Steven Adams: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile

PHOENIX – “I’m focusing on mainly the defensive side of the ball, rebounding and blocking shots. I feel like that’s what I’m going to be getting my minutes for in my first chapter of the NBA. That’s what I’ll get on the floor for. I’m just focusing on that, making sure I’m getting all of that on lockdown.” – Steven Adams on his mindset going into pre-draft workouts


Steven Adams’ freshman season at Pitt (7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 23 minutes per game) was nothing to write home about, yet the 7-footer has shot up draft boards in recent weeks, and according to Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, he’s being considered as a potential option with the No. 5 pick.


For one, it’s hard to teach the type of mobility and athleticism Adams has for his height. While at 19 he’s not a polished shooter or post player, what he did show under Jamie Dixon was an extremely high motor and an ability to impact the game without the basketball (terrific screener who also averaged 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 40 minutes).

While he’s definitely a project pick for whatever lottery team takes a chance on him, Adams possesses several of the intangibles necessary to be successful at the NBA level.

“Steven Adams is a very impressive physical specimen,” McDonough said. “He’s a terrific athlete, good hands and feet. He’s still raw and developing offensively, but there is a lot to work with there.”

Question marks

There are plenty of question marks regarding Adams, including is he ready on June 27 to be an NBA player. The main reason Adams, who is one of 18 siblings, cited for leaving Pitt was his desire to help some of the struggling members of his family. That’s absolutely commendable but by no means does that mean he’s ready to play basketball at the highest level.

As a freshman he shot 57 percent from the floor but keep in mind he only took 5.5 shots per game. Adams was featured on just 11 percent of the Panthers’ possessions in 2012-13, because he has a limited offensive game.

The New Zealand native’s back-to-basket moves are a big work in progress because he lacks the type of footwork that’s required to beat his man off the first step. Also, at 250 pounds, Adams should be a much better finisher in the paint than he was in his only year of college basketball. He’s not exactly soft, but he’s also not exactly a guy a team can count on to bang inside for easy buckets. That’s just not his game.


Is his ceiling as high as team evaluators seem to think it is following the NBA and pre-draft workouts?

Sure, his offensive shortcomings – footwork in the post, shooting touch, finishing around the basket – can be improved upon over time, but for teams struggling to make the postseason year-after-year, it’s not exactly an easy lottery pick to sell to a fan base.

He’s a very likeable guy, plays the game very hard and appears to have a good head on his shoulders when it comes to recognizing where he needs to improve, but with that said, if there was a poster child in the 2013 NBA Draft for raw, he’d be it.

If someone reaches, Adams could be the diamond in the rough among lottery prospects. But he could also be the rough.

“I think he can contribute right away,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said when asked if Adams was a project. “He’s a guy who understands the game, for us as coaches we’re looking to see does he take up the space defensively when a guy drives, does he make an extra pass when someone helps and comes out on him in the post. He was doing those things [in the workout].”

How he fits with the Suns

Does this sound familiar? An outgoing center who runs the floor well and can rebound when needed but struggles to use his body around the basket and often times becomes an outcast at the offensive end.

It should, because the Suns already have a player cut out of a similar mold in Marcin Gortat. While the Polish Hammer has better touch away from the basket than Adams, both are mobile guys that move well without the basketball, but when push comes to shove, well, they usually get shoved.

While Gortat’s future in the Valley remains up in the air, should he be dealt this summer, Adams doesn’t seem like a sound replacement. And certainly not with the team’s No. 5 pick. He has plenty of upside, but for a team with plenty of holes, upside isn’t worth taking such a huge risk.

I think they play a similar game to what I’m used to,” Adams said of the Suns. “They go on a lot of fast breaks, use screen-and-rolls with bigs, so yeah, that’s my sort of thing. I like to go up-and-down.”

And 1 … a second-rounder to consider

Alex Oriakhi. Oriakhi never showed off a great post game (mediocre hands and footwork) while at UConn or Missouri, but at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, the former McDonald’s All-American was a force to be reckoned with on the glass. He’s NBA strong, consistently plays with aggression and can be slotted at both the four (big lineup) or the five (small lineup) depending on the matchup.

