Tony Snell: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile

Posted by on June 4th, 12:00 pm

Strengths

If you only look at his junior year statistics at New Mexico (12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 rebounds per game), Tony Snell appears to be nothing more than a nice pickup in the early portion of the second round.

But after impressing scouts at the NBA Combine in Chicago, there’s talk that the 6-foot-7 guard/forward could sneak his way into the latter part of the first round on June 27.

A first-round pick might be a stretch for the former Lobo, but he is one of the top catch-and-shoot (42.2 field goal percentage and 39.0 three-point percentage) prospects in the 2013 Draft Class, with a smooth stroke, good perimeter footwork and an ability to move well without the basketball or off of a teammate’s pick.

Snell doesn’t have elite ball-handling skills, but he can get to the rim rather easily with his long strides, a 6-foot-11 wingspan and first-rate athleticism.

Question marks

The Riverside native has the shot, the length and the lateral quickness to play the three at both ends of the floor but at 200 pounds he lacks the frame and upper body strength to stay with a majority of the league’s top-flight players at the position.

In addition to concerns about his potential tweener status, Snell’s motor should also be considered a major issue. While he got hot (double-digit scoring in nine of last 10 games to finish the regular season) at just the right time in 2012-13, when things were going bad for the former New Mexico standout, they went real bad. Either he’d continue to throw up bad shot after bad shot, or he’d disappear.

In the Lobos’ six losses last season, Snell averaged just over 10 points per game and shot 36.3 percent from the field. On the year, he had seven 20-point contests, but also had eight games where he made two field goals or less.

While he was certainly streaky in 2012-13, Snell didn’t exactly help himself out by getting to the charity stripe. As a junior, he made 84 percent of his attempts from the free throw line, but often settled for floaters lane rather than letting his dribble take him to the basket.

Snell averaged an abysmal 2.9 free throw attempts per game and on nine different occasions never even took a trip to the line – including New Mexico’s second-round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Harvard.

X-factor

Bulking up will go a long way towards distinguishing what Snell is at the next level, but he’ll also need to develop a pull-up jump shot and some semblance of a desire to crash the glass (2.6 rebounds per game in 2012-13) at both ends of the floor.

Snell has an NBA-caliber shot that he can get off in most situations due to stellar mechanics and the elevation he puts on the ball. However, he also benefited from playing in an offense at New Mexico that was predicated on ball movement and player motion.

With that said, isolation offense should’ve come a lot easier to him than it did in college. If Snell is to improve in that area, he’ll need to work on his upper body strength in the weight room, but also commit to adding a mid-range game opposing defenders will have to respect.

How he would fit with the Suns

With Michael Beasley still under contract and Wesley Johnson potentially coming back for 2013-14, the fit doesn’t seem like a natural one when it comes to Snell.

He’s a superior passer than the aforementioned Beasley and Johnson, but the last thing the Suns need is another one-dimensional wing player, who shuts down at the first sign of trouble.

There’s a lot to like about Snell’s game — especially if he can add some muscle to his frame – but at No. 30, Ryan McDonough and Co. would be wise to select someone who could come in right away and contribute at a set position.

At least at the moment, Snell doesn’t seem like that guy. While he’s drawn comparisons to fellow Martin Luther King High School alum Kawhi Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs forward was far more of an NBA-ready product going into his draft in 2011.

And 1 … A second-rounder to consider

Erik Murphy. The 6-foot-10 forward out of Florida is still growing into his body, after adding around 20 pounds of muscle over the last two seasons. However, he’s a post player who can get physical on the block but who also likes to shoot — finished second only to Creighton’s Doug McDermott in the jump shots per game by big men in 2012-13 — from the perimeter. During his senior season, Murphy shot 51.6 percent from the field, 45.3 from three-point range and 78.4 percent from the line.

Because of his rather soft touch, the Rhode Island native served as a pretty solid option for the Gators in pick-and-pop situations or in designed set shots from the wing.

At 240 pounds, Murphy developed a decent back-to-the-basket game over his final few years in Gainesville, as well. He has above average feel around the basket and can connect on hook shots consistently with either hand. The former Florida standout’s physical maturation has also allowed him to be a more aggressive player on the defense end, especially in the paint. Where he could become a defensive liability in the NBA, though, is on the glass (4.5 rebounds per game in 2011-12 and 5.5 per game in 2012-13) or away from the basket.

 

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 · Ryan McDonough

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Forever is2long // Jun 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    While I am certain the Suns would like to find someone at #30 ready to play, isn’t that unrealistic in a weak draft? Since it is my understanding McD is looking for someone with a high ceiling, not necessarily one with an immediate impact, Snell could be that guy at 30 unless maybe Hardaway slips a bit.

  • 2 Scott // Jun 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I wouldn’t consider Snell to be a top priority for the Suns. I still firmly believe Goodwin should be the target of their 2nd first round pick.

