipo
    .
    DBreezy well said about Oladipo. Using a top 5 pick on him just does not excite me. On the way to the gym, need to play some hoops as things are getting exciting on Planet Orange.

  • 33 Ben // May 26, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Victor Oladipo is not the answer-not even close. What is a shooting guard who can’t shoot, but only defend going to help us? We all saw how much MKG helped the Bobcats with his defense and no offense, and he was the second pick in a loaded class, and Oladipo would be the fifth pick in an awful class. If Oladipo is better than MKG, why wouldn’t he be considered the 1st or second overall pick considering how weak this class is? Also it has been proven rookie guards struggle mightily in their first few years on the defensive end especially. If we’re drafting him to be a defensive specialist, what good is he if there’s a pretty good chance he’s going be a liability his first few seasons?

    With that said, outside of Porter, Noel, and Mclemore, there are 3 guys who I would take ahead of Oladipo without blinking: Burke, Bennett, and McCollum.

    Before freaking out about taking Burke while we still have Marshall, remember this: Marshall was drafted as a pure passer and, until the end of the year, struggled mightily. Burke was the best player in college basketball and “Kemba’d” his team to a Final 4 and championship appearance. He can not only pass better than Marshall, he has those intangible qualities of a leader and can shoot lights out as well. Not to mention his skill set, measurables, and play imitates closely that of Chris Paul.

    Bennett is everything we need in a 3/4. Think of an actually efficient Michael Beasley. Dude has NBA 3 point range, can dominate on the low block, can rebound like crazy, and has incredible defensive potential. He can be Kevin Love with a low post game. And we should be able to keep him healthy with our training staff.

    Finally, my favorite, is McCollum. He is Stephan Curry in Damian Lillard’s body. He already appears to be fully recovered from his foot injury and, if anything were to flare up, we have the best training staff in the NBA. He can get to the rim with ease, rebound, shoot lights out, and defend really well off the ball. He is almost a lock for rookie of the year and should put up just as good if not better numbers than Lillard. Plus he’s only a year older than Oladipo and has a much more polished game.

    If we draft Oladipo, it’ll be just wasting a draft pick. Give the fans something we can cheer for, don’t give us mediocrity.

  • 34 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I appreciate the criticism of the idea of picking Zeller over Oladipo. I’m looking for the holes in the idea myself.

    First, getting pushed around: he’s got to get stronger. But that’s common for front court rookies, and even back court rookies typically have to build strength. There are a few guys with NBA bodies in college, typically upper classmen, and Zeller was not one of them. He’s only 20, and is still filling out his frame.

    As for having his shots swatted … if you’re talking about around the basket, is that a strength issue too? I understand he didn’t take many jump shots, but unless he has a low release, I wouldn’t think that would be an issue.

    Keep in mind that while Zeller is billed as being soft and someone who tries to avoid contact, he was averaging 7 foul shots a game. Compare that to Gortat, who was averaging 2, and roughly the same for O’Neal, Scola, and Markieff.

    As for Dieng at PF, while he might be able to shoot a jumper, he may lack the lateral quickness needed to guard the perimeter, and the handling needed to drive, and it would be a waste of his length, because at center he is a good rim protector.

    Zeller may lack lateral quickness as well … it’s hard for me to tell. He is 7′ tall, after all. But he has a face up game, a back to the basket game, he can go left or right, and with his high IQ I bet he shoots like his brother Luke, except with the competitiveness to actually hit the shots in-game, all the way out to 3.

  • 35 Joey // May 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Suns should take oladipo or bennett. Trade gortat for another pick and try to draft len or that frenchy Gorbet. Then with the 30th pick grab goodwin or crabbe or maybe hardaway jr. Any combo of three of those guys would be a nice start of young talent. Forget softy players like zeller or adams. I’m tired of the suns getting slow white centers who play soft and can’t move their feet. Hopefully we tank this year and finally catch a break in the lottery next year to get wiggins. Then we would have a real exciting future. Go suns

  • 36 bill.thomas // May 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Dragic won’t let us tank. If we want to TANK, we will have to FREE DRAGIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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