“Translating to the NBA, it’s just about being a team guy,” Oriakhi said. “I really pride myself on being a great teammate, the guy that does the intangibles and the little things to help teams win. I think every team needs a guy like that. I think a guy like that is just as valuable as someone who scores 20 or 30 points a game. I’m just looking to come in and do the dirty work.”

UPDATE (12:00 p.m.): The Suns had reportedly agreed to bring on Roy Rogers as an assistant coach, but the team pulled out of contract negotiations, according to Paul Coro. Rogers, who was part of Lawrence Frank’s staff in Detroit, was considered a candidate to join Jason Kidd on the Brooklyn Nets’ staff, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported. That might be the case, but everything is possible these days. With the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers nearing a trade that would ship coach Doc Rivers to LA, Lawrence Frank’s candidacy to replace Rivers in Beantown could also be a pull to Rogers.

  • Forever is2long

    Good stuff Dave. I agree with ya that Adams may be a risk if taken with the number 5 pick. I like Len’s upside more than Adams. I would take Len at 5 if he was available. Just my silly opinion but I think McD is throwing a curve to other teams when he suggest Adams is in play at #5, in disguising who he really wants there. I like McD’s style.

  • Forever is2long

    Some are speculating that Cleveland will take Len 1st. If so and Wizards are sold on Porter at #3, Suns will have Oladipo, Burke, McLemore or Noel to choose from. However if they like McCollum as much as Burke, they may use a pick they can possibly get by trading Gortat to secure McCollum.

    If the supposed love affair teams are having with Oladipo has merit then either McLemore or Noel falls to Suns, choices I would be very happy with.

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, it’s looking more and more as though Orlando will take Oladipo at 2 OR will trade down with another team that will take him at 2. And there is a lot of speculation that Cleveland either pass on Noel at #1 or trade the #1 pick to someone else. Washington probably should take Porter at 3 but some think they might take Bennett instead. Who knows what Charlotte actually WILL do at 4 even though almost everyone agrees they need front court help.

    However things eventually play out in the draft, the Suns should be able to pick up a valuable player at 5. If the rumors of a possible trade with Portland that would get the Suns the Blazers #10 pick come true, then the Suns would be in great position to pick up two great prospect this year. Yes, the odds are very small that the Suns could pick up a potential all-star with either of those picks but they could at least pick up two very good, young players that could be solid contributors for years.

  • Scott

    It does sound like a stretch to take Adams at #5, due to his modest body of work, and yet as I mentioned before he has the same physical dimensions as Greg Oden but without the shorter left leg / physical problems. Oden went at #1, yet Adams seems like a safer pick.

    The scouting I’ve read on Adams is all over the place. Some say he has good hands, others say he has stone hands. They say he can’t shoot. They say he’s not a bruiser, and he’s absent on defensive rebounding and offense. IIRC, one scout noted that if you subtract put-backs, he only made 2 points last season. (Or maybe that was 2 shots.)

    On the other hand, he’s a mobile and big screener, he can do a decent job of covering guards, he doesn’t foul out, and he doesn’t pout if the offense isn’t running through him. A rim protecting big, he changes shots and blocks shots, which can get him out of position for defensive rebounds. But he’s always active around the basket on offense, which is where he gets most of his rebounds and points.

    So it sounds like he’s a raw center who is trying to master the basics of his position, and at 19 he’s simply not added offensive moves to his repertoire. Maybe he also hasn’t been coached on offensive moves. But he moves well – he’s not a stiff – and he’s young, and he has a high IQ, so we can reasonably expect he’ll add more to his game as he goes.

    He greatly admires Marc Gasol. If you look at what he’s doing with his game, he could be headed in that direction: a skilled big who can protect the paint and stay on the floor.

    As for being a hard worker, it’s difficult to know where he stands on that. But IIRC the Suns said the group that Adams was in posted some of the best results so far in the conditioning sprint at the end of the work out. If Adams did well in the sprint, that may point to him being inclined to put in the effort to round out his game.

