PHOENIX — Anthony Bennett dressed in a Polo and Jordan’s for his visit to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, but that shouldn’t do much to hinder his draft stock. With a shoulder injury initially called a torn labrum but one that later required surgery, the UNLV forward won’t be able to play until training camp and may miss summer league, but there’s little reason to believe he won’t make a full recovery, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said.
Bennett, a 20-year-old from Toronto, projects as a hybrid forward who is a tad bit undersized for a 4 but likely to play his pro ball at that spot.
“I think he’s primarily a four but is able to step out and play some three,” McDonough said, citing Bennett’s 37 percent shooting from three-point range. “Huge shoulders, long arms. He’s versatile. That’s one of the strengths of his game.
“I think four will be his primary position,” he added. “If he can guard some threes that’d be a bonus. He actually has a similar body type to Brandon Bass who we had in Boston. Brandon’s not that tall … but Brandon guards LeBron and Carmelo and all those power 3s. I could see Bennett in that same role.”
[RELATED: Anthony Bennett prospect profile]
Before having surgery, Bennett was working out in Long Island with past Suns workout invitees such as Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. McCollum and said he was focusing on honing his perimeter skills. His three-point shot was beyond NBA range, he said, and there was emphasis to put the ball on the deck and also defend faster players.
“I feel like I’m versatile,” Bennett said. “I can go inside and out. You can say I do the dirty work down low. You know, I can play the 3. I’ve been working on that before the surgery, really. I’m getting more comfortable out there.”
Goodwin the stereotypical OKC project pick
Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin was projected as a first-round hit before playing his single season for the Kentucky Wildcats. Talent-wise, there’s no reason to believe he’s not a first-round talent.
But he won’t turn 19 until August — that’s young even for his class. That might hurt his stock, and so too does his lack of a jump shot. Both McDonough and coach Jeff Hornacek said Goodwin’s shot look much improved on Saturday. The Suns coach added that Goodwin, not to mention Virginia Tech’s Erick Green and South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters, shot the ball well.
[RELATED: Archie Goodwin prospect profile]
“Obviously he’s going to need to learn the game better,” Hornacek said. “He’s used to being a scorer. He can still be a scorer but he’s going to have to be, more the mental part of the game … a point guard. Really see the game, see how it develops, not only for himself but for his teammates. When you got a young kid like that, those are the guys you can kind of train. You can tell he has a feel.”
Goodwin looks like a prime target for the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team well-known for developing talent that’s more raw than many other squads would take a risk on. Dallas, Philly, Cleveland and the Thunder, who pick one spot ahead of Phoenix at 29, have already taken a look at the youngster.
- The workout list also included Green — we’ll have a profile on him tomorrow — Wolters, Illinois State big man Jackie Carmichael, Davidson forward Jake Cohen and Oklahoma forward Romero Osby.
- McDonough on if the fifth pick will change the philosophy on the 30th and so on: “Who we draft at 30 may depend on what position we draft at 5. A lot of times it’s tough to bring in two rookies at the same position. There can be times where they stunt each other’s growth where one doesn’t get the opportunity.
“There’s more variance with 30. We have to be prepared for more guys.”