DeAndre Kane redshirted his freshman year at Marshall, played there for three years, then burst onto the national scene as a graduate transfer in 2013-14 with Iowa State. Under the tutelage of former NBA guard Fred Hoiberg, Kane had his best season playing in the high majors and averaged 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. He has the size and strength as a point guard — plus a 6-foot-8 wingspan — to play the position on both ends of the court. The Suns, who worked out Kane this week, liked how the Iowa State guard used his strength to get into the paint.
Kane’s upside has received the most criticism among NBA scouts because at 24 years old, he is one of the oldest players in the draft. That historically doesn’t bode well for a player who produced in college by using his strength to his advantage. Though Kane played the point and improved his three-point shot to hit nearly 40 percent his senior season, he still thinks there’s room for improvement.
“For me, I think I just have to continue getting better with my shot, have a consistent jump shot,” he said. “Just work on my ball handling a little more. My ability to be a leader. I’m a point guard, to be a point guard you have to lead.”
While the history says that a player like Kane may be limited in his upside, there’s one slightly similar player who turned out pretty good. Brandon Roy entered the NBA after blowing up his senior college season, and though he was only 22 years old, he brought a similar diverse skill set to the shooting guard position. Despite being just an average athlete, he proved ceilings are hard to understand. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said that Kane could make an immediate impact.
“(He’s) another guy who’s more a ready-made player,” McDonough said. “He’s physically a beast. I think generally, those (older) guys probably have a little lower trajectory in terms of their ceiling – I guess they’re closer to their ceiling, is the best way to put it. He’s probably the same age as half our team. You have to factor that in, but you can’t dismiss that.”
How he would fit on the Suns
If Phoenix has their second-round pick and want to use it on a player they believe they need immediately, Kane could be an option. He thrived in transition this past season, and according to Draft Express scored 30 percent of his buckets in transition by mid January. He was confident and mature on the court, and his shooting and playmaking abilities would immediately fit in with the Suns. Of course, there would need to be a reason for Phoenix to bring in Kane, be it a fear Eric Bledsoe can’t be retained or the need for Archie Goodwin to develop more in the D-League, or if they see Kane as an upgrade over Ish Smith, whose contract isn’t guaranteed.