  • DBreezy

    Cleveland really does seem like a wild card as their previous draft reaches along with goals from their owner seem to be in conflict. Gilbert wants to make the playoffs next season and the upcoming detonation of the Celts along with the Ellis/Jennings situation in MKE will only make that desire grow more. There don’t seem to be an indications of problems with Noel’s knee going forward, but he won’t be on the court for awhile which is a buzkill to what Gilbert wants in terms of winning now and avoiding LeBron 2.0 with Kyrie.

    Noel likely ends up being a better player than Thompson, but it’s a tough wait. Especially when it’s not even clear that Thompson will be better than Varajeao a contract I’m sure they’d love to dump going forward. If the Cavs do end up taking Len #1, I think it’s an awful situation for him. Even in a weaker draft up top, there’s no escaping the pressures that come with being a number 1 overall pick. Noel is raw offensively and like Len needs to add strength and weight, but he’s used to spotlight placed on being a top recruit to a big school and he’s much more polished and consistent at the things he does do well on the defensive end. Add in a team that wants to make a playoff run, and no summer camp and it could get ugly for him.

    If Noel does actually fall out of the top spot, I don’t think he gets to the Suns. I can see Orlando either taking him and figuring it out later or seeing what exactly the Clips will give them in their restructuring. If there’s nothing wrong with that knee it’s just hard to see him getting past ORL. WAS, and CLT in this particular draft.

    If Falk starts letting Porter workout for CLT and PHX in the next week we’ll know things are getting more serious and it’s not just CLE fishing for someone to help massage their roster issues.

  • DBreezy

    I don’t really think you can put Adams and Oden in the same sentence as prospects other than their physical dimensions. Oden was an outstanding prospect basketball wise. Adams and Oden were both raw as freshman, but Oden showed far more ability to translate his ability into basketball plays. Let’s also not forget that Oden basically learned to shoot left handed that season due to his wrist injury. Adams is still more of a project/combine wonder at this point imo.

  • Scott

    As for which team is going to pick whom and which team is going to trade picks with another team, or trade for a player … this draft is as unpredictable as any … x2.

    While I can often do a pretty good job of guessing the draft order, we’re just 10 days out and the fog on this one is really thick.

    It could be that no team has really decided yet, and are dealing with a lot of contingency plans.

    Heck, the Celtics have a good and popular coach under contract, who loves the team and franchise, and they don’t even know if he’s coming back next year. That’s how crazy it is.

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Then it’s a good thing I put them together in a sentence based on their physical dimensions! :)

    Keep in mind, those are excellent physical dimensions. We’re talking 7′ tall, 255 lbs, 7′ 5″ wingspan (greater than that of Noel), huge hands (bigger than Noel’s), in a package that includes rim-protecting skills, athleticism, youth, character, and IQ.

    For the record, they are also the same dimensions as a player that Adams maybe more closely resembles: Nik Vucevic (PER 17.85).

    After the Suns trade Gortat and Scola away this summer, they will have Frye (maybe) and Haddadi. After that it drops off to Markieff Morris. That’s not a lot of size, and not much foundational material for a rebuild.

    I’m trying to be practical. If the Suns are rebuilding through the draft, they want to get their timing right. To me that means you pick primarily project players first, because they’ll need the most time to develop. In this context, out of all the floor positions, it makes sense to pick a project C this year, since quality centers are the hardest spot to fill, due to the natural lack of big men, and they often seem to need more time to develop.

    A driving SG with good size and aggression is the next hardest spot to fill, which is why I recommend taking Goodwin at #30 (if he’s still there). Goodwin would start the season at age 19, and Adams at age 20.

    Whoever the Suns pick this year, they should be planning to be in the lottery again next year, and possibly the year after, but no further than that.

    Len will probably go before the Suns pick, as will Noel. Judging by the press, it seems like the top draft favorites are Noel, Oladipo, and Len, with the enthusiasm and chatter much lower for the rest of the lottery. Len could be the next Darko, overwhelmed by expectations, and Noel could take years to gain the weight and strength needed to play at PF and C. I don’t know if Oladipo can take the brunt of being a top pick, either.

    I think Dieng and Adams are the best values at C in this draft, with the best timing for the Suns. I would take them as low as I could, but the Suns pick at #5, and neither player will be around at #30. Dieng is farther along in his player development, but physically he isn’t heavy enough just yet. Since Adams isn’t all that far off from Dieng’s production, is significantly younger, and he has the muscle and weight, I would be inclined to take him first.

