Reggie Bullock: Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Draft profile


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYP6kMVsec0&w=560&h=315]

PHOENIX – “Kendall was a great host. That was my best friend in school. He was generous. He’s been a great host. He picked me up from the airport on time, like I told him to.” – Reggie Bullock on Kendall Marshall, his former teammate at North Carolina

Strengths

The S-word might follow Reggie Bullock around a bit much. It hampers his stock yet also defines him as what he already is, an NBA-ready swingman who can knock down open shots more than anything. The S-word, if you haven’t figured it out, is “safe.”

Despite leaving the North Carolina Tar Heels after his junior season, Bullock knows what he is and that could be his biggest strength. In his third NCAA season, Bullock hit 44 percent of his catch-and-shoot jumpers, according to Synergy Sports Technology. He scored 13.9 points per game while shooting 53 percent from two-point range and 43 percent from three playing within Roy Williams’ offense and usually efficiently at that.

“Reggie is a good player,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said when Bullock worked out Saturday. “He’s one of the better shooters in the country. I think the guys who can defend and shoot with size are becoming more and more valuable right now.

“Haven’t gone to Carolina myself,” McDonough said, “I’m a fan.”

Bullock stands 6-foot-7 in shoes and projects as a small forward in a mold of a more athletic Jared Dudley. He is a willing defender and can fit in with most teams finishing on the break and making the right plays without forcing the issue.

“I think (defense) will definitely help me,” Bullock said. “I’m not saying I’m one of the best defensive players in this draft, but I take defensive assignments pretty personal. I just don’t like getting beat off the dribble and people scoring on me.”

Question marks

Bullock’s athleticism might be better than Jared Dudley’s, but relatively to other prospects in the draft, he’s only average. The former Tar Heel is a tad bit thin for an NBA small forward when considering the elite players in LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay. He’s also limited in explosiveness.

Offensively, Bullock doesn’t turn the ball over and can knock down open jumpers, but he’s not skilled enough to be a shot-creator for himself or others. He lacks the ball handling skills to really make too many moves off the dribble and doesn’t have much of a playmaking ability.

This all puts that label of Bullock being a safe pick back on the table.

Winning teams could look at Bullock as a Danny Green-esque building block and a piece to the puzzle toward the end of the first round. But when all things are considered, Bullock could be fighting for a spot with guys like Tony Mitchell, a questionable prospect from a smaller school who has more of that P-word – potential.

X-factor

Bullock’s stock very well could depend on whether teams are feeling uneasy about the options on the board. One thing is clear, and that’s what Bullock is right now. He’s 22 years old and mature enough to know his limitations; whether knowing his strengths and weaknesses helps him off the bat or hurts him is hard to say.

How he fits with the Suns

Down the road, Bullock’s career arc could very well reflect similarly to Jared Dudley’s, and because of it and also Ryan McDonough’s familiarity with the fellow Tar Heel, Bullock could be a fine pick at 30th overall. He’s slated to go sooner and with so many questions in the draft, falling to 30th isn’t completely out of the question.

There’s no question the Suns need shooting and defending at the perimeter, especially if they make any moves to free up

Again, McDonough has said that Phoenix might not double-up on positions with all three picks — assuming all three players join the team next season. So if Phoenix goes with a shooting guard or small forward with the No. 5 selection, it’s possible they do something different at 30th.

And 1

  • The Suns’ assistant coaching staff could be completely settled soon. As Paul Coro reported, Phoenix will bring on a former teammate of Jeff Hornacek and Mark West, Kenny Gattison.
  • Filling the fourth spot could be a Boston connection of McDonough’s. The Boston Globe reported that Doc Rivers defensive general Mike Longabardi committed to join Hornacek before the Clippers traded a first-round pick for the Celtics to release Rivers. It’s unclear if Longabardi will change his mind about joining the Suns.
  • And in a separate but related note, Alvin Gentry could be a candidate to join Rivers’ staff with the Clippers, but he’s still one favorite for the Memphis opening. He could also consider joining the Lakers’ staff, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
  • Michael Carter-Williams tweeted that he is returning to Phoenix, presumably to work out again for the Suns.
  • Scott

    If Blanks was still picking, Bullock would probably be his guy at #30. Not that Bullock is bad, but Blanks apparently thought he was building a contender with the Suns, and Bullock would probably have been seen as a “finishing touch” type piece. He’d provide defense and perimeter shooting at SG, and moral support for college buddy Kendall Marshall.