    However, if the Suns get additional picks or miss out on Goodwin, Snell is a reasonable pickup for his athleticism and 3 point shooting.

    As the article states, he’s too light to play 3 right now, and he lacks the handles to do any driving at SG.

    Also, probably going undrafted is Andre Roberson, who could play SF and provide much of what Snell would give at that spot, plus rebounding.

    If the Suns can get extra picks in trade, having both Goodwin and Snell wouldn’t be bad to me, as I don’t see any particular need to bring forward any of the SGs the Suns used last year, and I think Dudley (and possibly Tucker as well) should be traded to a team that’s closer to contending.

  • 3 Scott // Jun 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    ATM, unlikely to happen as it is, this is still my dream scenario:

    Pick #5 traded to Minnesota for picks #9 & #26
    Draft #9, Cody Zeller
    Trade Gortat to Portland for #10 & #39 picks
    Draft #10, Steven Adams
    Trade Tucker to Dallas for #13 pick
    Draft #13, Dennis Schroeder
    Trade Dudley to Atlanta for #17
    Draft #17, Gorgui Dieng
    Draft #26, Archie Goodwin
    Draft #30, Tony Snell
    Trade Brown for Tom Robinson and #34 pick
    Draft #34, Livio Jean-Charles
    Draft #39, Nemanja Nedovic
    Draft #57, Raul Neto

    BTW, regarding Steven Adams, this is how a Bulls fan sees him:

    These are the top four centers at physically impacting the game over the last three years (see below). Adams is obviously in elite company. He is also huge, strong, young and athletic. It’s pretty simple: he should be a lottery pick. He is currently slated to go 16th according to DX.com. I doubt he makes it to 16 much less 20, but if he does it’s a no-brainer.

    He was also 26th in the NCAA in statistical plus-minus, which drills a little deeper into the impact he was able to make defensively. He was 3rd among freshman behind Smart and Noel.

    Nerlens Noel – 11.30

    Anthony Davis – 11.20

    Steven Adams – 10.10

    Andre Drummond – 9.90

    AVERAGE CENTER – 8.14

    OKC has already brought Adams in to check out as a possible pick for them at #12, and fans voted “yes” on taking him.

  • 4 Scott // Jun 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Oops! Skipped an important detail on that table …

    The rating is for “Per40 ORB+STL+BLK.”

  • 5 Forever is2long // Jun 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    If the Suns get two or more solid picks, I am heading to Vegas to try and catch 2 games for the Vegas summer league. Then again if Marshall is still on the team I may have to re-think this ( I hate his game).

  • 6 foreveris2long // Jun 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    It is my understanding Oladipo and maybe Zeller will be working out for the Suns tomorrow. I see Franklin is moving up the ladder in some mock drafts to being selected in top 20.

  • 7 Scott // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    @forever -

    Was that you accosting Marshall? :)

    KButter5 Dude comes up to me in sushi bar, says hello, takes a pic. cool. before he leaves: “Nice to meet you again, get that 3pt % up!” -_-

  • 8 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    We’ve got to get Kantevious Pope. With a name like that, he’s sure to turn into a Jr. Kobe !!!!! Have you all watched his video highlights ???

    Next year we’ll put the Pope on Kobe and see what Kobe can do !!!!

  • 9 hawki // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    @ Scott

    Bold move going for Nedovic at 39.

  • 10 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Is Tony on Vacay, or is this a Strike/Walkout/Boycott ??????????

  • 11 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    If the Pope can’t handle Kobe, no one can !!!

  • 12 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Let’s trade K-Butter for the 38th pick !!!!

  • 13 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Can you hear the announcer now: The Pope is on the court at the top of the key, directing traffic, 15 seconds left !!!!

  • 14 hawki // Jun 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    bill…..had a vision the other day that the Suns shocked everyone by taking Pope at 5…
    that’s assuming that Noel, Mclemore, Porter & Oladipo go 1-4.

    I’m figuring McD is exploring ways to trade down.

  • 15 Scott // Jun 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    @hawki -

    I was calling attention to Nedovic on this board last year around Feb. While I don’t think he’s a sure-fire answer for the Suns, he’s a combo guard who has hops. He can dribble, pass, and defend, though like many young players he has defensive lapses. If he was consistently defending, he’d be a virtual clone of Dragic.

    Nedovic has been higher in DX’s mock than he is now. They recently revised it, and now he’s at #52.

    For that matter, DX now has Goodwin at #39, and Tim Hardaway – who months ago wasn’t even in their 2nd round – is now at #25.

    Adams has moved up to #10, which is right where I have the Suns taking him (via trade of Gortat to Portland).

    DX has Zeller going to Philly at #11, but I’m not sure he’ll go that high. He won’t slide beyond Utah at #14, though.