  • Scott

    Let me add that psychologically, I don’t think Adams is prepared to go at #5, with the expectations the league and the Suns fan base would have for such a high pick.

    If you accept Zeller and Burke as being basically equal talents for their positions (and I know that is apostasy for some folks), Zeller could stand the heat of being a #5 pick better than Adams, and Adams could be taken at #10 as a consequence of the projected Gortat to Portland trade.

    For that matter, there’s been talk that Portland might take Zeller if he’s available at #10, so it’s probably best to remove him to help urge on the trade.

    (If the Suns don’t value Zeller and would rather take Burke or McCollum at #5, that’s fine.)

  • Ty-Sun

    Cleveland would have taken Noel without a thought if not for the ACL tear. Gilbert is probably impatient to move forward and get into the playoffs so drafting a player that will probably miss at least a third/half of the season doesn’t appeal to him… especially since that player isn’t thought by anyone as the second coming of LeBron by anyone.

    But Cleveland also needs someone they can rely on at C. Varajeao is a very, very good player when healthy but it seems as though he’s and injury waiting to happen. Bringing in another injured player at the same position just sounds like bad PR for Gilbert in Cleveland. I would expect them to shop the #1 pick and Varajeao around to bring in some reliable vets as supporting cast for Irving & Co. And I don’t think they would do it in a single trade. In the weak draft we have this year, trading the #1 pick to Indiana for Granger could be a win-win for both teams. Yeah, the numbers don’t work out for a one-to-one trade but it could be done.

    Lol, time to quit rambling on about the possibilities. They truly are endless, especially this year.

    But this is actually a good year for the Suns to acquire as many picks as they can. I say this because there are a lot of players in this draft with the potential to eventually develop into very good players… but few who would probably develop fast enough to keep the Suns out of the running for a top 10 draft pick NEXT year.

  • Morgan

    I could see Adams maybe being the Drummod or Asik of the draft. A project raw big man but can contribute right away and learn the game quickly. I caught a couple games this past season. He is very active around the hoop. Are bigs stand around too much in stead of being active around hoop and making plays on the ball.

    Does anyone know if Hardaway has worked out for us? I think he would be a steal for us if we got a big early. He’s very underrated.

  • http://none @Mikel_haZ

    Totally unrelated, but I read that Andre Iguadala is going to opt out of his contract…any chance the SUNS snatch him up?? @Dulberg

  • Scott

    @Mikel-haZ -

    I’d assume the Suns wouldn’t take Iggy, because that ship has sailed. He’s 29, probably looking to get a last big contract and hitch himself to a contender, and the Suns are rebuilding.

  • Azbballfan

    Signing any player to a max deal on a rebuilding team like the Suns will likely be a disaster

    Unless your name is Durant, Lebron, or one of the very few other elite guys, its just not worth it to give people max or near max deals

    If this were say 2015 and the Suns already had some lotto picks developing from two stellar drafts, and that max deal guy is the guy to get you over the top, then sure

    But at this stage, reaching for guys like Ellis and Iggy would just make us a mediocre, borderline 8th seed if we were lucky and we would basically be starting all over again in a few years

    The Suns need to actually develop talent, through the draft

    We have not had a good draft in a decade, and have not developed a player since Stoudemire

    Miami got incredibly lucky getting Lebron and Bosh, 99 percent of the time you have to build thru the draft, or make a trade for a super star with assets players want like a young talent, lotto picks and your teams best player

    all of that together would get you a superstar and only if that star wants to leave and doesnt want to wait for FA, which means your front office is probably garbage

    Save your money for the next few years, get rid of unproductive players like Beasley, and get some real talent in here, young talent, and see who develops

    We are not the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, or Heat and we cant just magically entice great players to come to a terrible team

    Rebuilding through the draft is really the only way to do it if you are the Suns

    Save the money for a better use, we blew money on players like Turkoglu and Warrick last time and it got us nowhere

    Add Beasley and Brown in there too, and we have done nothing but trade productive players for expensive sub par production

    Have McMiracle get on the phone on draft night and blow this team to shreds, because it really cant get much worse than 25 wins

    and if it does, good, you want the best pick possible in the 2014 draft

    Its been 20 years since the last team went to the finals, dont screw up the franchise long term just to placate some fans and put some butts in the seats at the US Airways Center

    Do it right! cause if we dont, we are going to be getting a new GM, new coach, and new players all over again 3 years from now

  • Scott

    Here’s one of those bits of draft news that makes you say “Hmm.”

