Archie Goodwin: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile

Posted by on May 26th, 10:00 am

Strengths

As crazy as it sounds, when looking back at the 2013 NBA Draft, Ryan McDonough might be judged as much by what he does at No. 30 as what he does at No. 5. The Class of 2013 has been panned for not being top-heavy and for good reason, but late first-round prospects like Archie Goodwin have a chance to be quality, impact players in the league if given the right opportunity to develop.

Whether Goodwin deserves that chance right away, well, that remains to be seen.

What we do know about the Little Rock native is that he can create for himself on the perimeter or in the lane (led Kentucky with 14.1 PPG in 2012-13), has no problem getting to the basket with either hand (especially from the wing) and plays above the rim at both ends of the court.

At 6-foot-5, he’s a skilled combo guard with a quick, attacking first step, an impressive crossover dribble and an ability to push the tempo — whether off a turnover or a missed basket.

While the Wildcats failed to make the NCAA tournament this past season, the bright lights didn’t seem to phase the 18-year-old. Three of his most notable games came on national TV against Duke (16 points, six rebounds, four assists), Louisville (22 points and five rebounds) and Ole Miss (24 points, six rebounds and four assists).

Question marks

Goodwin clearly has the athleticism, the explosiveness and the wingspan (6-foot-10) to play at the next level, but his shot selection, mechanics and consistency from both the free throw line and three-point range are a bit troubling.

As a freshman, Goodwin had no problem getting off his shot – whether it came off his own dribble or off of a screen from another teammate. His issue was connecting on it. For the season, the former McDonald’s All-American shot 26.6 percent from distance and went 11 straight games during SEC play without connecting on a single three-point shot. He also shot an underwhelming 63.7 percent from the charity stripe.

From Goodwin’s film, it seems most of his shooting woes can be attributed to his lower body mechanics. While his shot and follow through seem to be relatively under control, he doesn’t always release with a balanced frame. One leg is usually bent forward during the release and at times neither foot is firmly square towards the basket. Because of those flaws in technique, Goodwin’s shot has a tendency to be rather flat.

Those seem like fixable habits, although he didn’t do much to impress scouts at the NBA Combine in Chicago.

X-factor

Without question Goodwin has traits that make him attractive to NBA GMs, but he also showed a side during his year at Kentucky that leaves some cause for concern.

When things were going good for John Calipari and Co. early in 2012-13, Goodwin was going well. But when things went south come February and March, the former Wildcat didn’t always seem as invested in his team’s well-being as he was in his own. (See shot selection in losses to Tennessee on Feb. 15 and Georgia on March 7 for examples)

Combine that with the fact he’s the youngest American prospect in the draft and had trouble holding on to the ball in college (3.8 turnovers per 40 minutes adjusted), and it becomes clear that maturity/experience, or a lack there of, may be the biggest thing holding Goodwin back.

How would he fit with the Suns?

If you’re expecting Goodwin to come in right away in the absence of say a Wesley Johnson or Shannon Brown in 2013-14, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

At this point, he’s a late first-round pick based on potential not instant impact.

In fact, the consensus on Goodwin is that he’s only in this year’s draft because of the impressive crop of freshmen coming to Kentucky next season.

There’s a chance he eventually flourishes into a Jamal Crawford or Tyreke Evans-type of combo guard, but Goodwin probably won’t be ready to play 20-25 meaningful minutes a game until at least 2015 or 2016.

If he presents himself as the best value at No. 30 come June 27, then McDonough would be foolish to pass on Goodwin. However, if names like Allen Crabbe or Jamaal Franklin are still on the board, you’d have to think the Suns would take a pass on the Kentucky standout, after all the team’s roster is already pretty full of “projects” as it is.

And 1 … A second-rounder to consider

Trevor Mbakwe out of Minnesota. Outside of UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, there aren’t a ton of true fours available in the draft, so the Suns would be wise to at least take a look at the 24-year-old should he still be on the late in the second round.

The former Gopher certainly has his limitations at the offensive end — little range outside of eight feet, poor jump shot and only a select amount of post-up moves — but he plays with a high motor, an explosiveness on the offensive and defensive glass and can maneuver his way in the paint for easy baskets.

Mbakwe’s health (tore his ACL in 2011-12) and notable run-ins with the law (arrested for violating restraining order in 2011 and DUI conviction in Sept. 2012 ) have taken a toll on his stock understandably, but he has the potential to be a Kenneth Faried-type player should a team take a chance on him.

Dave Dulberg

Dave Dulberg is a ValleyoftheSuns staff writer who recently graduated from the University of Southern California. He also works as a web content writer/editor for Arizona Sports 620 KTAR.

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Tags: Draft · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Phoenix Suns News

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I see Goodwin as my least justifiable pick. But I believe he’s got the right stuff, he’s just a couple of years out, which makes him available to the Suns.