    I’m concerned that McD is being counseled by Babby to take it easy on this draft and just pick the picks in front of him, which is too bad. IMO, the Suns won’t gain anything by hanging onto their vets. McD needs to do what other GMs have done, and rapidly gut and rebuild the team.

  • 16 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    hey, who can spare a little peyote?? I wanna have some for my audience with the POPE !!

  • 17 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Babby is counseling McDonough? Babby needs to take a quick Chap. 7 and move on !!!!

  • 18 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    babby? Did someone say BABBY? iS THAT HUGE turd STILL WITH US ?????

  • 19 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    turd turd turd turd turd !!!!!!!!!!!

  • 20 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Bring it on Lon. Any Time, anywhere, Bitch !!!!!

  • 21 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Absolute TURD. Please someone, call the exterminators !!!!!!!

  • 22 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Bring on the Pooper Scoopers Big Time. And bring all the Babby Poop to Sarver and his lovely family !!!!!!

  • 23 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Hold on, some of my comments may be out of place. By talking so much about turds and poop, the EPA may be tempted to get involved. I don’t know if that would be good for this organization. Once they get involved, there is only one person who can get them out. That is the POPE!!!

  • 24 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    IMO, Babby’s unemployment check would be at most $300 per week. Cut the cord, no further payments, and let him sue you if he wants the rest of the salary.

    Kind of hard to hire a lawyer with the unemployment checks.

  • 25 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Blanks has stopped taking the unemployment checks. He has a new JOB driving a Yellow Cab. Hooray !!!!!!!

  • 26 bill.thomas // Jun 4, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    When school opens up in the fall, Blanks is going to be an asst. gym teacher at an all-girls middle school. You heard it first here.

  • 27 bill.thomas // Jun 5, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Barkley was 100% right. This organization still has TURD all over its face . GET THE BUM’s OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 28 bill.thomas // Jun 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Waive Shannon and FRY Babby. Feed Babby’s corpse to anyone waived..to provide a little protein for further endeavors!

  • 29 bill.thomas // Jun 5, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Frankly I don’t care if you fry him, steam him, microwave him or chamber him.

  • 30 bill.thomas // Jun 5, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Did you know you have to log in thru Facebook to post on BSOTS ?? If my last act on earth would be to SHIT on MARC ZUCKERBURG’S MOTHER’S FACE, I WOULD LEAVE A VERY HAPPY MAN.

  • 31 DBreezy // Jun 5, 2013 at 6:58 am

    BMac, Oladipo, Bazz, Zeller and Gobert are supposed to be working out today according to Coro. Hopefully they get to go head to head as it could be one of the greater team workouts in years.

  • 32 DBreezy // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:05 am

    To me the inclusion of Gobert and Zeller in particular, along with Bazz potentially, means that the Suns are at least thinking about adding another lottery pick. That’s a big start as in the past the Suns have tended not to even work out people who were out of their projected range. They also paid little attention to people they decided ahead of time wouldn’t be system fits for them. In both cases they seemed unprepared for the inevitable changes that occur on draft day.

  • 33 DBreezy // Jun 5, 2013 at 9:10 am

    MCW is in the workout too according to Coro.

  • 34 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Good insight DBreezy. Glad the Suns are looking at Michael Carter Williams as well as others.

    Scott, It wasn’t me speaking to Marshall. If I ever saw him on the street I would tell him place the Unemployment Office phone number on speed dial after his contract runs out.

  • 35 DBreezy // Jun 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

    The Suns official announcement of the list does not include MCW for today’s workout although MCW did tweet that he’s headed to his first workout in PHX. Perhaps he’s coming in tomorrow as I believe the rules say that they can have a max of 6 guys in at a time and the Suns are saying that Len is here today as well. I don’t if that 6 rule means prospects overall or 6 on the court at the same time.

  • 36 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

    @DBreezy -

    I can only hope! The Suns surely need to make some deals and – in farming terms – turn the soil over and start afresh.

    Hard to believe the Suns have BMac, Oladipo, Shabazz, Zeller, Gobert, and MCW in on one day! That’s like all the top picks that can walk! lol

    @bill. -

    I was only speculating about the influence of Babby, nothing more. It would be the worst outcome, IMO.

    @Forever -

    I’d advise Marshall to brush up on his Mandarin. :)

  • 37 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Coro tweets that MCW is in town for a tryout tomorrow.

  • 38 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    If the Suns trade a veteran to get an additional lottery pick (please say yes OKC and give us Lamb?jones), I am going to Vegas to see the summer league, even if Marshall is still on the team. I wonder who will coach the summer team. However you can bet McD will be in attendance.