    Victor Oladipo Refuses Workout for Washington Wizards – June 16th, 2013

    Oladipo has been expected to go in the top few picks for a while now … but the Wiz are in the #3 spot. Oladipo has already been to Phoenix to work out, and Phoenix is the #5 spot.

    Did something happen between the time Oladipo visited Phoenix and now?

    Does Oladipo have a deal? Is he going #1 or #2?

    SB Nation has an article from the 13th suggesting Oladipo could go #1, and they think if he doesn’t, he could quite likely go #2.

    If Cleveland is taking Oladipo at #1, my guess is they were able to come to an agreement with another team, quite possibly involving more than just trading down.

    But I think the most likely scenario is that the Magic told Oladipo’s agent they’ll take him if he’s still available at #2.

    This makes excellent sense, in that the Magic have already acquired top notch rookie talent at the 3, 4, and 5 spots, and they’re negotiating with the Clippers to send them – essentially – Afflalo for Bledsoe. That will solidify the PG spot. All they need now is someone at SG.

    It’s looking like the most sure thing in this draft so far is that Oladipo will be gone before the Wizards pick.

  • hawki

    @ Scott

    Sporting News also has Oladipo shooting up the board & going to Orlando with the #2 pick.

    They have McLemore falling to the Suns at 5 after Charlotte (loaded at guard according to them) take Bennett at 4.

    These guys are all tightly bunched & it might come down to interviews….as fans, we have no idea how these interviews turn out.

    Wonder how mature/level-headed Bennett is in an interview?

  • foreveris2long

    Hawk and Scott, Does that mean Noel goes one to Cleveland or does he fall to the Suns at 5? Some reports had Noel taking Len #1. Either way Suns should have a really nice selection at 5.

  • Scott

    @forever -

    Noel taking Len? That sounds like a different story altogether. Maybe “50 Shades of NBA.” ;)

    But I know what you mean: the Cavs might take Len at #1, as of the top tier draft picks he most fills a need and would be ready to play.

    Porter would fill a need for the Cavs as well, but generally the draft order is from larger to smaller, and while Porter isn’t exactly small, he’s smaller than Len.

    I think probably the only way CLE is going to deal out of the #1 spot is via player trade, as for most teams the existing players and free agents are of higher value than the players in this draft.

    Oladipo seems to be the player with the most interest; teams are a lot less enthused about the rest of the lottery. So CLE would likely exchange their #1 pick – and maybe a player too – in a deal that would bring back one or more players, and possibly a lower pick.

    An example might be NOLA offering their #6 pick and Austin Rivers to CLE for the #1 pick. Or Minnesota offering their #9 pick and Alexey Shved or JJ Barea, in a bid to get Oladipo before the Magic.

    With the low enthusiasm for this draft, I think the offers to trade up may be smallish. I assume this affects the Suns at #5 as well.

  • DBreezy


    I understand your point on Adams and drafting a big to develop, I just don’t see Adams as that guy at number 5. Wouldn’t mind him at all with an additional pick though. My point on Oden was more that in era of almost every young 5 being extremely raw, Oden and Demarcus Cousins stand out as prospects in the modern era. Those two are probably the most polished out of the box since Yao in 2002.

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    I know. And I hope it’s clear that I regard Adams as a project, and one that runs a risk of not panning out.

    I do think the Suns should get a big in this draft, if they can, and I don’t see how they can get Dieng, as they’d have to take him with the #5 or with the #10 if they can get it, and that would raise eyebrows and create expectations.

    For some reason I’m biased against Len – I don’t know why, I just am – and while Noel plays well he seems so far off physically.