    Bullock, IMO, isn’t a bad choice, but I’d much rather have a slasher / combo guard / project guy like Goodwin.

    As for comparisons between Bullock and Dudley … I’m not sure Bullock has the same level of IQ, so I don’t feel as confident about his continued development.

    As for MCW coming back to town, I suspect it is to try him out / rule him out as a SG prospect, which I don’t think they did before. In other words, “We want you to shoot, and to show us you can make shots.”

    It may also be an indication that the Suns are feeling fairly confident about getting another lottery pick. And taking it a step further, they might be trying to throw a red herring on the trail about who they’d take with that pick.

  • Scott

    BTW, my current guess on who the Cavs will pick in the first round is: #1 Noel, #19 Karasev.

    So nothing weird, just a normal unprovocative selection of a “consensus” top pick and a 3 pt shooting SF.

    This would free the Cavs to trade Varejao for the best deal, either this summer or toward the trade deadline. I think they’ll try to trade him this summer, preferably, so they can get a deal done before he gets injured again. ;)

    The Cavs also stand to pick up two good prospects at the top of the 2nd round, possibly Erick Green and either Snell, Rice, or Hardaway (whoever remains).

    So they will probably let Casspi, Ellington, Livingston, and Gibson go, but re-sign Speights.

    FWIW, I’m not sure we’ll see as much dealing of picks as has been suggested. Teams may simply take their guy and move on to free agency.

    I expect a lot of stashing of foreign players.

  • Scott

    Odd draft questions …

    Apparently some team asked Trey Burke why sewers (sewer pipes?) are round. He had no answer.

  • Scott

    Speaking of draft day trades … I thought it was curious that OKC brought Len in for an interview. Are they thinking of trading up for him?

    Maybe they’d give all 3 of their picks for him (#12, #29, #32). If so, and the Suns had the chance to pick Len and keep him, or trade him to OKC for all 3 of their picks, would you do that deal?

  • DBreezy

    I see the Suns were able to capitalize a bit on McD past and the Doc Rivers drama to snag Rivers’ defensive coordinator Mike Longabardi for Horny’s staff. Nice work.

  • Morgan

    I would not do that deal the suns can get a much better player at 5 than those picks

  • bill.thomas

    OKC Deal: Depends who is available at 5. If just Porter or maybe McLemore, I might well do the deal.

    We might get lucky in the 9-32 range and pick up 2 or even 3 good players. At 13 we should at least get a guy who has potential to be an above average starter.

    If we are really sold on whoever is avail. at 5, of course don’t do the deal.

    BTW, there was a lot of chatter on the Portland SB Nation blog about trading us Meyers Leonard for Gortat or for the 5 pick. I’m not sure we’d want to do either of those deals. Leonard has apparently been a big disappointment to them.

    There was even talk of trading Matthews and some rubbish for our No. 5. Imaginative guys over there.

  • Scott

    My general inclination is for the Suns to get more picks, but the picks have to be in the right range. I like the two Minnesota picks better than the OKC picks.

    And my preference on a Gortat trade is to trade to Portland for their #10 pick AND their top 2nd round pick, #39.

    The Bucks, BTW, seem to be looking at taking Nedovic with their #43 pick.

    Only a few days more, now, till we see how all this plays out!

  • bill.thomas

    I’m all for getting the Minnie picks too, but if you look at their blog boards there’s not much interest in trading the picks. Something centering on a trade of Dudley for Derrick Williams has been discussed off and on, but there interest never seemed to come to fruition. It appears that Markieff Morris is improving,but i still think Williams has higher potential.

    Of course, most of the people on blog boards talk excitedly about who might be picked and often propose trades that are irrational for one side or the other or even both sides.