  • 39 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 11:16 am

    @forever -

    I don’t know if you saw my earlier post on this, but Portland has spoken to the press about wanting to get a proven defensive center to go along with Meyers Leonard. They have about $11m in cap, but aren’t sure they want to spend it all, and they’re willing to trade their first and maybe also a 2nd round pick to get a center. On the list was Gortat. Since there are several centers available in free agency – for which they would not need to trade – when they talk about trading I have to wonder if they’re thinking about Gortat.

    What other center is there in the the league that they might assume they could get for a pick? The teams I can think of don’t want to trade their center, and I would be totally frosted if they’re thinking of trading the #10 for Robin Lopez!

    Portland has the #10 pick, plus #39, #40, and #45 in the 2nd round.

  • 40 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Scott,

    Yeah I did see your earlier post about Portland possibly having interest. Gortat would fit in well there but if I McD I would prefer to get Lamb or P.Jones III plus their # 12 pick instead of Portland’s 1st and a mid second. As for New Orleans maybe trading Lopez, after the season was over reports indicated the Pelicans were pretty high on him because he showed more offense than they anticipated. The coach essentially commented due to the hard work he puts in, they expected he would develop a reliable hook shot this summer and improve his rebounding. Supposedly Portland did have some interest in Lopez last summer.

    With that said they might trade him I guess if they thought Len had more upside than Lopez and Trey Burke wasn’t available. Supposedly they are fairly high on Burke and would take him at the 6th spot. Although if I am the NO GM, I would not trade Lopez as there are not many true 7 foot centers coming out this year or next and just stick with my plan to take T.Burke.

    Maybe Portland gives us Leonard and their #10 spot for Gortat. I would still rather Lamb/P.Jones and the #12 pick from OKC but Portland absolutely should be in play. I will say this, if we got Lamb and the number 12 pick, I would think about taking Len with the #5 pick since we would have Lamb or take Oladipo if available at 5 and take Dieng with the number 12 pick. Either way an additional lottery pick should significantly improve this roster.

  • 41 Suns Fan In Portland // Jun 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I kinda doubt teh Blazers would give up the 10th pick for Gortat, and there’s no way in hell they’ll give up M. Leonard AND the 10th. Leonard is the kind of prospect the Suns need however, he’s big, young, and definitely has talent.

  • 42 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    @Suns Fan In Portland -

    Yeah, they want a veteran center to go along with Leonard, not to get rid of Leonard. I can see giving the #10 for Gortat, and if the Suns can get another 2nd rounder, that would be great for picking one of the many foreign players in the 2nd round.

    Basically, Portland doesn’t want two young centers, so while they could possibly draft a big (Len, Adams, etc.), they’d greatly prefer to have a veteran in there.

    I think Gortat’s a good fit for Portland, in that he’s still fairly young, he’s durable, athletic, and he’s still adding to his game. They’d be getting him in the last year of his current contract, so they’d be in position to re-sign him at the end of next season, which should fit under their cap.

  • 43 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Scott, I am curious as to why you would prefer Portland’s lottery pick and a mid 2nd round pick over what OKC could offer in their #12 pick and either Lamb or P.Jones III. Lamb and P.Jones III are better than anything you find in the 2nd round in a weak draft.

  • 44 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    @forever -

    I just think with Kevin Martin’s contract expiring, OKC is going to resolve their problems at C by signing Al Jefferson. This will move Perkins to backup C. I believe they intend to keep Lamb and PJ3, and will use their picks on foreign players to stash overseas. Specifically, I think they’re aiming to take Gobert, Adetokunbo, and Jaiteh.

    Portland, on the other hand, seems to genuinely want to trade their #10 pick for a veteran center. Their pick is possibly high enough for the Suns to take Adams (in before Philly, at #11), and if they give the Suns a 2nd rounder, it might be high enough to take Jean-Charles, who seems to be an excellent defender / lob guy.

  • 45 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks Scott, your thoughts are duly noted.

  • 46 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Now, if OKC is thinking they might end up in a bidding war with Dallas over Jefferson, and they don’t like any of the other FA Cs, then maybe they’d have a plan for dealing with that which would involve trading their #12 pick, and possibly other assets.

    But I think OKC’s bid for Jefferson – if I’m right – will be fairly strong, considering their status as perennial contender.

  • 47 Forever is2long // Jun 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    The thing you have to keep in mind is Gortat is a bigger body who earns significantly less money than Jefferson. Maybe they go the Jefferson route but I doubt Jefferson gives them any better defense than Perkins as they both are about 6’9″. Money is important as I think they are going to try and find another perimeter scorer.

  • 48 Scott // Jun 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Big Al is listed at 6′ 10″ and 289 lbs, with a 7′ 3″ wingspan. He’s also one of the few centers who is crafty around the basket, so you can pass the ball down low and he’ll be able to do something.

    Unless they’ve given up on Lamb, I think next year they’ll be using Sefolosha and Lamb at SG. Sefolosha can hit the 3.

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