  • Scott

    One PG I gravitate toward, yet have not discussed much, is Ray McCallum. I’d mentioned him a year or so ago as one of many 2013 PG possibilities before Marshall was drafted. A former McDonald’s All-American, he’s projected to go in the middle of the 2nd round.

    I think McCallum could be a bit of a sleeper pick. He’s a coach’s son, and he played for a team that both lacked a spreaded floor and needed him to score, so he may have come off looking a bit less than he has the capability to be.

    He’s on the small side, so he can’t be a combo guard. He’s 6′ 2″, 191 lbs., with a wingspan of 6′ 3″. So he’s not a physical specimen. He is careful with the ball, though, ranked #2 for least TOs among PGs. On defense, he moves well laterally, has quick hands, and has good anticipation and toughness. He has a high IQ.

    If the Suns wind up with a pick around #47 (say, due to a trade of Dudley to Atlanta), I’d count him as a possibility.

  • DBreezy

    I didn’t read the Oladipo refusal to workout for the Wiz as him having a guarantee of going 1 or 2. I read it as a guy who feels that he is a lock to go top 5 and is simply trying to avoid the worst situation for him playing time wise. While I don’t think he is really in consideration for the #1 pick, he probably wouldn’t complain about that honor. If CLE is really intrigued by the 3 guard offense idea, I think they go with someone who has more offense than Oladipo.

    ORL has Afflalo, but VO has good opportunities there. Afflalo has played the 3 in the past and it’s quite possible that he could be included in their talks to get Bledsoe. I don’t think the Clips are holding Bledsoe out of the KG/Doc talks because they’re planning on keeping Bledsoe, it’s probably because they want to maximize the remake of their team to keep CP3. I could see them moving Bledsoe and bringing back CBills as a backup for cheap.

    The Cats have Henderson, but I believe he’s up for RFA and like Afflalo he has played some 3 before. The Suns have nothing outside of a pg and possibly a short timer 5 man. Then there’s the Wiz. They have a guy in Beal who can’t be moved over to the 3 because of size and who is too good for VO to beat out. They’ve got a guy in Ariza who is very similar to VO, but bigger and able to switch between two positions. They’re also looking to bring back Martell Webster who is also bigger than VO and can play two spots.

    VO slots in as a Tony Allen type behind Beal on that roster. That’s probably disappointing to him, but I wonder what he’ll think about that in a few years? Of the top 5 picks, CLE gets more pub but I think Washington has the best chance of making a playoff run next season and beyond. They played well defensively all season and started to put their O together when Wall returned. It might be really nice to be a part of that for VO in a spot where you can get on the court and be effective with your current strengths with a lot of time and low pressure on your weaknesses. VO clearly is interested in a playoff squad as that’s the reason he’s been very accommodating to the T-Wolves in the draft process.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    Hopefully the Suns can get either Oladipo or McLemore with the fifth pick.

    With the age and contract of Gortat, they should trade him (he still has great value), and get another top ten pick and make a play for someone like Adams.

    You would have to think that Hornacek could do wonders with a kid like Adams in developing his shooting skills.

    In that scenario, you would have a good young shooting guard (Oladipo or McLemore) and a young talented C (Adams) to build around.

  • DBreezy


    I too want the Suns to get a big in this draft to develop along with some sort of wing player. I believe that McD and Horny view this draft as the first step of largely nuking this roster. So I expect to see several players who are projects of varying degrees.

    As for Len, I like him but I think expectations for him have to be realistic. He’s got loads of potential, but he really wasn’t consistent in any area this season and it’s hard to expect him to be so next season. He’ll be coming off ankle surgery and I have a feeling that he’ll be held out a little longer than currently estimated just to be conservative with a young player.

    Noel was very consistent on the defensive end last season and I thought improved in that area as the season wore on. He became a much smarter shotblocker, learned how to leverage his quickness on the perimeter, and most importantly for me he improved in how to play on the glass vs bigger players.