  • DBreezy

    @Scott,

    It’s going to be interesting on draft day trades. There are a lot of sellers and not that many buyers. However something is gonna have to give for a lot of these teams between free agency and luxury/salary cap issues. The luxury tax is getting worse and with multi year guaranteed rookie deals, how do you justify paying so much for a player you don’t really want? Especially when the cap situation it could place you in has a much greater effect on what you can do as far as trades and free agency than before?

    So I guess the question for McD is how big of a start to his asset grab does he want on Thursday? I think it’s fair to say that there isn’t a team in the lottery that’s looking for a bigger reboot of their roster than the Suns. Does he think he can maximize his return now or later? Which members of the current group of veterans does he want on the roster for his new coach next season which is clearly developmental with all jobs being declared open already?

    Do you want to saddle Horny with more of Gorat’s ‘stuff’ in a contract year? Scola was very professional
    last season, but he also said plenty. How much more will he have to say in July when he’s eligible to be moved? I’m no reporter and this is purely speculation, but I get the sense that there is a level of distance between Scola and most of his teammates. Not interpersonal acrimony, but more of a ‘I’m just in a different place mentally than these dudes, so I’m just going to do my own thing.’

    Shannon did as well as could be expected with being completely benched and there’s no need for either party to go there again. Duds I see as somewhat like Scola. He’s a professional, but he’s not the leader he thought he was and it seems like he distanced himself at times as well, although it seemed more directly linked to starting or coming off the bench than it did with Scola. As others have noted, we didn’t see the hustling Dudley this season. He wasn’t even on the map in that Dan Majerle hustle award thing. One thing I’ve always loved about Battier, whom Duds has been compared to before, is that Shane always hustled whether he was on good, bad, or ugly teams. Is he content to just ride his deal out comfortably while blogging and guesting on First Take? If so is that the kind of subtle presence you want around your young players?

    I don’t have any definitive answers/opinions on it, just saying that these would be some of the many things I’d be asking myself this week if I were McD and Babby.

  • Ty-Sun

    The Suns obviously aren’t going to make a big move in the free agent market this year. In the draft they should of course look for talent and potential but I think IQ, athleticism and work ethic/motivation are probably more important in selecting players in THIS draft class. And if the Suns can find another hard working defender like Tucker anywhere (draft, D-league, overseas), this would be the season to give him a shot.

    As for Scola, I think he just knew last season that he wasn’t part of the Suns’ long term plans and kept a little distance between himself and most of his teammates. I have no doubt that he gave the Suns everything he had ON the court.

    Gortat should be traded, not because I don’t think he’s a good player but because I know that he’s going to be very unhappy on a rebuilding team and he just did not mesh well with the new players last season. A change of scenery would be best for both.

    As much as I respect Dudley, I think a trade might be best for him too.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Bruce Cooper over at Channel 12 says to trade Scola to OKC for their 2nd rounder (#32).
    Can we do that?
    Don’t you have to match salaries or something?

    Many reports of Len going #1 now……crazy.

  • Suns Fan In Portland

    I wouldn’t say Meyers Leonard has been a disappointment at all. We knew when he was drafted that he was young, raw, and a project. Some people are just impatient… Blazer fans want to be in win now mode, they’re tired of rebuilding.
    One byproduct of having such a dedicated, enthusiastic fan base here is that you end up with a lot of fans who are intense and rabid fans but don’t actually know anything about basketball.
    I watched most of the Blazer games this year and I think he shows a lot of promise. He has a nice smooth touch on offense, occasionally shows flashes of great defense, and he’s big. He definitely got abused by more experienced players quite a bit, but that’s how a young player learns. I’ve seen quite a bit of him and wouldn’t object to seeing him on the Suns…

  • DBreezy

    @Ty-Sun,

    I agree that Scola gave everything he had on the court, that will never be a problem with him. I just wonder if they want that distance off the court in a young locker room. I don’t think any of the guys in Sac (even Cousins) are bad people, just young mostly and they have some vets that are kinda to themselves like Salmons.