    I’ve always seen him as needing 2 years of baking before he’s done. He needs to correct his shooting form, which is inconsistent. From what I’ve seen, when he shoots with a high release he’s normally more accurate. If the Suns get Hornacek, Goodwin would stand to benefit not only from having a former star SG as his coach, but Hornacek was also a shooting coach for Utah. Hornacek would also help Goodwin with his off-ball game.

    Goodwin has good size, length, athleticism, aggression, and IQ for the SG spot. He can handle, drive, finish, and shoot, but he needs to build strength, and his frame can take about as much muscle as he wants to add. If you’re looking for a player with killer instinct, he’s one of your better bets.

    So he’s not a “Mamba” yet. But he’s a Baby Mamba … maybe. ;)

    As for Trevor Mbakwe, if the Suns wind up with room in their front court (Frye out, or Beasley bought out, or Morrises cut / traded), Mbakwe is a guy I selected long ago as being a potential hoss at PF. He’s 24, possibly the oldest guy in the draft, and he’s going to be a scrappy rebounder and enforcer inside. A role player off the bench, to be sure, but a kind most teams need.

  • 2 foreveris2long // May 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I agree with Dulberg that if Snell, Crabbe or Franklin is available, they would all get priority over Goodwin. I also think Hardaway would get the nod before Goodwin but there are rumors him and Snell might go 20-25. Anyway this is a good article as it gives us additional insight on Goodwin. I know Scott likes him.

  • 3 A-Game // May 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Brian Shaw was my first choice, but “Horny” was my “very” close (and I mean CLOSE) second. If the reports are true, this would be a tremendous hire for the Suns. I like it!

    The suns broke the Celtic’s heart by luring in McDonough, and now they’re about to do the same to Jazz.

    Two slam dunk hires IMHO :)

  • 4 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 11:35 am

    For the record, I don’t agree that Snell, Crabbe, or Franklin should be taken by the Suns above Goodwin.

    Franklin, to me, does not project to be much more than a taller Shannon Brown. Crabbe seems destined to play the role of shooter-off-the-bench, ala Steve Kerr. Snell seems to be the best of these 3, and I’d say he’s the safest pick of all four. But if you’re looking for star potential, I believe Goodwin is the only one of the group that has it.

    The Suns need stars, and now’s the time to pick them when they are available.

  • 5 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 11:43 am

    In the “nosy neighbor” department … here’s pix of Dudley’s new home in San Diego …

    http://newcelebrityhomes.blogspot.com/2013/04/jared-dudleys-new-house.html

  • 6 DBreezy // May 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Goodwin is a guy, teams are just going to have to bring in, push a bit in workouts and see where his head is at right now. It’s easy to see the Jamal Crawford comparisons because they have similar bodies and move the same, but I think Goodwin is far more aggressive to the bucket than Crawford ever was. I think Jamal will always be more confortable taking J’s than Goodwin, although Goodwin certainly can improve there. Kind of like how Dwayne Wade is a much better shooter than when he came into the league, but his nature still has him wanting to go to the basket first.

  • 7 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Having several players who attack the basket is important. One measure of that is free throw attempts (FTA).

    Goodwin (18 y.o.) attempted 6 FT a game.

    Snell: 3 FTA (21 y.o.)
    Franklin: 7 FTA (21 y.o.)
    Crabbe: 4 FTA (21 y.o.)
    Hardaway: 3 FTA (21 y.o.)

    Zeller (20 y.o.) averaged 7 FTA, and Oladipo (21 y.o.) had 4 FTA.

  • 8 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Keep in mind that of the current Suns, only Dragic attacks the basket with any regularity (4 FTA). The rest have 2 or fewer FTAs per game.

    IMO, that’s a central weak spot for the Suns. FTA is part of what you’re looking for in stars and crunch time players. Dead-eye 3 pt shooting is good to have too, but generally most 3 pt shooting works better when defensive attention is already focused around the hoop.

    Amare used to get around 7-10 FTA in the old days.

  • 9 foreveris2long // May 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Scott I have to ask if you have ever seen Franklin play in a game? I have no idea why you compare him to Shannon Brown when he is a good defender and rebounder.

  • 10 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    @forever -

    I make no secret that virtually all of my scouting information comes from DX, for good or ill. It’s by far the most reliable, detailed source I’ve found.

    I was watching the Franklin draft video on DX, and throughout the first part (Strengths), I was going “Yes … yes … OMG! This guy is really good! The Suns need to get him!!!”

    And then I watched the part on Weaknesses, and was like “Ahhh. I see. That’s too bad.”

    IIRC, the problems are that he needs to have the ball in his hands (ballhog), he often has questionable decision making, he tends to force the offense, and he logs 3-4 TOs per game.