    Much is made of his early season matchup with Len. Len did great, but I also saw a young guy in Noel who just hadn’t seen that kind of player yet-very similar to Zeller vs. Anthony Davis. Noel has a great motor and was trying for boards, but he was always used to being able to push around or spring over his opponents in high school. He needed to improve in positioning and he did that over the course of the season. I’m not worried about the weight as the reported 228 he got to before the surgery is 6 pounds heavier than Davis was last year at draft time. Much like Griffin and Oden, this extended rehab time will likely result in him being stronger and slightly heavier as a rookie than expected. He may not be a star on the offensive end, but I do think his offense will come. I expect him to get a little J during rehab as that’s all he can do for awhile and that it will also help his FT shooting which is huge for a big. He’s very quick and seems to have good hands so he could be a S/R threat at the least imo. Wherever he goes above that is up to him, but he’s got a high motor so his chances are good.

    I also like the way he handled the expectations on him to be Anthony Davis and to win the tourney. It was a tough season, but he didn’t crumble. I think that’s an underrated part of every draft process. Every year you’ve got guys like Noel, Zeller, and Bazz who quite frankly have unrealistic expectations on them and their teams. Most will not live up to it in school, but the mental stuff they go through often helps them in the league. It’s easier imo being a BMac, Len, or VO where not as much is expected of you going into the season or the draft process. Everything smells like roses in those situations.

  • Scott

    Hard for me to see Noel dropping to #5, and I don’t think the Suns should trade up for him.

    If Noel doesn’t go #1 for the reasons you stated, surely he’ll go #3 or #4.

  • Scott

    Let me add that Ray McCallum also scores in transition (unlike Marshall), finishes well, gets to the foul line a lot, and ranks 2nd among PGs in blocking shots.

  • foreveris2long

    Scott my bad for the blunder above. I do see the Suns getting a big in this draft if for no other reason, next year’s crop seems less promising than this one. Further the Suns could get a wing in the late 1st or early 2nd who will be as good as a lottery pick wing. D’Breezy as for Len, there is no doubt the Suns would be very patient with him should they draft him or Noel considering they are coming off of injuries. I think the Suns have the lowest or most reasonable expectations of any of the top 5 lottery teams due to the extreme low level of talent on the roster. Whether the Suns get McLemore, Len or Noel I am ecstatic.

    I respectfully disgree that Oladipo does not have some type of verbal when and if he rejects a workout with Washington. While it is not conclusive evidence, why turn that down when Washington may very well have a deal to trade Beal. I think it is suicide for his agent to do this to someone drafting in the 3rd spot. There are a number of factors in this wacky draft that could cause such an agent move to blow up in his face.

  • foreveris2long

    While I think the Suns will take a big somewhere in this draft, it could come in the 2nd round with Demond from USC, who is really really raw.

  • DBreezy


    While I agree that it may turn out to be an agent induced draft bungle, VO’s move isn’t exactly unprecedented and history has shown that people in those cases don’t always have any kind of commitment from a team(s). Considering that we’re 9 days away and we don’t still don’t have much consensus, I think it’s kind of crazy for Porter to only workout for the top 3 teams, but that’s what he’s doing.

    Also a few years back after the fire sale, weren’t there several players who refused to workout for the Grizzlies despite them having top 5 picks? Didn’t Rubio do similar stuff to the Wolves years ago? It’s not smart, but it is part of the game this time of year.

    I agree that the Suns would be patient with Len or Noel, but I’m not sure about some other teams. I’d be happy if they got one of them, grabbed a lottery wing in a Gortat trade, and added BPA’s with the remaining picks. I think a fire sale is beginning so I’d like to see as big of a young talent infusion as possible this summer.

  • DBreezy

    I see there are reports that B-Mac didn’t workout well here or in Orlando, is out of shape,and that he’s in some sort of representation tug of war. Not good when you consider his biggest weakness is between his ears. Also I see Gentry has a 2nd interview in MEM, that would be great for him and not so much for Mike D who has seen zero reward for being kind to Mike Brown’s staff last season.

  • foreveris2long

    Dbreezy I agree it does not always mean a player has a guarantee and as you pointed out Oladipo would not be the first to engage in this risky venture. However I am not sure I have ever seen someone do it to a top 3 team without a guarantee. Maybe it has happened but I don ‘t recall it. Was Minnesota top 3 when Rubio came out? I definitely agree Otto Porter is crazy not to work out for anyone else as anything could happen between now and next Thursday.