  • Ty-Sun

    @DBreezy – I just don’t think that the Suns ever intended to keep Scola past one season. Unless my memory is failing me, the Frye’s heart condition was already known about before the Suns picked up Scola. Under those conditions, grabbing Scola after Houston amnestied him was a no-brainer decision since at that time the FO was still hoping to field a competitive team. Anyway, I agree with your observations. Scola played like a pro but I think that he never really became part of the team because he knew Phoenix was just a rest stop for him instead of a destination.

    @hawki – Technically the Suns can’t trade Scola for OKC’s 2nd round pick because Scola can’t be traded until July 1. But the Suns and OKC could have an unofficial agreement to trade Scola to OKC after the draft if OKC uses their 2nd rounder to pick a player that the Suns want.

  • Scott

    Word is that Stern has forbidden a trade by Boston of Garnett to the Clippers, but I wonder if that rule can be bent by having a 3rd party conduct the trade?

    The Suns could be that 3rd party. McD might be the right guy to get the job done, too.

    The Suns, Celtics, and Clippers could do the following draft day deal, if it isn’t full of trade violations.

    Garnett and the #16 to Phoenix for Beasley and Brown. (If Brown has been traded to Houston for T-Rob, Haddadi and Tucker will do).

    DeAndre Jordan and the #25 to Phoenix for Garnett.

    Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford to Phoenix for DeAndre Jordan and the #25. (If Haddadi was traded away earlier, the Suns can have Fab Melo come back in this trade.)

    So the net for the Suns is Beasley and Brown away in exchange for Courtney Lee (27 yr old, 3 yrs / $5m), Jordan Crawford (24 yrs, 1 yr / $1.5m), and the #16. (And if Brown is not involved in this trade, there’s basically an exchange of Haddadi and Tucker for Fab Melo.)

    This might seem like a reasonable move to make if the Suns can’t jiggle picks loose any other way, and if the Suns can’t get any good offers on Scola and Dudley. It would produce a team capable of defending and spreading the floor, scoring 90-100 points a game.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    Actually, I don’t think we knew about Frye’s heart till September 20/21, and Scola was picked up off amnesty on July 1.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/20271469/suns-f-channing-frye-enlarged-heart-out-indefinitely

  • Ty-Sun

    It’s full of trade violations, Scott.

  • Scott

    ^^ Hehe. I knew it was full of something. ;) ^^

    BTW, DX says Mike Muscala leads all centers with a PER of 36.3, followed by Zeke Marshall at 30.2.

    Muscala is also tops for rebounds per 40-minutes, pure point rating, assists per 40-minutes rate, FT attempts per 40-minutes, and points per 40-minutes.

    Rudy Gobert and Lucas Nogueira have the top two true shooting percentages of all the centers.

    Steven Adams is the 3rd least efficient scorer, ranked just above Gorgui Dieng.

    Lucas Nogueira is the most efficient, followed by Rudy Gobert as the 3rd most efficient.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Situational-Statistics-the-2013-Center-Crop-4283/

  • foreveris2long

    I would never do any deal with OKC if all the Suns are netting is #12, 29 and 32.

  • DBreezy

    Yeah we didn’t know about Frye until well after the Scola pickup which occurred during SL. There was talk and am article or two about what that might mean about Kieff’s progress and future here at the time.

  • bill.thomas

    @Scott: Your proposed trade will magically become legal if we serve some hashish to Stern.

  • bill.thomas

    How bout Brown to Houston for a slice of Chicago style and Daryl Morey’s next bad trade ?????????????

  • bill.thomas

    How bout Brown gets a teachers credential, teaches home room and the middle school girls volleyball team, and donates the guaranteed salary after the cut to charity.

  • bill.thomas

    @Scott: You’re in the wrong profession. You need to be a Hollywood screenwriter !!!

  • bill.thomas

    Did you know the state motto of California????

  • bill.thomas

    It is “Eureka”–which means “I found it!!!”

  • bill.thomas

    Did you recently read on the internet that Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley has found a job he’s very happy with ???