    To me, this sounds EXACTLY like Beasley and Brown. They’re great athletes and can create their own shot, but the ball sticks when it falls into their hands, they try to create a shot for themselves, and all too often they force their shot or turn the ball over.

    Players who create offense have to be able to quickly assess their chances of success, and if it’s not there, they need to be able to either create an opportunity for someone else or dish it off to reset while there’s still time to make a new play. Both Brown and Beasley really struggle with this aspect of the game, and this is how they kill their teams.

    Franklin looks like the same kind of guy. Could he grow out of it if given the opportunity? Maybe. But with all the chances Brown and Beasley have been given, have they grown out of it? No.

    I think it’s an IQ issue, and I think it’s why many players refuse to create their own offense. They don’t want to be the ballhog guy who wastes precious seconds and possessions forcing the offense. They realize they can’t do it, so they focus on the simple things they CAN do.

    Now … of course I could be wrong in my assessment of Franklin. But that’s what I saw in the DX video and how I formed my opinion.

  • 11 Scott // May 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    BTW, I noticed that for some reason DX doesn’t have the Franklin video linked on his player page.

    So here it is:

  • 12 DBreezy // May 27, 2013 at 12:00 am

    For context Scott, I’d also probably throw B-Mac in there at 3.7 FTA per game and Shabazz at 5.6 a game as both of those guys are higher on boards than most of the guys you listed outside of VO.

  • 13 Scott // May 27, 2013 at 1:35 am

    @DBreezy -

    You can make the case for comparing top of the first round players in one pool and bottom of the first in another pool.

    Zeller, at 7 FTA, looks pretty good to me as a top pick.

    Goodwin, at 6 FTA, looks good to me as a bottom pick.

    So far as I can tell, those two guys have good motors, are highly competitive, have high IQ, have good character, can defend, can score, can share, have good size, good length, good weight, quick feet, are athletic, are young, and so on.

    Consequently, they appear to me to have lots of potential.

  • 14 DBreezy // May 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    @Scott,

    Initially at least I like comparing them in one pool and start thinking about splitting them as the potential draft board gets a little more solid closer to the draft. Both Goodwin and Zeller have lots of potential. I’ve said several times on here this season that while. I would not take Cody with the Suns’ first pick if were available at the now lost LA pick I’d strongly consider him as he’s got upside and is likely better than any of the Suns current 4′s. Scola!s probably got him on veteran saavy at the moment, but that gap will close IMO.

  • 15 Scott // May 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    ^^ Yeah, I would be reluctant to take Zeller with the #5 pick, especially if I could trade down and still take him.

    But I do think he’d go before Gobert, so I wouldn’t wait too long on taking him.

  • 16 THEDRAGON!!!!! // May 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I would take Archie Goodwin, he has got some clutch in him, which is exactly what the Suns need. Don’t forget, we have Hornaceck as head coach now, and he specializes in helping players raise their field goal percentage. Remeber, Goodwan is just a freshman.

  • 17 Azbballfan // May 28, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I have been singing Franklins praises for a while now, and if we cannot get Oladipo or trade up for him, a draft haul of Len, Franklin, and Nedovic would be excellent as well

    This team is really, really lacking in athleticism and filling the backcourt with two bigtime leapers like Franklin and Nedovic would really help this teams offense

    A lineup of Dragic, Nedovic, Franklin, Morris and Len would be just fine to me

    We are getting a rookie coach and rookie GM so why not start 3 rookies? it would be waste to destroy cap space with free agent singnings this summer (unless someone wants to come here for a decent price)

    and expectations will be low

    i know someone on what was it, brightside of the sun mentioned a possible eric gordon trade but that would be a bad deal

    th guy is injury prone and playing on a max deal

    i know he wanted to come here, and he would fill a big hole at the 2 spot for the foreseeable future, but giving max money to a borderline all-star would be a bad investment long term

    Sace the $$$ for summer 2014, draft these 3 guys and call it a day (unless something better comes along of course)

    I like Goodwin, btw, but if it came down to him and franklin i would go with franklin

    i would consider goodwin though if we got ahold of a late 1st rounder (hey Knicks! want Jared Dudley?)

  • 18 bill.thomas // May 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    The Knicks should really give us their 24th and something additional, maybe Chris Copeland or a 2nd rounder. Dudley’s contract is excellent as is his professionalism. Novak is an incredible defensive liability and should only be inserted in spot situations. I haven’t looked it up but do not believe he played much in the playoffs this year, presumably for such reasons.

  • 19 Azbballfan // May 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Yeah, i think your right Bill

    Chris Copeland i heard on hoopshype wants a big payday

    i dont know the likelyhood of us getting him or what he is expecting to get in terms of a new deal

    I would rather go with a rookie wing on the cheap then given a unproven guy big money, but thats just me

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