    I have not seen the reports on B Mc. That is interesting stuff. Can the Suns afford to pass on him if he is available at 5?

  • Scott

    I think the Suns can always afford to pass on McL. (I still haven’t warmed up to him. I’m tired of immature, low IQ players.)

    BTW, the Suns seem to be running lots of workouts for point guards. They just ran another! I’m beginning to wonder if Dragic is on the block as well.

    Either that, or they’re running all these PG workouts to see who they want to play 2nd PG in SL, and they “just happen” to be including Marshall to see how he rates against squadrons of other guards. Assuming Marshall is still participating, it sounds like the guard drills have them playing against each other in an attempt to showcase each player’s own defensive and scoring game.

    If Marshall has been participating in these drills, I hope it opens his eyes to the necessity of having his own game and not just passing to another player when he crosses the half court line.

  • Scott

    Two minor updates:

    It looks like the Celtics – Clippers deal is off (at least for now).

    Mam Jaiteh is one of the players who decided to exit the draft.

  • Bill-in-Tokyo

    After reading this article, many others and the comments here, my conclusion is Suns should not draft Noel, if he falls to 5 (30, ok, ha, ha). Before he develops into the “star” everyone thinks he’ll be, he will physically break down. Everything written about his present weight, physical condition and skills point to this conclusion. He’s toxic.
    McDonough pick at 5, if the Suns keep it, is going to be a big surprise with Oladipo gone.

  • DBreezy
  • foreveris2long

    DBreezy good resource material. I have seen guys stiff teams 5 aand above just do not recall too many if any where they still someone with the 3rd pick. McL article a concern isn’t it? Do the Suns take a chance if he slips to them? I have to think about that one. I will say this, if Len/Noel is available at 5 I am taking either one..

  • foreveris2long

    I meant to say …if any where they stiff someone….

  • DBreezy


    BMac is a tough one for me. He’s a guy who basically came out of nowhere as a freshman to elite draft status. It’s pretty rare for scouts to miss that big on a player that young who isn’t a big man or foreigner. That said, it wouldn’t bother me as much if he didn’t go to KU. Self is an excellent coach, but they produce a lot of system players who don’t do much in the NBA. Mario Chalmers is basically the best KU player since Pierce at this point, and a lot of big prospects have come out of there in that time.

    Watching B-Mac, Bazz, and Goodwin a lot this year, it was hard not to come away seeing the advantages Self system gave B-Mac. It’s very structured and not particularly hard to learn. Howland’s UCLA system by comparison isn’t picked up easily by young players often making them look bad. Cal’s system at Kentucky is heavily dependent on strong pg play which they didn’t get out of Harrow, forcing Goodwin into a position that I don’t think he’s ready for at this point (if ever).

    Then there’s the assertiveness thing which is big for me as I don’t really know if you can teach it. As NBA fans we get so used to hearing about this with relation to guys like LeBron and Durant that we forget that is talking about an uber-elite level of assertiveness possessed by a rarefied few. There we’re talking about 25+ppg scorers who people think need to be more selfish. With B-Mac there’s a question if he’ll even shoot it. That’s not a question with Bazz, Goodwin, or McCallum for example-how do you have someone who’s billed as a scorer who isn’t always hungry to score? And this is in the NCAA’s where he’s not really punished too badly for his inability to drive well, finish in traffic, or finish through contact, things the NBA will challenge him on.

    I’m sure there is some level of smoke to the recent reports about his conditioning and poor workouts, but I also think that’s he’s very much a kid and not necessarily the toughest mentally when it comes to the game of basketball. So is he going to improve and is he a guy who has to be in the right place expectation wise to succeed?

  • foreveris2long

    DBreezy I fully agree with your insightful analysis especially comparing the UCLA system with Univ of Kansas. It seems you have to be careful what you buy from Kansas. I am not certain there is much difference between him and Wesley Johnson whom I thought was a can’t miss coming out of Syracuse. J. Franklin who played with K. Leonard at San Diego State and or Snell who played with Leonard in high school could turn out to be as good or better than McL.In fact Hardaway may be as good or better as well. I might trade down if I cannot get Len because I am not that impressed with anyone else except Burke but McCollum may be just as good but I have never seen him play.