PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns picked Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi with their 57th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, adding to their frontcourt depth with a bruising presence. Oriakhi measured out at 6-foot-9.5 with a 7-foot-3.75 wingspan, and his 258-pound frame acted as 12th overall pick Steven Adam’s workout drone.
Obviously, the Suns will hope Oriakhi is more than a workout drone for their purposes. Oriakhi played for the championship UConn Huskies team in 2011 and later transferred to Missouri. With the Tigers, Oriakhi averaged 11.2 points and 8.4 rebounds as a senior.
Oriakhi was one of the most productive per-40 minute, pace-adjusted rebounders in the country, according to Draft Express.
As an NBA player, Oriakhi is first and foremost a versatile defensive presence whose toughness should challenge whomever remains out of the Morris twins,and Alex Len this coming season. He’s a decent shot-blocker who averaged 1.6 per game over the course of his career.
His upside could be viewed similarly to a larger Carl Landry, though he is less versatile as an offensive weapon.